Originally posted on NFL News & Rumors  |  Last updated 3/21/12

When word first broke of the Saints bounty program several weeks ago, many around the league felt that commissioner Roger Goodell would likely come down hard on those involved, potentially suspending head coach Sean Payton, general manager Mickey Loomis, and former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams for a significant amount of games.

As it turns out, that projection was understated by a long shot, as the league has announced this afternoon its decision on the punishment, suspending Loomis for eight games, Payton for a full season, and Williams indefinitely.

The Saints will also lose their second round pick this year and next, along with a fine of $500,000.

It’s an unprecedented move by the NFL and one that will undoubtedly drive conversation for some time to come. The move to suspend Payton for an entire year was wholly unexpected and will likely put first year defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo in the driver’s seat for the 2012 campaign.

As for Williams, it’s doubtful given the indefinite suspension that he will coach again in the NFL, although it’s possible that Goodell will allow him to come back in the future,  once he’s been out of the game for a significant period of time.

The players involved are expected to receive their punishment in the near future, once the league and the NFLPA come to an agreement on the severity.

©2012 NFL News & Rumors. All Rights Reserved.

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