Commissioner Roger Goodell said on Friday that he’ll consult with the NFLPA in fashioning the penalties for the Saints’ habit (not mistake, but habit) of paying bounties to defensive players who injure their opponents.
The NFLPA has acknowledged the situation, without shedding light on any action that the league believes Goodell should take.
“Health and safety is a paramount issue to the NFLPA,” the union said in a statement released on Friday night. “The NFLPA was informed of this investigation by the NFL earlier today and will review the information contained in the league’s report.”
Like many incidents involving players infringing on the rights of other players, the NFLPA is in a delicate situation. When it comes to bounties, the union represents both the players who were targeted, and the players who did the targeting.
In this case, one significant difference comes from the fact that someone not in the union, former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, administered the system. Moreover, head coach Sean Payton knew about it.
And so the NFLPA has a strong interest in protecting all players against such behavior. Thus, look for the NFLPA to press the league to take significant action.