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League should consider taking Saints’ franchise tag

Divisional Playoffs - New Orleans Saints v San Francisco 49ers Getty Images

Though the release issued by the league office mentions only fines, suspensions, and forfeiture of draft picks as possible discipline for the blatant three-year violation of the league’s bounty rules, the timing of the league’s disclosure of the information invited speculation as to whether Commissioner Roger Goodell is contemplating something a bit more creative.

Something like, say, stripping the Saints of their franchise tag for 2012.

That would make quarterback Drew Brees an unrestricted free agent, allowing him to go to the highest bidder and turning the entire market on its head.

It’s highly unlikely that something so drastic would occur, but with Goodell planning to consult with the NFLPA on possible penalties and with Brees serving as a member of the NFLPA’s Executive Committee, crazier things have happened.

Given that the Patriots lost a first-round pick in 2008 as a result of the Spygate situation, which emerged in September 2007, many assume that the Saints will likewise lose a first-round pick.  The only problem is that they don’t have a first-round pick to lose in 2012; they traded it last year to, coincidentally, the Patriots.

Regardless of how it all plays out, it’s an unprecedented violation at a time when the league has become more safety conscious than ever.  Thus, the situation may require an unprecedented punishment.

And the most effective way to punish the Saints at this moment would be to remove their ability to keep Brees from leaving, or at a minimum to force the Saints to outbid anyone else in order to keep him.

Either way, it’s unlikely that G.M. Mickey Loomis will try to further minimize Brees’ value at the bargaining table by pointing out that the Saints won the Super Bowl not because of Brees, but because of the bounty system that the defense was using.

Permalink 120 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: New Orleans Saints, Rumor Mill, Top Stories
120 Responses to “League should consider taking Saints’ franchise tag”
  1. frostbelt says: Mar 2, 2012 6:22 PM

    Serves them right. Childish franchise.

  2. zeapelido says: Mar 2, 2012 6:22 PM

    “It’s highly unlikely that something so drastic would occur, but hey I need the website hits.”

  3. bigjdve says: Mar 2, 2012 6:23 PM

    That would be a perfect penalty for the Saints and Payton.

    They need to figure out how to penalize Williams.

  4. bearsrulepackdrool says: Mar 2, 2012 6:23 PM

    Anybody else remember how the city of New Orleans was the NFL’s money maker after Katrina? My own the tides of turned.

  5. Soulman45 says: Mar 2, 2012 6:24 PM

    He would just sit it out not sign with another team.

  6. WestCoastVet says: Mar 2, 2012 6:25 PM

    “Something like, say, stripping the Saints of their franchise tag for 2012.

    That would make quarterback Drew Brees an unrestricted free agent, allowing him to go to the highest bidder and turning the entire market on its head.”

    That would be HILARIOUS! Sorry Saints fans, but it’s true. I’m going to go look up the real estate market in SF and try to find homes for Brees and Colston.

  7. zaktmt says: Mar 2, 2012 6:25 PM

    Other teams do this, but this was done on a bigger scale. This actually sounds like a reasonable punishment. That or the league can shrink their cap size and give other teams an advantage to not reward this behavior. But this isn’t a bad idea for a punishment.

  8. gberg09 says: Mar 2, 2012 6:28 PM

    take their qb, superbowl title, first rounder and suspend from the playoffs. dirty cheating scum

  9. palewook says: Mar 2, 2012 6:29 PM

    simple solution, strip their entire 2012 draft. every pick is forfeited. no team will allow a bounty system to happen again in the nfl. ever.

  10. thankheavenfornumberseven says: Mar 2, 2012 6:30 PM

    I think Aaron Rodgers would want to play for the Saints if they lose Brees because Aaron Rodgers loves cheaters.

  11. 123makarov says: Mar 2, 2012 6:31 PM

    This is probably the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard.

    Want to send a message? Ban Gregg Williams for life. Suspend Sean Payton for a season, and fine Mickey Loomis $1M. Take the Saints’ 1st and 2nd round picks in 2013 and their top pick (4th?) this year.

    Changing how the Saints can compensate and contact players only hurts the players, and the NFLPA, correctly, wouldn’t stand for it.

  12. AlanSaysYo says: Mar 2, 2012 6:32 PM

    Would love to see the Saints lose the franchise tag simply for the mayhem that would create, but it’s really not a fitting punishment for the crime.

  13. phonymcringring says: Mar 2, 2012 6:32 PM

    They should take away Saints’ fans voice boxes and keyboards.

    This is the first thing that has shut them up in a long time.

  14. dolphan22 says: Mar 2, 2012 6:33 PM

    YES!!!! This all makes me very happy

  15. stl45fan says: Mar 2, 2012 6:33 PM

    Saints do it like the SEC, ” If you ain’t CHEATING, you ain’t TRYING !”

  16. vikingsfan34 says: Mar 2, 2012 6:33 PM

    Dirty suckers should have their franchise tag taken away. Give Brees to the Vikings, watch Nicks Walk, Colston walk, etc. They were DIRTY in that NFC Champ game and even with the 5 turnovers, which should have been 4 as the int on the high low hit should have given the ball to the vikings inside the saints 20. MINNESTOA WAS THE BETTER TEAM PERIOD. The saints were outplayed in every phase of the game but won by cheating with help from the officials. You can see Payton saying do it again when Smith hit Favre way after the play earning a flag. Sharpers hit was Dirty too. I hope the Saints get Hammered! and lose some of their top players via free agency.

  17. nflfan555 says: Mar 2, 2012 6:34 PM

    The black cloud has just drifted over the city of NOL – loss of picks and negative energy will put his franchise in a severe decline…

  18. noahbird says: Mar 2, 2012 6:34 PM

    Dolphins.

  19. mrsinghhhh says: Mar 2, 2012 6:34 PM

    And fine Williams. If players can be fined for dirty hits. Coaches should be fined for encouraging them. Get this scumbag coach outta here.

  20. phillyphever says: Mar 2, 2012 6:38 PM

    “Either way, it’s unlikely that G.M. Mickey Loomis will try to further minimize Brees’ value at the bargaining table by pointing out that the Saints won the Super Bowl not because of Brees, but because of the bounty system that the defense was using.”

    Yeah….Loomis would be lucky to still have his job after this. Benson really needs to fire him.

  21. heisthejuan says: Mar 2, 2012 6:38 PM

    Man, Mr. Flo.rio loves to stir the pot. That would be insanity.

  22. yardape74 says: Mar 2, 2012 6:38 PM

    The Saints are scum and their fan base are fetid drunken animals that belong in exile.

  23. vuudu says: Mar 2, 2012 6:39 PM

    Is this really that much of a bigger deal? Ok, I understand the rule, but how is this different from how defensive players play anyway? They are always trying to injure someone in the name of making plays, they drive ball carriers harder to the ground.. This is too hypocritical for my liking. I am out. I am not a saints fan by the way, but the NFL is becoming too two faced for my liking

  24. descendency says: Mar 2, 2012 6:39 PM

    They should force them to trade their first round pick and a second rounder for a player that will make no impact on their team now (or probably ever) to the Patriots…

    Oh wait.

  25. raikarr says: Mar 2, 2012 6:39 PM

    Coming from a Saints fan, I think the following punishment is acceptable, and I think I’m conceding a fair bit:
    Fines set by the league’s discretion to the organization, Loomis, Payton, Williams, and Vilma.

    Suspensions set by the league’s discretion to Loomis, Payton, Williams(Sorry, STL.), and Vilma.

    Forfeiture of top pick this year(R2) and next year(R1).

    If that isn’t reasonable, I don’t know what people expect other than a public crucifixion.

  26. xxwhodatxx says: Mar 2, 2012 6:40 PM

    Lol yea that’s gonna happen good one

  27. headonaswivel says: Mar 2, 2012 6:40 PM

    Just their franchise tag this year? That doesn’t seem like nearly enough punishment to me.

    Not only should the Saints forfeit their franchise tag this year but they should lose first round draft picks in 2013 and 2014.

    Williams should get a one year suspension and a large fine. I’d like to see him get a job coaching when his suspension is up.

    If the NFL is serious about keeping stuff like this from going on, they need to make an example out of the Saints and Williams.

  28. professorgridiron says: Mar 2, 2012 6:40 PM

    Sean Payton is a punk. I hope the league doesn’t pretend that he didn’t know about this.

  29. delmonte55 says: Mar 2, 2012 6:40 PM

    Sorry Mike, but in my opinion this is a poor journalistic effort.

  30. fat4jc says: Mar 2, 2012 6:41 PM

    If there’s one thing we should have learned by now it’s this….

    “never under estimate how irrational Goodell can be”.

  31. jaltreality says: Mar 2, 2012 6:42 PM

    Yes, they should consider this completely arbitrary and unprecedented punishment that you just came up with out of thin air. “Oh, we have two major saints stories… I wonder how I can connect the two!”

    I’m a Saints fan and I think this was egregious (though I don’t think it’s “cheating” that taints their Super Bowl run, it certainly does sully the story). The Saints should be punished, unfortunately, and I think taking the 2013 first round pick makes sense, since this has been a common punishment the league has levied.

  32. bordner says: Mar 2, 2012 6:42 PM

    thankheavenfornumberseven says:
    Mar 2, 2012 6:30 PM

    I think Aaron Rodgers would want to play for the Saints if they lose Brees because Aaron Rodgers loves cheaters.

    ——————————————-

    That’s about as relevant to this article as saying that Aaron Rodgers wouldn’t want to play for the vikings and their fans because he hates losers. Loser.

  33. raikarr says: Mar 2, 2012 6:43 PM

    If you want compensation “equal” to two first round picks being removed, I could understand that and would say take the top two picks away this year.

  34. profootballwalk says: Mar 2, 2012 6:43 PM

    A year’s worth of draft picks, including next year’s #1 pick, should wake them up. The tag is part of the collective bargaining rules, and should stay.

  35. crubenst says: Mar 2, 2012 6:43 PM

    I think we’re about to see the harshest penalty handed out by the league to a team ever. One reason: lawsuits. With the league already facing a lawsuit from former players regarding concussions. Think of the legal fallout from any player injured against the Saints during Greg Williams’ tenure. The league needs to take a major stand to limit their own liability.

  36. ilovefoolsball says: Mar 2, 2012 6:44 PM

    I know today is like Christmas for you but maybe you should keep some posts for your personal journal.

  37. bhcpaul1989 says: Mar 2, 2012 6:44 PM

    It needs to be bigger than taking the franchise tag, the Saints are paying Brees anyway and what’s a few million more to a billionaire. Suspend Peyton 4 games take draft picks and fine. If I were the Saints and all they did was take the franchise tag i’d be thrilled!

  38. bearsstillsuck says: Mar 2, 2012 6:44 PM

    Greatest idea ever.

  39. purpleguy says: Mar 2, 2012 6:44 PM

    They beat my team in the NFC title game and there should be no grousing about that; However, here’s what frosts me: (1) Peyton’s caught on video red-handed ripping off pain killers without repurcussions; (2) the NFL and owner order the bounties stopped, but the GM refuses, the D coordinator doesn’t stop and the HC permits it; (3) they purposely pad Brees’ stats at the same time trumping the guy as a class act; (4) they purposely disregard NFL rules at the SB that all teams previously complied with; and (5) the owner is a complete goofy tool. Contract the classless losers for all I care.

  40. andrejohnsonforpresident says: Mar 2, 2012 6:45 PM

    Gah I remember that nfc championship game with favre.. At one point I thought to myself wow! They’re hitting the crap out of him after every play!! They should take their franchise tag. Heck i’d considering docking some mid round picks too. An I hope Drew Bree’s doesn’t get resigned. I heard the other day they he didn’t even go to his own moms funeral. What a D-Bag him and this organization have become in these past few days..

  41. dirtmcgirt24 says: Mar 2, 2012 6:45 PM

    I laughed really hard at the last paragraph – well played!

  42. vikescry1 says: Mar 2, 2012 6:46 PM

    i’m not a saints fan, but if your complaining about bounty gate i hope your not the same people that have been complaining about bad calls? hit’s on the qb, or defenseless receiver’s, new flag football league, etc….. bountygate has been around a long time.

  43. PFTiswhatitis says: Mar 2, 2012 6:49 PM

    take next years first round pick.

  44. atrophiedambitions says: Mar 2, 2012 6:50 PM

    This would be interesting, but I think what would happen is the Saints would just have to agree to Brees’ terms on the contract before March 13th.

    They wouldn’t actually let him hit free agency, but they would have to account for a dramatic collapse in bargaining leverage without the tag to back their low-ball bid. The same day Goodell strips the franchise tag, Bress becomes the highest paid player in football.

  45. govtminion says: Mar 2, 2012 6:51 PM

    “Soulman45 says: Mar 2, 2012 6:24 PM

    He would just sit it out not sign with another team.”

    _______________________

    Why would he do that?

  46. Wisconsin77 says: Mar 2, 2012 6:51 PM

    What a bunch of cheaters. They had to play dirty to take Favre out in order to win, and they barely won at that. They needed the refs help to do it. Phantom pass INT call in OT sealed it for them.

    Saints = Patriots = cheaters and “asterisk” Super Bowl victories.

  47. djstat says: Mar 2, 2012 6:51 PM

    Williams and Peyton should each be suspended week 1. The Saints should lose their franchise Tag and a 1st round pick. Intent to injure in a dangerous sport for money. Sounds like a salary cap violation too

  48. illwillthemick says: Mar 2, 2012 6:51 PM

    that would literally destroy the team lol.. i like it!!!! then the eagles could.. damn we got vick already wtf!!! lol

  49. nineroutsider says: Mar 2, 2012 6:52 PM

    @phonymcringring – Love it and so true. They are quieter than when the 9ers sent them packing!

    Gut’em, even if it seems unreasonable. There will be blood! I can’t wait, the NFL needs to send a strong message…

    And to think they were the golden child after Katrina through that Super Bowl win. Most non-Colts fans were more than likely rooting for the Saints (except for divisional foes of course).

    They will forever be damaged goods and all of us will put a big phat asterisk after their Super Bowl win. Karma will be a b@!ch for them! Dust your paper bags off Saints fans, your gonna need’em!

  50. madczyk says: Mar 2, 2012 6:53 PM

    I understand that it was a violation of the rules and should be punished by that merit. However, most players will admit this has gone on forever and it’s a part of the game. A stronger point then that though is this. When a defensive player plays like a total maniac and goes into “beast mode” wreaking havoc on players all over the offensive side of the ball and that player becomes a free-agent, what happens? Ill tell you, Albert Haynesworth happens. So regardless of whether there are rules in place or not, defensive players get paid more when they do more damage to offensive players on a consistent basis. If they get a few flags each game that tends to get over-looked when they become free-agents and that is something that will never change.

  51. vikefan says: Mar 2, 2012 6:54 PM

    the most sad part bout this story is not the actual story but athletes making millions under contract thought they needed an extra grand or 2 to help their team win. that is just plain pathetic. i do remember joe montana telling stories bout how he would put a stack of 100’s in each locker of his lineman b4 playoff games or super bowl, if his o-lineman were never beat linemans d player never touched qb, they got to keep stack of $ in their locker, if montana was sacked he would take back $ from player responsible. this is competely different and designed to intentionally hurt others over and above the actual game itself.

  52. ravensfan4life52 says: Mar 2, 2012 6:55 PM

    Should lose their franchise tag? Really that’s it? I’m sorry but this is way worse than what the Pats did. They should lose their franchise tag, some draft picks, be fined, Gregg Williams should be booted from the NFL for life and so should some of those players.

  53. chiadam says: Mar 2, 2012 6:55 PM

    Saints defenders should be forced to play with their shoelaces tied together in 2012. Let’s be creative here.

  54. tonyromoisterrible says: Mar 2, 2012 6:56 PM

    This would be a punishment that fits the crime. Goodell is too much of a PU55Y to do it though. He is such a coward. Allowing this to be released on a Friday afternoon just wreaks of what a sally he is. I hope Goodell gets fired as well.

  55. madczyk says: Mar 2, 2012 6:56 PM

    ^^Case in point, it doesn’t matter if you pay them under-hand to motivate them to do damage or if you pay them a big fat contract at the end of the season. There is still the positive reinforcement to the player, regardless of any penalties to the player or the team.

  56. harrisryan says: Mar 2, 2012 6:56 PM

    You people are crazy, can someone please tell me why this is such a big deal?

    Guys get fined a minimum of $10000 for a truly “dirty hit” and they know it..so you really think that $1500 in the pot is going to make them try to hurt somebody knowing that they will lose money.

    This is a camaraderie thing. Its against the rules, so the team must be punished, so be it.

    But to suggest they be stripped of their franchise tag, or their whole draft? Wow, get off your high horses people, its an eff-in game.

  57. lucasblack12 says: Mar 2, 2012 6:57 PM

    Yeah take the title for a bounty, your smart. The spy gate would be called cheating, bounty is more like gambling. The saints won for being the best team, if you downplay there super bowl for this then you don’t know anything about football, losers use excuses. Winners just win.

    Who dat till I die!

  58. delintzman says: Mar 2, 2012 6:57 PM

    Sean Payton didn’t realize that a bounty could hurt so much until he got plowed by his own receiver at the Bucs game. Ha! a little taste of what the players get at the hands of your coaches… True loser

  59. thraiderskin says: Mar 2, 2012 7:38 PM

    shame! loss of the Franchise Tag is not quite enough though, picks must be lost, careers could have been ended, lines were crossed.

  60. brettto73 says: Mar 2, 2012 7:40 PM

    It happens all over the league. Relax. They just got caught.

  61. mrjackson206 says: Mar 2, 2012 7:44 PM

    This would be the Niners dream scenario.

  62. rkab22 says: Mar 2, 2012 7:45 PM

    They also augmented the salary cap by paying players under the table.

    A punishment could certainly be to reduce their available salary cap space in future years because of their attempts to undermine the system.

  63. macmol71 says: Mar 2, 2012 7:46 PM

    I say give the Saint’s first round pick in the 2012 draft to the Vikings.

  64. arcaero says: Mar 2, 2012 7:54 PM

    Seana Payton is too busy putting her makeup on to worry about what the defense is doing.

    Gregg Williams should be suspended for a year.

  65. eballa1 says: Mar 2, 2012 7:55 PM

    Last time I checked, cheap shots resulted in fines and penalties. I know the Arizona and Minnesota games were rough, but I don’t recall many fines and penalties coming the Saints way for hits. Perhaps the Saints weren’t very good at their own bounty system.

    I bet the league is super happy that the Saints kick off the preseason now.

  66. 1972wasalongtimeago says: Mar 2, 2012 7:55 PM

    Snce New England has the Saints 1st round pick, the Patriots should have to lose the pick. We all good with that?

  67. teamgoku says: Mar 2, 2012 8:01 PM

    Strip them of their Super Bowl title since that’s the year this started make a example out of them

  68. macmol71 says: Mar 2, 2012 8:01 PM

    yup!

  69. notdoingwork says: Mar 2, 2012 8:02 PM

    Just take some pills and chill like payton would. Nfl wont do anything it is been known saints are dirty. I recommend rehab.

  70. cobrala2 says: Mar 2, 2012 8:03 PM

    Dude, that’s NOT “drastic” – this is nowhere NEAR enough.

  71. jeanellingen says: Mar 2, 2012 8:13 PM

    I think the Saints need to lose draft picks for every game they used Bountygate. The players should be barred, the coaches involved barred and the team heavily fined. That was the best Viking team in years and the only way the Saints could win was to cheat.

  72. covercorner says: Mar 2, 2012 8:13 PM

    Taking away the Saints franchise tag and allowing Drew Brees to be a free agent would be fair and just.

  73. EJ says: Mar 2, 2012 8:15 PM

    Goodell shouldn’t do anything other than fine the team for not keeping their coaching staff on a straight line. As for Williams, I would suspend him for a full season and make him attend several meetings led by the Commissioner. The meetings would have players(Not just the NFL level) that have had career ending injuries because of foul play by others.

  74. mulletcork says: Mar 2, 2012 8:21 PM

    This is ridiculous. Not a Saints fan. But last time I checked this WAS football.
    I guess that us until Roger Greedell took over.

  75. franknunley57 says: Mar 2, 2012 8:22 PM

    Karma…Scab Payton.

  76. thegonz13 says: Mar 2, 2012 8:29 PM

    I’d say Loomis has other things to deal with right now…

  77. mikehockhurtz says: Mar 2, 2012 8:33 PM

    Check

  78. thedudesnotin says: Mar 2, 2012 8:35 PM

    So now it makes sense how they lost to the 49ers.

    Not a Saints fan, but does this mean all teams cheat? lol..REALLY????

    I guess this will somehow make peeps forget about Belichick and the Pats, but I doubt it..lol

    What surprises me about all these reactions, is how surprised everyone is that this kind of thing occurs..

  79. TheWizard says: Mar 2, 2012 8:38 PM

    What nonsense.

    Before the chickification of the culture, this would have been a non-story.

  80. justwinbaby29 says: Mar 2, 2012 8:43 PM

    Roger Goodell is going to get so mad at New Orleans…. the Oakland Raiders will be fined $10 million dollars and stripped of their entire 2013 draft class.

  81. paulieorkid says: Mar 2, 2012 8:43 PM

    When it comes to individual players, the NFL likes to throw its weight around unmercifully with impunity.

    But when it comes to institutions, the NFL adopts a very different posture. Some might describe it as lip service.

    Here, the Saints effed up … BAD. They should get the hammer … but they won’t. Instead, it’ll be the NFL’s version of lip service punishment. The NFL realizes it’s not good for the NFL to cast a bright light on an NFL problem.

    Shifting gears here — Brett Favre is no saint (pun [shamefully] intended — but the ole gunslinger got the crap kicked out of him by the Saints with late hits and cheap shots in the NFCC game.

    The Saints have been FILTHY for years — DROP DA HAMMAH on that colon polyp of a franchise!

  82. crazybeardedjack says: Mar 2, 2012 9:12 PM

    Soulman45 says: Mar 2, 2012 6:24 PM

    He would just sit it out not sign with another team.

    ———————————————————-

    LOL if you think Drew Brees has integrity. The guy blackballed his own mother.

  83. dkeyser says: Mar 2, 2012 9:33 PM

    I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that anybody that says the NFL gave the Saints the Super Bowl because of Katrina, isnt the smartest person in their GED class.. They won 4 years after the hurricane. For your stupid fantasy to make any sense what so ever the NFL should have handed the Saints a Victory in 2006 when they played the Bears in the NFC championship game

  84. artyshellz says: Mar 2, 2012 9:40 PM

    You guys are ridiculous, heavy fines and suspensions are in order, taking picks and tags away is way over the top.

  85. saintsfan29 says: Mar 2, 2012 10:07 PM

    anyone who agree with this is nothing more then hatters and morons who is scared of the saints whipping their team.you can’t blame the whole francise for this.none of the offense had to do with this only williams and defense players and loomis for not stoping it when benson told him to.

  86. glynners says: Mar 2, 2012 10:22 PM

    What an utter load of rubbish. Every team has this going on. The Ravens players even came public with s a couple seasons ago.

    Fans love to complain how the NFL is ‘soft’ now they complain about players going after the oppo’s best guy?? cant have it both ways people…

  87. ima9er4life says: Mar 2, 2012 10:33 PM

    Brees ain’t goin anywhere, the system fits his style. Look at his production through the yrs

  88. ericn42000 says: Mar 2, 2012 10:53 PM

    Hey Drew, Jerrah wants to talk to you!

  89. TSizzleBallSoHard says: Mar 2, 2012 11:03 PM

    I think Williams should be booted from the NFL for life especially if there is evidence of him doing this on other teams. The Saints should lose their first round pick and the franchise tag. The gm, head coach, and williams should all be fined. If the story about Vilma throwing down 10 gs and saying it goes to the guy who takes out Favre is true and there is proof then he should be fined and booted out of the league with Williams as well. I have no problem if the players and coaches want to throw bonuses at their teammates for having a good game but giving them money for injuring other players crosses the line.

  90. macarwolf says: Mar 2, 2012 11:23 PM

    That would be the perfect punishment. Bree’s would get his deal that he wants and Saints would more than likely match his offer but it would be like penalizing them in house for there own actions. By teams wanting to acquire Bree’s. They will have to cut someone. To match the price for Bree’s.

  91. mikehockhurtz says: Mar 2, 2012 11:49 PM

    The Saints are scum and their fan base are fetid drunken animals that belong in exile.

    *******************

    Signed,

    Raiders, Bengals, Sooners, Jets, Lions, Eagles, Red Sox, University of Miami fans

  92. southcakpanther says: Mar 3, 2012 12:06 AM

    As a diehard Panther fan, all I can say is hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!

  93. langm12 says: Mar 3, 2012 12:19 AM

    Some of these proposed punishments are ridiculous. Don’t forget that if Goodell absolutely pummels the Saints by taking away an entire draft, or multiple number one picks, or taking away the franchise tag and letting Brees hit the market, one of the NFL’s marquee franchises likely sinks back into oblivion resulting in the loss of lots and lots of money. Goodell needs to make a strong point in order to send a message that bounties are not okay in order to protect the players (and ultimately protect the league from lawsuits from the targets of bounty hunters), but he isn’t going to shut down one of the top grossing NFL franchises to do it.

    I would expect to see a substantial fine for Loomis, Williams, Peyton, and the Saints organization, and the loss of next years first round pick (as the Pats own this year’s), and if the charges against Williams stick in regards to other defenses he has coached, I could envision a substantial suspension coming his way.

  94. joecb91 says: Mar 3, 2012 12:26 AM

    Oh I would love to see that so much

  95. pappavike says: Mar 3, 2012 12:27 AM

    Say I am a Vikings fan, What they did was Wrong, Football is violent enough, Without the intent to injur. That NFC title game was as good as could be, But there were at least Three blown calls by the ref’s. How bout we let them find all the fact’s then let them be punished, Maybe let all players Found involved, or knew,Be stripped of the chance to be inducted into the HALL OF FAME.

  96. nfl1818 says: Mar 3, 2012 12:36 AM

    the ideas that the pats and Raiders should lose picks are very funny – well done

    Loomis will be fired, Williams suspended – Saints fined, Peyton fined, probably lose a 2 this year and 1 or 2 next. Dont see franchise tag being taken – thats too bizarre, has no precedent, and could be maneuvered around by an intelligent GM. Redskins probably are looking at punishment as well.

    The fact the others do this is irrelevant – that didnt help the Pats. The fact the offense did nothing wrong is irrelevent for the same reasons.

    Is this serious – on the one hand, not too serious given the violence involved in the game but then again Spygate was only taping what could be recorded by hand in plain sight anyway.

    The problem is it violates the spirit of the game and fair competition, and it was covered up. Plus, is tantamount to an admission of an organizational intent to injure at a time where head injuries and lifelong disabilities are getting more attention. Its just over the line of common sense and soils the game, especially as viewed by the suits.

  97. Soulman45 says: Mar 3, 2012 12:55 AM

    @TSizzleBallSoHard
    Some time I have to wonder do some off these people know anything about football why do football players hit people hard it is to hurt them and put them out of the game so their team will have a better change of a win.

  98. youallrfools says: Mar 3, 2012 1:11 AM

    I don’t understand the apologists. This is different than the flow of the game and a defensive player going for blood. They were being compensated for injuring players with extra cash when they are carted off. If you watched them play it was obvious. I hope they gut the team. Dirty and cheap, thats all they have been the entire time Williams was around.

  99. isphet71 says: Mar 3, 2012 1:47 AM

    Reduce their max salary cap for 2012 by 50 million and nullify all current Saints player contracts, instantly turning them all into UFAs. They can still field a team and not mess up the NFL schedule, but any Saint with any talent is probably going to choose to go elsewhere.

    They would essentially have one season with a horrible team and have to rebuild from there as normal.

  100. onegamedoesnotaseasonmake says: Mar 3, 2012 1:55 AM

    not a saints fan or a vikes fan….but vikes fans…please stop your whining about the NFC title game loss to the saints….jeesus. the vikes turned it over 5 times!!!…..and in typical fashion, the vikes defense played like crap!

    admit that the vikes played like sht and get over it. stop the pathetic whining.

  101. skolvikesskol says: Mar 3, 2012 2:11 AM

    My viking breathren… Yes the saints were dirty.. But we lost the game b/c if 5 fumbles, 1 int and 12 men on the field… Ill prepares coaches… That is y we lost.

  102. discosucs2005 says: Mar 3, 2012 3:08 AM

    As long as Williams gets punished as well. It would pretty ridiculous to only punish the Saints and not the coach who, by most accounts, was encouraging the behavior.

  103. grannyvi4 says: Mar 3, 2012 3:31 AM

    bordner says:Mar 2, 2012 6:42 PM

    thankheavenfornumberseven says:
    Mar 2, 2012 6:30 PM

    I think Aaron Rodgers would want to play for the Saints if they lose Brees because Aaron Rodgers loves cheaters.

    ——————————————-

    That’s about as relevant to this article as saying that Aaron Rodgers wouldn’t want to play for the vikings and their fans because he hates losers. Loser.
    ———————————–

    To Bordner: I read what “thankheavenfornumberseven” posted and I have no idea what he’s talking about. Vikings fan here who naturally hates the Pack, but respects Rodgers…as long as he doesn’t turn into another Favre (ie. extremely inflated ego and drama queen in the end).

  104. dunno1234 says: Mar 3, 2012 4:46 AM

    I have never gone to law school but taking away the franchise tag may be a violation of the CBA. Rodger Goodell will probably do just what he said. Levy heavy fines and remove future draft picks. The fact that the players association and the NFL act so concerned about player safety. They would have to be heavy fines indeed. But more disturbing to me is that some coaches may have contributed to the pool of money. Those allegations could be a violation of the salary cap rules. I’m not sure how the league office feels about teams paying players under the table in cash.

  105. jimmysee says: Mar 3, 2012 6:24 AM

    Call the cops.

    Assault and conspiracy to commit assault.

  106. sasquash20 says: Mar 3, 2012 6:34 AM

    I think the Saints should be given an award for not being a bunch of Tinker Bells like most of the people on here posting. What happened to football fans when did they become a bunch of fruit cakes?

  107. tatum064 says: Mar 3, 2012 6:34 AM

    yardape74 says:
    Mar 2, 2012 6:38 PM
    The Saints are scum and their fan base are fetid drunken animals that belong in exile.

    ===============

    Sounds like somebody is butthurt over a Falcon a$% kicking – why not try tackling or stopping them from “running up the score”.

  108. threed61 says: Mar 3, 2012 7:29 AM

    Get the real culprits. Suspend the officiating crew from the 2009 NFC championship game, who stood there and watched it happen.

  109. Rachel Wilder says: Mar 3, 2012 12:43 PM

    I’m a Saints fan and a lifelong resident of Louisiana, who was living in New York that amazing weekend we won the Super Bowl fair and square. I was so lonely for Saints camaraderie that I called home for the last 10 minutes of the game. My parents’ house is less than a mile from a National Guard camp. They fired the artillery for TWO HOURS!!! I could even hear firecrackers and fireworks going off on my parents’ street. And I was all alone with not a single soul to celebrate with.

    People outside Louisiana and Mississippi truly have NO IDEA how much the magical 2009 season meant to us. Yes it hurts to have it tarnished by this, but the fact remains we still won fair and square. Bounty or no bounty, the defense contributed very little that year. As they did EVERY year under Williams.

    Hurricanes Katrina and Rita did their level best to destroy my state. We were all spitting mad at Benson when he threatened to move the team to San Antonio days after the storm. Payton and Brees saved our state pride and gave us a reason to hope again. Haters who want to take that away from us are being very small people indeed. You people don’t know how despondent we were down here, how difficult it was for so many people to put their lives back together. The Saints gave us a reason to hope again, something we could all cheer for and forget all the damage and pain for a little while.

    That Super Bowl win means more to us than the rest of the country is capable of imagining. And so does Drew Brees. He’s a class act in a world of jackasses. Who DID go to his mother’s funeral. He was excused from training camp to go. He had a bad relationship with her and she was an untreated bipolar sufferer who killed herself. He talks about it at length in his book and how he struggled with whether or not to go to the funeral.

    Williams is the one who needs to bear the brunt of the punishment, followed by Loomis, Payton and the participating players. In that order. This is not the first time Williams has done this. Don’t go laying the blame solely on the Saints organization. Williams is a dirty coach and should be treated as such. His new head coach is also a dirty coach who ran a bounty program with the Titans. I feel sorry for the Rams more than the Saints. The Rams have a pair of tainted coaches and in all likelihood will lose one of them.

  110. suicidalionsfan says: Mar 3, 2012 4:31 PM

    Karma for a team/QB who will launch a 75 yard TD bomb, in the 4th quarter, while already leading by 28.
    I LOVE this

  111. todj74 says: Mar 4, 2012 5:29 PM

    Sources at ESPN say that Roger Goodell will fine

    James Harrison for this.

  112. gvicknair says: Mar 4, 2012 11:22 PM

    I hope none of you are ‘skins, bills, or titans fans, cause if so, you’re gonna be in for a rude awakening when the nfl starts investigating your teams. As for the rest of you, glass houses. I don’t condone this kind of behavior, but it’s been going on league wide for a VERY long time so get off your high horses.

  113. stercuilus65 says: Mar 5, 2012 3:11 AM

    vikingsfan34 says: Mar 2, 2012 6:33 PM

    “Dirty suckers should have their franchise tag taken away. Give Brees to the Vikings, watch Nicks Walk, Colston walk, etc. They were DIRTY in that NFC Champ game and even with the 5 turnovers, which should have been 4 as the int on the high low hit should have given the ball to the vikings inside the saints 20. MINNESTOA WAS THE BETTER TEAM PERIOD. The saints were outplayed in every phase of the game but won by cheating with help from the officials. You can see Payton saying do it again when Smith hit Favre way after the play earning a flag. Sharpers hit was Dirty too. I hope the Saints get Hammered! and lose some of their top players via free agency.”
    ————————–

    WHAAAAAAAAAAA!

    Vikings might have won had Favre actually got knocked out of the game.

  114. duece5 says: Mar 5, 2012 11:50 AM

    lucasblack12 says:Mar 2, 2012 6:57 PM

    Yeah take the title for a bounty, your smart. The spy gate would be called cheating, bounty is more like gambling. The saints won for being the best team, if you downplay there super bowl for this then you don’t know anything about football, losers use excuses. Winners just win.

    Who dat till I die!

    duece5 says:

    Well, the grim reaper is coming for the ‘aints……the hammer will hit hard. Ya’all cheated–BIG TIME–knew you were cheating, and Williams, Payton and LOOMIS STILL told the nfl in 2011 to eff off…..WHILE THEY WERE BEING INVESTIGATED!!

    You DESRVE to be the aints again for 40 years, as you were handed the trophy…….see you in 40 years!!!!

  115. gisellichek says: Mar 5, 2012 12:45 PM

    Bountygate??? seriously??? I don’t think this this “taints” the 2009 Super Bowl one inch… I mean Nor’leans won fair and square.

    What I love is the league is getting hammered with lawsuits from former players … they have huge rule changes protecting players… and have given out fines for rough play… and in the middle that teams have a bounty system? SO WHAT!!!
    In 2009 NFC CG … they couldn’t knock Farve out… and it turns out he played like crap that game anyway…

    It is FOOTBALL!!!

    IN MY OPINION WHETHER A PLAYER IS BEING PAID TO HIT PEOPLE OR NOT MAKES NOT ONE INCH OF A DIFFERENCE THE OUTCOME OF A GAME…

  116. patriot398 says: Mar 6, 2012 3:50 AM

    As someone that does not watch football much…

    Want to prevent it from ever happening again? Dissolve the team. Ban the coaches and the players that participated in it, strip them of any and all contracts and retirement packages.

    Hit them with the hammer hard enough and you will put an end to it real fast.

  117. hystoracle says: Mar 6, 2012 12:57 PM

    This is the exact punishment I was thinking of.. Because it would hurt.. taking draft picks just frees up money to pay free agents giving them an advantage in Free Agency.. Taking their Franchise tag risks losing Brees. I would think Brees & the NFLPA would be open to him not being tagged.

  118. joekappedyourass says: Mar 6, 2012 4:21 PM

    bordner says:
    Mar 2, 2012 6:42 PM
    thankheavenfornumberseven says:
    Mar 2, 2012 6:30 PM

    I think Aaron Rodgers would want to play for the Saints if they lose Brees because Aaron Rodgers loves cheaters.

    ——————————————-

    That’s about as relevant to this article as saying that Aaron Rodgers wouldn’t want to play for the vikings and their fans because he hates losers. Loser.
    ————————————-
    Bordner, you mad cuz brauns piss came back nuclear?? O and btw rodgers does love losers…hes a brewers apologist.

  119. joekappedyourass says: Mar 6, 2012 4:25 PM

    WHAAAAAAAAAAA!

    Vikings might have won had Favre actually got knocked out of the game.
    —————————–
    Worst take ever??

  120. patsfan1951 says: Mar 6, 2012 9:29 PM

    All of a sudden Belichick’s handicam doesn’t look nearly so offensive. People were talking about the Pats like they were criminals but their ‘crime’ pales in comparison. Maybe they should build a “Professional Sports Hall of Shame” and put A-Roid, Roger Clemmons, Pete Rose, and all those football cheats in it!

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