Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 11/20/14

MINNEAPOLIS - JANUARY 17: Quarterback Brett Favre 4# of the Minnesota Vikings celebrates touchdown in the second quarter against the Dallas Cowboys during the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on January 17, 2010 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

When Gregg Williams (pictured) took over as defensive coordinator of the Saints, the players and media raved about the new attitude he brought to the team. Williams ran a swarming defense that got after opposing players. Little did we know he was promoting a bounty system all those years.

An NFL investigation revealed that the Saints have operated a bounty program the past three seasons — all since Williams became their defensive coordinator. As part of the bounty program, players were rewarded for knocking opponents out of the game. According to the report, the program paid players $1,500 for a “knockout” and $1,000 for a “cart-off,” with payouts doubling or tripling during the playoffs.

The investigation says the Saints specifically targeted former Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner and former Vikings quarterback Brett Favre. Anyone who watched the NFC Championship Game between the Vikings and Saints could get that sense, and the pictures of the beat-up Favre support the findings.

Team owner Tom Benson reportedly directed GM Mickey Loomis to stop the system but was unsuccessful. Coach Sean Payton reportedly knew about the system but did not stop it.

Commissioner Roger Goodell notes that the system jeopardizes player safety and competitive integrity — two key components of the league. There are also specific rules against players being rewarded for injuring opponents.

The Saints will be penalized for the bounty program and could face fines, suspensions, and the loss of draft picks. Even though the job of defenses is to stop offenses, placing bounties on opposing players goes against the spirit, integrity, and sportsmanship aspects of the game.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

John Madden: Last play of Super Bowl will 'torment' Pete Carroll

Cristiano Ronaldo nets hat trick, sets career high for goals

WATCH: Cormier tells Jones to get his s-- together

Fans holding 'Free Tom Brady Rally' at Gillette Stadium

Josh Hamilton to be activated by Rangers

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

WATCH: Top CB recruit makes insane catch doing backflip

Biggest surprises of the MLB season

Marcus Mariota leads NFL in jersey sales for May

Report: Scott Skiles frontrunner for Magic coaching job

Shanahan: injuries are not why Robert Griffin III struggles

Kyle Korver ruled out for remainder of playoffs

WATCH: Daniel Cormier gets into it with Ryan Bader

Jim Harbaugh compares his driving to Jeff Gordon's

WATCH: High school seals win with perfect hidden ball trick

Warriors crush Rockets in Houston to take 3-0 series lead

WATCH: D'Angelo Russell whiffs on horrible golf swing

Brian Matusz ejected for having foreign substance on arm

PHOTO: Don Cherry wears wild suit even for his taste

PHOTOS: Gigantic sinkhole at Jack Nicklaus golf course

WATCH: Memphis player catches defense sleeping, scores

WATCH: Astros turn around-the-horn triple play

French Open Women's preview: Who will make the quarters?

WATCH: Bryan Price gets ejected before game starts

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

John Madden: Last SB play will 'torment' Carroll

Eight biggest surprises of the MLB season

Bryan Price ejected before first pitch

Vin Scully narrates marriage proposal

Pats fan's obituary defends Brady

Marlins players skip own charity event

John Wall tells All-NBA Team voters to ‘keep sleeping’

Jim Kelly: No doubt Tom Brady cheated

Post-combine NBA Draft big board: Top 30

Ex-players sue NFL for conspiring to push painkillers

Astros surprising, but can get better with Correa

Here come the Giants

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.