The NFL took the New Orleans Saints “bounty” scandal to a whole other level. Penalties have been announced and it’s much more severe than what most were anticipating.
Saints head coach Sean Payton has been suspended for one year without pay. Newly minted Rams DC Gregg Williams who was with the Saints and actually inserted the program in New Orleans has been suspended indefinitely. But we’re not done yet, the Saints franchise will also incur hefty fines and penalties.
Saints GM Mickey Loomis will be suspended 8 games without pay and fined $500,000 individually while the Saints franchise will be fined $500,000 and will lose second round draft picks for 2012 and 2013.
NFL Commisioner Roger Goodell released a statement:
“We are all accountable and responsible for player health and safety and the integrity of the game,” Commissioner Goodell said. “We will not tolerate conduct or a culture that undermines those priorities. No one is above the game or the rules that govern it. Respect for the game and the people who participate in it will not be compromised.”
“A combination of elements made this matter particularly unusual and egregious,” Commissioner Goodell continued. “When there is targeting of players for injury and cash rewards over a three-year period, the involvement of the coaching staff, and three years of denials and willful disrespect of the rules, a strong and lasting message must be sent that such conduct is totally unacceptable and has no place in the game.”
Goodell has stated he’ll review Gregg Williams status at the end of the season and only if he agrees to cooperate with any further investigation. Seems as if Williams might have been trying to circumvent this by spilling all early.
How will the Saints and Rams rebound from this?