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NFL finds that Saints violated “bounty rule”

Wild Card Playoffs - Detroit Lions v New Orleans Saints Getty Images

No NFL team whose city hosts the Super Bowl has ever played in that game.  And the Saints will be launching their effort to do so with a very dark cloud hanging over the franchise.

The league announced Friday afternoon that the Saints violated the “bounty rule” in 2009, 2010, and 2011.  Specifically, the NFL has concluded that between 22 and 27 defensive players along with at least one assistant coach maintained a “bounty” program.  It was funded primarily by players, with $50,000 or more available during the 2009 playoffs.

Commissioner Roger Goodell will impose discipline.  To date, the punishment has not been determined.

“The payments here are particularly troubling because they involved not just payments for ‘performance,’ but also for injuring opposing players,” Commissioner Goodell said in a league-issued release.  “The bounty rule promotes two key elements of NFL football:  player safety and competitive integrity.

“It is our responsibility to protect player safety and the integrity of our game, and this type of conduct will not be tolerated.  We have made significant progress in changing the culture with respect to player safety and we are not going to relent.  We have more work to do and we will do it.”

The league’s release says that the program was administered by former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, and that it included payments not only for fumbles and interceptions but also for inflicting injuries that resulted in players being carried off the field ($1,000) and/or knocked out of the game ($1,500).

The release also states that coach Sean Payton, while not involved in the program directly, was aware of it and did nothing to stop it.

General Manager Mickey Loomis also has been implicated; though the relevant portion of the release is a bit unclear, it appears that Loomis may have lied to owner Tom Benson about the existence of a bounty program and/or failed to carry out Benson’s directive that it be ended.

The league will work with the NFLPA to determine the appropriate sanction, and the penalties can include fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choices.  Benson may decide to take more drastic action, especially if he believes that Loomis either lied or otherwise defied the owner of the team.

We’ll have much more to come on this one.  There is plenty of information to digest in the league’s press release, which the NFL wisely dumped on a late Friday afternoon.  Though the league deserves credit for not brushing this under the rug, the NFL has been forced to announce to the world that another one of its teams has been caught cheating — and doing so in a way that encouraged injury to opposing players.  Thus, even though the Saints look like anything but, these activities also have applied a black eye to the NFL.  It’s no surprise that the news is coming in the one portion of the work-week news cycle where embarrassing stories go to die.

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129 Responses to “NFL finds that Saints violated “bounty rule””
  1. cardiovascularendurance says: Mar 2, 2012 3:46 PM

    Good grief. These are the same guys that will be coming back and suing the NFL for injuries sustained during their career 20 years from now.

  2. kchi55 says: Mar 2, 2012 3:47 PM

    Looks like they got bigger things to worry about than signing Drew Brees.

  3. illiniftw says: Mar 2, 2012 3:47 PM

    Who dat?

  4. phillyphever says: Mar 2, 2012 3:47 PM

    Right now, this makes Spygate look like nothing. I really feel bad for Spags having to come into this mess.

  5. medtxpack says: Mar 2, 2012 3:47 PM

    doesnt suprise me at all. The Saints are not saints, they play emotional football that backfires on them. They get painted as a perfect team becuase of how it helped the city but truth be told, The Saints are dirty players and are only a “very good” team.

  6. jade amor says: Mar 2, 2012 3:47 PM

    First round pick, $750,000 fine (combined between team and coach)…lol

  7. coutre says: Mar 2, 2012 3:47 PM

    Now if they would fine the Giants guilty for faking injuries all would be well.

  8. satanicxhellxcreature says: Mar 2, 2012 3:47 PM

    More proof of the Saints being the dirtiest team in the NFL

  9. caseyanthonymunoz says: Mar 2, 2012 3:48 PM

    Violates salary cap rules regardless of the dollar amount.

    2009 Super Bowl *

  10. dohpey28 says: Mar 2, 2012 3:48 PM

    More and more Sean Payton looks like a bad dude. This is not the first embarrassing situation he has put the Saints in. What was the story a couple of years back with the prescription pain meds being stolen and one of his assistants taking the fall for him? Add that to how he likes to run up scores on people, and now this where he conveniently looked the other way.

    Then again he won a super bowl so Saints fans and NO don’t care.

  11. jjfuhreck says: Mar 2, 2012 3:48 PM

    This should cost them draft picks. No question. Worse than spygate

  12. toddm6d says: Mar 2, 2012 3:49 PM

    Never would have guessed by the way the D played the ’09 NFC Title game.

    The refs probably got a bonus for not calling it too.

  13. dcviking says: Mar 2, 2012 3:49 PM

    Everyone already knew this — Saints players have said that Payton told the guys to hit Favre late in the NFC Championsip game to knock him out.

    Nothing of consequence will happen.

  14. patcheatiots says: Mar 2, 2012 3:49 PM

    Well the Saints Learned it From The Patriots.

  15. myopinionisrighterthanyours says: Mar 2, 2012 3:49 PM

    I read a report that if true, implicated Mickey Loomis of direct insubordination. It said Benson told him to end it immediately, and it did not. He should be gone, post haste (as should Williams despite being on another staff. Sorry, Rams).

  16. panthersftw says: Mar 2, 2012 3:49 PM

    Watch the hit By roman harper on steve smith after smith was already in the endzone. Talk about a clear example of this bounty in effect.

    Anybody who watched the saints D this year saw they were a dirty team.

    Who dat? LOL

  17. fijabbersman345 says: Mar 2, 2012 3:49 PM

    There is no disrespect intended towards Saints fans when I say that they are about to get blasted by the league, and rightfully so. Kurt Warner and Brett Favre both got injured during their playoff run (which is now incredibly tainted, if holding true) and their magical season now looks entirely not magical. They’re going to lose draft picks, the NFL will suspend staff members, and the organization will get a HUGE fine, not to mention the already-bad reputation that just went down the toilet. This is messy.

  18. deepthreat says: Mar 2, 2012 3:50 PM

    Saint’s bounties, Goodell ??? Patriots got hit with $750,000 fines and lost a 1st rounder for taping signals everyone can see.

  19. kghannigan says: Mar 2, 2012 3:50 PM

    Damn….

  20. kghannigan says: Mar 2, 2012 3:51 PM

    Maybe they lose hosting the SB and that changes Brees’s contract negotiation

  21. trollhammer20 says: Mar 2, 2012 3:53 PM

    I guess those bounties weren’t big enough for someone to have done something about Marshawn Lynch or Vernon Davis….

  22. citynative says: Mar 2, 2012 3:53 PM

    How much did Donta Whitner get for knocking out Pierre Thomas in the playoffs?

    Remember some Saints fans on this website who came out saying it was a dirty helmet to helmet hit after the game? I do. Those comments were funny then and even funnier now when this news comes out. Who Dat!

  23. cullenand99 says: Mar 2, 2012 3:53 PM

    Gregg Williams was the DC 09,10, and 11. Coincedence? I think not. We have found the source of the problem.

  24. 4t9er says: Mar 2, 2012 3:54 PM

    This means that Vikings fans were right in their suspicion. They were told they were whining, but it was obvious they were aiming to injure.

  25. ironhawk says: Mar 2, 2012 3:55 PM

    This is definitely the worst case of rule breaking in NFL history. This led to actually hurting human beings in exchange for money. That’s the worst thing any person can do.

  26. kspec1982 says: Mar 2, 2012 3:56 PM

    So after Goodell gose through all the evidence will he distroy it?

  27. falconsfan says: Mar 2, 2012 3:57 PM

    What a shame.

  28. vikes8480 says: Mar 2, 2012 3:57 PM

    Classless organization. Cheap shot artists! Too bad the Falcons didn’t try to to place a bounty on Brees when he broke the single season passing record against them in garbage time by unnecessarily running up the score.

  29. amanistumor says: Mar 2, 2012 3:57 PM

    Gee, here I thought the whole time Vikings fans were cry-babies and Saints were just really good. :rollseyes:

    Funny how the NFL comes out with this finding after staunchly supporting the refs (Peiora (sp?), Goodell) for blantently ignoring the obvious penalties. All in the name for a ‘feel-good’ story surrounding that hell hole down south below sea-level.

    As an NFL fan it’s a damn shame. Screw it if you like Vikings or not.

  30. falconsfan says: Mar 2, 2012 3:59 PM

    Since the Saints don’t have a 1st Round Pick this year, how about the loss of their Franchise Tag for 2011 and 2012?

  31. supermariojosh says: Mar 2, 2012 3:59 PM

    Just for fun, Goodell should strip their franchise tag for this year and watch the pandemonium that ensues when Brees hits the market.

  32. Patriot42 says: Mar 2, 2012 4:00 PM

    Does this mean the team would pay fines for hits that have gotten the player a penalty? If this is the case I would think the league will come down hard on the Saints.

  33. munchkin420 says: Mar 2, 2012 4:00 PM

    I am sure things like this are new to football. I can’t imagine anything like this went down when the Raiders, Redskins, Steelers, Cowboys, etc were winning SBs in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s; this is shocking news.

  34. pixelito says: Mar 2, 2012 4:00 PM

    Don’t you actually have to tackle someone to hurt them?

  35. azjohnny says: Mar 2, 2012 4:00 PM

    I played in the NFL in the 80-90s and can say they have always done this and always will. The Saints are not the only team that does it they just got caught

  36. smirk11 says: Mar 2, 2012 4:01 PM

    How is this even remotely worse than Spygate?

    Players paying each other for on the field performance vs an organization stealing signals.

    Definitely not worse than Spygate, but I’m still glad as hell that Gregg Williams is gone. I never liked him.

  37. pooflingingmonkey says: Mar 2, 2012 4:01 PM

    I seriously doubt the Saints are the only team doing this. They’re just the most recent to be caught doing it. Let’s not kick them out of the league just yet.

  38. skittlesareyum says: Mar 2, 2012 4:01 PM

    The GM apparently was ordered by the owner to stop it, and he did not? He must not enjoy his job.

  39. bearsrulepackdrool says: Mar 2, 2012 4:02 PM

    Brett Favre is out the league so I say it was worth the money.

  40. strategicaltruth says: Mar 2, 2012 4:02 PM

    How did this take so long to be confirm? Anybody who watch the Viking /Saints game saw the repeated attempts by NO to injure Favre.
    Hopefully they bring the hammer down.

  41. enriqueic says: Mar 2, 2012 4:03 PM

    The L.A. Rams hosted a SB against the Steelers

  42. bearsrulepackdrool says: Mar 2, 2012 4:03 PM

    Wasn’t Jonathan Vilma implicated in that Miami scandal where they were putting bounties on players? I bet he felt right at home.

  43. kylecleric says: Mar 2, 2012 4:04 PM

    This is 1000x worse than what the patriots did. there should be serious consequences to the management. fines, yes. suspensions or even bans, possible. picks, should be at least a 1st, better more than 1.

  44. apooster says: Mar 2, 2012 4:05 PM

    Take away the SuperBowl, two 1st round picks, $1,000,000 in fines. Bastards.

  45. mgm36 says: Mar 2, 2012 4:06 PM

    gregg williams should be fined at least $500,000 and should be suspended for at least four (4) games. The saints should be fined the same amount and lose their first round draft pick also.

  46. jeffchadwick says: Mar 2, 2012 4:07 PM

    IMO, penalties should be more harsh than the $750k and 1st rounder paid by the Pats.

  47. trollaikman8 says: Mar 2, 2012 4:07 PM

    I don’t think it’s too far fetched to believe that Gregg Williams & Sean Payton might be scumbags.

    Karma was a bitch when D.Whittner went helmet to helmet on Pierre Thomas at goal line in the NFC playoff game. Not a single F was given.

  48. bearsrulepackdrool says: Mar 2, 2012 4:08 PM

    The league is going to go as soft as the other side of the pillow.

  49. mgm36 says: Mar 2, 2012 4:08 PM

    I did not realize the saints do not have a draft pick in the first round. strip their 2nd and 3rd round draft picks

  50. thejuddstir says: Mar 2, 2012 4:09 PM

    Remember every fan who posted about how dirty the Saints played in 2009 and how Saints fans took exception with that claim, LOL I think the league should take the investigation further and look at the connection some game officials may have had because I recall the NFC Championship game of 2009 and the numerous illegal hits that were put on B. Favre and no penalties were ever called. There were numerous flagarant late hits etc. that a blind man could’ve called but yet P. Morelli (head referee of that game) just looked the other way. Everyone claimed..and rightfully so….that the Saints 2009 “magical season” was something more than magical and now we are starting to hear the evidence. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that Sean Payton wasn’t involved in it. I’ve said for years that if there is one NFL headcoach who is lower than Bill Bellichek, it is Sean Payton.

  51. bearsrulepackdrool says: Mar 2, 2012 4:10 PM

    All those players and the GM should be charged with Assault with a deadly weapon. Or isn’t this just about the same as hiring a hitman? Can’t they be charged for that?

  52. stoutfiles says: Mar 2, 2012 4:10 PM

    Ignoring the bounties, it’s a known fact that all teams hope the other teams good players get hurt so that they could win. Not career ending hurt, but out for the rest of the game. You do it but don’t talk about trying to do it.

  53. bearsstillsuck says: Mar 2, 2012 4:10 PM

    Why am I not surprised?

  54. peelmybatwings says: Mar 2, 2012 4:10 PM

    What did you expect? That Williams guy spells his first name with two “g”s, always the first sign of a bad seed! Two 1st rd picks, $1 million fine, and if he wants to keep coaching, Greg(g) should be forced to lose the second “g”.

  55. shoooootum says: Mar 2, 2012 4:10 PM

    @Apooster

    eat a crafish *ick

    Who Dat

  56. btg1911 says: Mar 2, 2012 4:11 PM

    Vacate the 2009 Super Bowl. That would get people’s attention.

  57. webehighrollin says: Mar 2, 2012 4:13 PM

    Who dat?? Brees won’t like this. Brees to the Niners! Book it! Championship!!!!

  58. tonyromoisterrible says: Mar 2, 2012 4:13 PM

    Is this really a surprise? The same city that had women being raped in the stadium that hosts this team of criminals. This is not surprising at all. Now all that has to happen is Cowgirls stadium gets leveled and all will be right in the world.

  59. howardforvezina says: Mar 2, 2012 4:13 PM

    They should forfiet every single draft pick this year.

  60. stonedolphin89 says: Mar 2, 2012 4:14 PM

    Why is this even a story? Sure, it’s a big deal to get incentives for actually aiming to HURT other players, but I don’t see a problem with bonuses for fumbles, interceptions, sacks, and big plays in general. It’s just another incentive for your team and should be the right of a franchise.

    And as for the injury bonuses, so what? I’m sure most, if not every team has this same kind of practice going on. BFD. Only difference is that the Saints are much more blatant about it. This is a physical game ladies and gentlemen. Lets not bitch and moan about what makes this sport so damn great.

  61. cdaws84 says: Mar 2, 2012 4:14 PM

    @smirk11

    Playing at a high performance should not mean potentially ending another players game/season/career. Hence why this is by far worse than spygate…considering many coaches have said they never found signal recording to be helpful….not sure how you could see taking an elite player out of the game for reasons out side of normal game play is fairer than spygate.

  62. flaccounibrow says: Mar 2, 2012 4:15 PM

    The league needs to take these steps:
    1. Fine the Saints their 1st round 2012 draft pick…That’s right the patsies have it…. Oh well, still take it away, so the patsies loose it. This will be some more punishment for spygate. LOL Just kidding. Their punishment was Karma 0.0 superbowl victories since being discovered as cheaters.
    The Saints should have draft picks taken, and should be fined heavily. I’ve always sort of rooted for the Saints. i’ll have to rethink that now. I hate cheaters.

  63. gopokes0714 says: Mar 2, 2012 4:15 PM

    $750,000 club fine
    Loss of first round draft pick.
    All players involved, $90,000 fine
    All players involved, 6 game suspension
    All coaches with knowledge, 4 game suspension.
    Coaches involved, season suspension.

  64. raven410 says: Mar 2, 2012 4:15 PM

    They should have put a bounty on Marshawn Lynch in the playoffs last year. He destroyed them.

  65. imaginesuperbowlwin says: Mar 2, 2012 4:16 PM

    So how much money did Jimmy Graham make for blowing up Coach Payton’s knee with his helmet?

  66. smirk11 says: Mar 2, 2012 4:16 PM

    The comments in this thread are hilarious.

    Players have been doing this since the NFL was started. It has almost always been extremely common practice.

    The Saints got caught and that idiot Gregg Williams was involved.

    Its not even in the same stratosphere as SpyGate.

  67. east96st says: Mar 2, 2012 4:17 PM

    “Now if they would fine the Giants guilty for faking injuries all would be well.”

    The only thing better than winning two Super Bowls in four years is how bitter it’s left assclowns like you. We love the taste of your tears.

  68. truetrue85 says: Mar 2, 2012 4:17 PM

    smirk11 says:
    Mar 2, 2012 4:01 PM

    How is this even remotely worse than Spygate?

    —————————————————-

    The Patriots got caught taping signals that the entire world could see.

    The Saints have been caught paying their players cash to injure other players in the NFL and possibly ending their career.

    Kurt Warner retired after the DIRTY beating he took in the 2009 playoffs, and they darn near took Brett Favre’s leg off in the NFC championship. I think it’s pretty obvious to see how this is worse than Spygate… the only person who is going to deny that is a Saints fan or Patriot hater.

  69. flaccounibrow says: Mar 2, 2012 4:19 PM

    kylecleric says:Mar 2, 2012 4:04 PM

    This is 1000x worse than what the patriots did. there should be serious consequences to the management. fines, yes. suspensions or even bans, possible. picks, should be at least a 1st, better more than 1.

    This is no where near as low as NE cheating. Knowing the plays before they are run adds a significant advantage…Like winning 3 SBs by 3 points each. Don’t get me wrong they should be punished, and severely at that.

  70. falconsfan says: Mar 2, 2012 4:20 PM

    Just to be clear this is illegal in the NFL AND according to U.S. law.

    This is serious, it’s not as simple as someone wearing the wrong socks or speaking out on Twitter (ala Roddy White) this is could blow up in the Saints face.

  71. marvin49 says: Mar 2, 2012 4:20 PM

    Maybe Saints fans will stop complaining now about Dante Whitners “dirty” helmet to helmet hit on Pierre Thomas in the playoffs. You know, the one that wasn’t even illegal?

    Wait…what am I thinking. Of courese they won’t.

    I found that whole thing pretty funny considering that they blitzed SF on 18 of 21 snaps in the first half of the first preseason game against a first year coach after a lockout. Not to meantion the fact that Roman Harper put his helmet in Alex Smiths chin on a blitz and it didn’t get flagged.

    Stay classy there New Orleans.

  72. bhindenemylines says: Mar 2, 2012 4:21 PM

    Not sure how this is “cheating”.

    It is obviously against the NFL code or conduct, but no kick returners were tripped, no practices were video taped, and no stickum was put on anybody’s hands.

  73. horatio69 says: Mar 2, 2012 4:21 PM

    Oh dear, how will Rog Goodell EVER get to an 18-game season (which no one wants, except the NFL suits) if players actually…my gosh…hurt each other?? Can’t believe that would happen in an impact sport such as football.

    Maybe Rog is doing this so he can give the Lombardi to his buddy Peyton, since he couldn’t earn it on the field in 2009.

  74. sonvar says: Mar 2, 2012 4:22 PM

    Not sure why this matters. This isn’t the first nor the last team that will do a bounty of sorts. And anyone watching the Vikings-Saints NFC Championship game could tell you that they were targeting Favre you didn’t need an investigation.

  75. paulitik74 says: Mar 2, 2012 4:22 PM

    So the Ain’ts organization is just as classless as their fanbase. Shocking.

    This is nothing anyone that follows the NFL South hasn’t known. About time the nation sees what this team is really about.

    The NFl welcomes the San Antonio Santos in 2014.

  76. croghan1919 says: Mar 2, 2012 4:22 PM

    No wonder the Saints defense led the league in forced fumbles in ’09.
    They were worth $ X? per strip

  77. cusoman says: Mar 2, 2012 4:23 PM

    jade amor says: Mar 2, 2012 3:47 PM

    First round pick, $750,000 fine (combined between team and coach)…lol

    —————–

    And the first round pick should go to the vikings for “reparations”.

  78. lushy21 says: Mar 2, 2012 4:24 PM

    The Detroit Lions would never do this

  79. nolarules says: Mar 2, 2012 4:24 PM

    sad to see this about the home team. truly disagraceful. williams running this and payton allowing it to happen is disgusting. All you are saying is true. It is disgusting and rocks you as a fan of that team.
    Must not have included covering receivers or tackling though because Williams’ posse didn’t do much of that all season long

  80. nineroutsider says: Mar 2, 2012 4:27 PM

    After all that, their defense isn’t even very good. Williams is garbage, glad he is in St. Louis so that the 9ers get to push his sorry defense around twice a year until he is inevitably fired.

    I guess they did it in the preseason too, anybody who saw the 9ers/Saints 1st preseason game knows what I mean.

    I wish their entire lying, cheating, backstabbing organization the very worst that football offers. I want to see Saints fans wearing bags in 5 years or less.

  81. crusty14 says: Mar 2, 2012 4:28 PM

    Shameless conduct no doubt, but imo, it is not worse than spygate. Both situations are corrupt and deserving of fines,etc., but I think spygate is more of a travesty and made a mockery of the game!

  82. 11inthebox says: Mar 2, 2012 4:30 PM

    This is stupid on so many levels. First, the so-called “bounty” was for “remember me” shots. We’re not talking about career ending take out someone’s knees sort of thing.

    Second, who the hell leaked this information, knowing it would lead to a freakin “investigation?”

    This is all so stupid. People are gonna get hit regardless of some “bounty.

    Its football.

  83. fhuizar says: Mar 2, 2012 4:32 PM

    This is ridiculous. I love football, I love how physical the game can get, but the RIGHT way! This game is a job and the saints were actually trying to take it away from some of these guys. You never want to hurt anyone on purpose bc it can mean their career. These guys are just trying to put food on the table like all of us here.

    Williams should be fined and suspended.

    Saints should be fined and lose draft picks.

  84. cdaws84 says: Mar 2, 2012 4:33 PM

    @flaccounibrow

    Youre right…blowing someones knees out is no where near as “low” as filming some one wave their hands around….really?

  85. pmars64 says: Mar 2, 2012 4:33 PM

    I’m no Saints fan, but can we stop with the righteous indignation and “worse” than spygate crap! You’ve got to head up your arse if you think this is an isolated incident or that other teams haven’t done this. What, are they playing flag football? Teams, players, coaches, all try to get around the rules and if a star player goes down on the other team, then great for us. That’s football. I remember laughing myself silly when the Steelers cried their crocodile tears after they knocked out Carson Palmer in that 2005 playoff game. Stupid quotes about how bad they felt, etc. Can we finally accept the fact that this is brutal, ruthless game/business played by, coached by, managed by, and owned by brutal & ruthless people? How many of you fans cheer when one your players decks or takes out another team’s player? How many of you would have wildly cheered for your team if they did exactly what the Saint did in 2009 to win that SB? If you don’t think this so, you’re lying to yourself.

  86. iluvbears says: Mar 2, 2012 4:36 PM

    Why did it take the NFL this long to figure it out? It was obvious to anyone who watched the 2009 NFC Championship game. I believe even Sharper came out and said that they were instructed to try to maim Favre that game. I say take their 1st, 2nd & 3rd round picks for the next three years, fine the team a million bucks, fine the coaches involved 25% of their pay over the next three seasons and suspend any specific players still on the Saints for four games without pay to begin next season. That sounds about right. Then tell me if that was worth cheating like that to get to the Super Bowl.

  87. finhead says: Mar 2, 2012 4:36 PM

    Aren’t the officials trained to spot illegal hits?

  88. cwmorga says: Mar 2, 2012 4:43 PM

    @paulitik74 says: Mar 2, 2012 4:22 PM

    So the Ain’ts organization is just as classless as their fanbase. Shocking.

    This is nothing anyone that follows the NFL South hasn’t known. About time the nation sees what this team is really about.

    The NFl welcomes the San Antonio Santos in 2014.
    —————–

    Hate if you want, but the Saints are the least likely of any of the NFC South teams to relocate. The Falcons and Bucs have fairweather fans and the Panthers are the Panthers…expansion franchise in basketball country.

  89. johnnyshore says: Mar 2, 2012 4:45 PM

    Guess their bounties did nothing to stop Alex Smith in the playoffs. What a classless organization.

  90. rangenius says: Mar 2, 2012 4:45 PM

    Why is this a big deal? Who cares!

    Spygate was way worse, it was actual cheating. This is just jocks, being jocks.
    Men in America have turned into total pansies, by what I am reading in these comments.

  91. sanchize6 says: Mar 2, 2012 4:46 PM

    But everyone likes to say the Jets are classless.. Give me a break. This is disgusting.. How can anybody root for the Saints after this crap?

  92. goawayeverybody says: Mar 2, 2012 4:49 PM

    As a Saints fan, I’m very disturbed this was going on.

    And for what? A thousand bucks? These guys make a thousand bucks every time they take a breath practically.

    No wonder Gregg Williams was out the door so fast. I wonder if he did this at the Redskins or Titans as well?

    Now having said all this, I’m sure there are probably other scenarios like this throughout the league. But this is very very bad. I imagine the punishment is probably going to be related to taking away draft picks. Not quite sure.

    What a sad moment for the who dat nation.

  93. blackfoot11 says: Mar 2, 2012 4:50 PM

    I wonder which spurned player released the “new information” and blew the whistle on N.O.

  94. indycolts1 says: Mar 2, 2012 4:51 PM

    Strip them of their SB and ban all those involved and/or with knowledge of it.

  95. deadmanwalking47 says: Mar 2, 2012 4:52 PM

    If this went on 3 years,there is no way sean peyton DID NOT know about this! he may lose his job over this!

  96. EJ says: Mar 2, 2012 4:54 PM

    The Saints ain’t Saints.

    Superbowl XLIV (44) *

  97. mgm36 says: Mar 2, 2012 4:55 PM

    What did you expect? That Williams guy spells his first name with two “g”s, always the first sign of a bad seed! Two 1st rd picks, $1 million fine, and if he wants to keep coaching, Greg(g) should be forced to lose the second “g”.

    I had a brother-in-law that spelled his name Bil (one l). He did not like John Wayne movies. Years later he left my sister and announced he was gay.

  98. kingpel says: Mar 2, 2012 5:00 PM

    One question.

    Are any of these questionable hits on NFL highlight videos?

    If the answer is YES, please spare me the outrage and shut up.

  99. matthewcarlson1 says: Mar 2, 2012 5:01 PM

    Take away the superbowl trophy that belongs to the VIKINGS. A city full of looters and criminals doesn’t deserve our pity or our help. I’m glad the NFL is finally joining the party on this one.. too bad their refs are the reason it was allowed.

  100. jolink653 says: Mar 2, 2012 5:02 PM

    i’m not a saints fan but how does this taint their super bowl win? does it make them look like a bunch of scumbags? yea but they still won those games regardless of who set out to hurt who…and they can’t forfeit their draft pick this year since it now belongs to the patriots…fine them heavily and take their pick next year

  101. lanflfan says: Mar 2, 2012 5:03 PM

    Inexcusable. Forfeiture of a 1st round pick this year, and a 3rd to 5th rounder next year, plus fines.

    Not sure this is worse than Spygate.

  102. nolarules says: Mar 2, 2012 5:04 PM

    have to come and repost…..
    This is all classless on the part of the saints staff to be running this. should be fined and hit with draft picks lost. but at the same time, aren’t the refs there to throw flags when illegal hits are made? Hit on pierre thomas in SF: legal. Hits on Farve in the 2009: legal. hit on warner: legal. and if any of you pillow biters actually think your team is not up to the same sort of antics, I have a few questions for you: do you believe in the tooth fairy, pots of gold at the end of a rainbow, unicorns?

  103. johntonioholmes says: Mar 2, 2012 5:05 PM

    Goodell will impose discipline?

    Yeah right. He only punishes players when the media freaks out.

    See Roethlisberger and James Harrison, and then see Kenny Britt and Cedric Benson.

  104. johntonioholmes says: Mar 2, 2012 5:08 PM

    Actually, it just occurred to me:

    James Harrison was suspended for hitting too hard.

    Suh was suspended for trying to injure someone with his cleats.

    How should the Saints be punished for impairing the safety of the game?

  105. nflfan555 says: Mar 2, 2012 5:37 PM

    Saints cheated – take away SB win, 3 to 4 draft picks and a big fine period. Go jets

  106. kghannigan says: Mar 2, 2012 5:37 PM

    Indirectly related: It’s nice that my 49ers are in the spotlight again, even if it’s footnotes in other teams stories.

  107. frenchy121212 says: Mar 2, 2012 5:41 PM

    The nfl is so upset about this, they release it late on a Friday afternoon hoping it will blow over over the weekend

  108. legacybroken says: Mar 2, 2012 5:48 PM

    The Aints should lose their first rounders in 2013 and 2014, the franchise tag rescinded for three years and only granted a 90 million salary cap for 3 years.

  109. fasteddy415 says: Mar 2, 2012 5:54 PM

    Donte Whitner knocks Thomas out essentially ending the saints season…karma! Whitner your check is in the mail!!!

  110. tonyromoisterrible says: Mar 2, 2012 6:31 PM

    The NFL has zero integrity if there isn’t the biggest punishment ever doled out on the aints. Yes, they are still the aints!

  111. sepnasty says: Mar 2, 2012 7:49 PM

    Difference between Spygate..

    This was for 3 years! Saints played 50+ games in the time.

    They cheated and attempted to hurt opposing players FOR 3 YEARS!

    Penalty should be 10x more harsh.

  112. pongonfl says: Mar 2, 2012 8:01 PM

    lol
    Williams told them to take cheap late hits on Farve in the NFC playoff, they did it, they didn’t get called.
    The beat the old guy black and blue without ONE sack, it led to winning the game and not a single penalty called. Instead of lots of free first downs and maybe some ejections.
    Now. Years later they want to penalize the team for what was broadcast on NFL network at the time?
    Penalize the commissioner, penalize the officials.

    Ya they are cheap players that cant get real pressure so they get cheating late hits.
    Just call it. Blame your self league, they are playing the game you are allowing them to play.

    Same as the Pats for their three super bowls, don’t blame them because they cant really cover receivers, so they hold them and spear them three or four times when they are down. Call it or forget it.

  113. eballa1 says: Mar 2, 2012 8:06 PM

    Man, remember all those fine and penalties the Saints got over the past three seasons … yeah, me neither.

  114. ogre2010 says: Mar 2, 2012 8:12 PM

    Congratulations Saints, you are the new Patriots!!

  115. burghman says: Mar 2, 2012 8:36 PM

    The only people who think this is worse than spygate are delusional Pats fans. While absolutely illegal – and (maybe) more distasteful than spygate – this didn’t give the Saints a competitive advantage.

  116. sailbum7 says: Mar 2, 2012 8:53 PM

    This should not surprise anyone, it has been going on in the NFL for decades. There is no doubt in my mind that this type of thing went on with the Raiders back in the 70’s. Hell, the Raiders used to teach their players leg whipping as a means to try and take players down after you had hit the dirt yourself. The only difference here is that the Saints got caught. Most of the activities they were offering bonuses for are not a problem. The only ones that are an issue are the bonuses for hurting other players. However the thruth is that if they were not getting penalty flags, then the hits must have been legal, unless you think the refs were looking the other way. This may have incentivized the players to hit a little harder, but I am not sure how that could be considered illegal by the league. I think that the idea of paying a bounty for hurting another player is reprehensible, but aren’t the players salaries in part determined by how well they play, including how hard they hit?!?! Isn’t this also incentivizing a player to hit harder?!?!

    The reality is that this type of thing goes on throughout the league and there is little the league can do to stop it. They have rules regarding how and where a player can be hit to try and control things. Beyond that, they can not really control how hard a legal hit is made, so putting an end to this type of headhunting is going to be extremely difficult.

    The Saints will no doubt be fined and penalized, likely with the loss of one or more draft picks. I also suspect that those involved in this practice will face suspensions from the league and probably some firings from the team as well. However, in the end this practice will continue, those involved will just be smarter about keeping it quiet going forward.

  117. techvet says: Mar 2, 2012 9:12 PM

    Cue the old Fram Oil Filter commercial: “You can pay me now…or pay me later.”

    “What goes round, comes round.”

    “Karma’s a *itch.”

    P.S. Packer fans wish to thank Sean Payton for spending extra $$ to lure Williams away from the Packer DC job down to NOLA.

  118. sfsteve1 says: Mar 2, 2012 9:13 PM

    This may be a minor point but, since it is the first line of your article, are you saying that when the 49ers won the Superbowl at Stanford in 1985 they weren’t playing in their own city? What NFL city were they playing in? Just because they weren’t playing at Candlestick, you can’t say they weren’t hosting the Super Bowl

  119. jprcox says: Mar 2, 2012 9:14 PM

    Money for hurting another player??? … this story seems like it should be much bigger than this. That is crazy.

    Saints should get fined way more than money – they should get seriously impacted by this like an NCAA football team would. They should lose their first round draft pick for 2012.

  120. ricksaints says: Mar 2, 2012 9:26 PM

    If the NFL and The Comish thinks this Dosnt happen all the time they r being naive. What D Dosnt go out on the field to try to knock out the QB. Call the Saints dirty. Go ahead and fine them, take away deft picks, make suspensions. But you know what….?

    Still worth it. SB 44 Champs!!!!!

  121. megatronownsyou says: Mar 2, 2012 9:58 PM

    In other, related news I hereby proclaim that Detroit in no longer the dirtiest team in the league

  122. pedagoguish says: Mar 2, 2012 10:35 PM

    I’ve heard how many commentators today agonizing over what the NFL should do about the hit squad at the Saints. Isn’t it obvious? The New Orleans prosecuting attorney should be convening a grand jury to investigate what is clearly a felonious act. Anyone who paid for or received money for consciously injuring another person should be prosecuted, convicted, and sent to prison. These actions are not of the sport and should be outside the purview of the sport. They are an offense against society as a whole and must be vigorously prosecuted.

  123. lklem says: Mar 2, 2012 10:53 PM

    I will bet that the Saints are not the first nor only team that has a bounty on the other teams. Look what they did to Favre. How they made it obvioius that they were out for blood. Just go to show you how corupt the NFL has come.

  124. jafophx says: Mar 2, 2012 11:22 PM

    Any sport/team or organization that creates a fund to hurt other athletes is acting criminaly and has no concern for the integrity of the sport. It is similar to hiring some to kill or hurt another human being. If the allegations are all proven true and others were aware of this activity and did nothing to stop it, then they are just as guilty. Anyone with knowledge or that participated in this activity should be ejected from the league and never be able to do anything in any sport ever, for life…period. You are responsible for your actions and there are consequences for actions that harm others, and those consequences could be financial and even invloveprison time, if there was premeditation involved in harming other athletes.
    To the fans…it is a game….we pay with our hard earned money for some people to be above the law. If any of this activity occured to the normal person they would be in jail……so you decide what is right, should you continue to fund sports where the participants are targeting individuals to harm them and getting rewarded for that harm.

  125. ryygguy says: Mar 3, 2012 12:02 AM

    As a Vikings fan, I knew all along that this happened. I knew the Saints cheated in that game. It wasn’t just the Saints, the refs were rather shady as well. After the game I remember ESPN coming out and talking about the cheap hits and the biased officiating in the game. Here is just one of the videos.

    It upsets me because the Vikings aren’t that great every year. We don’t have a franchise QB like the Saints did. This was thought to be our last year with Favre.

    Ever since Favre threw that pass to Lewis in week 3 to put the Vikings over the 49ers I felt that there was something special about that Vikings team. They had stars all over the field. Teams struggled because they couldn’t protect both the pass and the run. Compound that with the best defensive line in football with Allen, Williams wall and Edwards. Their secondary featured probowler Winfield and Griffin. It was commented on how the Vikings had one of the best sets of corners and how they had one of the best sets of linebackers as well. With Henderson, Greeway, and Leber at linebackers, the Vikings had one of the best defensive units in all of football.

    On offense it was much the same. The best running back in all of football. That along with Favre, who through 33 touchdowns to 7 intereceptions was arguably the best QB that year. They also had 2 of the best receivers and pro bowlers that year in Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin. They also had an excellent TE in Visante Shankoe. Their offensive line was shaky, but not bad.

    They went into the Superdome which is the loudest stadium in football and played very good football for 4 quarters. It is extremely frustrating as a vikings fan to see an opportunity like this go to waste all because the Saints got away with cheating. I remember they were doing it the week earlier to Kurt Warner, but most likely the Cardinals would not have won their game against the Saints.

    However, it took biased officiating and a bunch of cheaters and 7 turnovers and a lucky overtime coin flip (which the NFL changed the rules on) to beat the Vikings at the Superdome in OT by a field goal.

    As a fan of sports, this is the worst possible scenario. The Vikings have never had a complete team like this. They never had an excellent defense, running game, and passing game. And won’t for a very long time. Not only that, but it was a moral blow as well. Why should a team that cheats get to win a super bowl? The Vikigns have a lot more roll models than the Saints. Appart from Drew Brees, most of that Saints team I could tell was corrupt.

    It is extremely frusterating, because I have been saying ever since that game how the Saints had the game rigged for them and somem people would believe me, but others would mock me and call me a whiner.

    Well, I “whine” about it because the truth needed to come out about this poor excuse for a football team in the Saints. These guys didn’t deserve that ring. The Vikings or Colts deserved the ring. This is just my opinion, but I would have been fairly certain that the Vikings would have won the Super Bowl if it wasn’t for getting robbed by the Saints. I mean if it took the Saints that much to beat the Vikings, the Colts would have most likely lost to them.

    Its hard to be a fan of football again when your team got robbed of a super bowl by a bunch of cheaters.

  126. nola5712 says: Mar 3, 2012 12:04 AM

    Gregg Williams is a despicable turd who will be out of the NFL shortly. ANY and ALL players, coaches, and personnel staff within the Saints organization guilty of this crap can GTFO. We built ourselves from lovable losers to contenders and I don’t care if it’s Brees himself, CUT ALL THOSE CHUMPS. We WILL be docked MULTIPLE picks and we WILL be fined, and it’s JUSTIFIED. Clean house and start over. This will take time…

  127. max337 says: Mar 3, 2012 8:32 AM

    Who dat! Love them Saints even more now… By any means necessary… :-)

  128. 40yrpatsfan says: Mar 3, 2012 8:53 AM

    This highlights how overblown Spygate was and how the league over-punished the Patriots. Should have been a 3rd rounder not a 1st, and lesser fines. It was more about Goodell’s outrage that NE ignored his memo.

    It was proven that those tapes of defensive coach hand signals were never used during the game in progress, and if a team didn’t change their signals by the next time they played the Patriots then it’s on them. This was a tempest in a teapot, there was no competitive advantage gained that anyone has been able to explain rationally. And NE’s record is actually better in the 5 years since Spygate than before.

    Now where does Goodell go with a much worse offense? Hard to punish a team more than he did to the Pats.

  129. n001363 says: Mar 4, 2012 12:09 AM

    Dust off your paper bags Saints Fans! Your going down!

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