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Williams, Payton, Loomis, players all may face long suspensions

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Lengthy and unprecedented suspensions appear to be coming for those involved in the Saints’ practice of paying bounties to players who injured opponents.

Mark Maske of the Washington Post reports that the NFL is considering long suspensions for head coach Sean Payton, General Manager Mickey Loomis, former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and players who were involved in bounties.

How long? Maske cited an unnamed source who said suspensions could be half a season or longer. One person familiar with the NFL’s thinking on the matter mentioned the decision in 1963 by NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle to suspend Packers running back Paul Hornung and Lions defensive tackle Alex Karras for an entire season for gambling.

Williams, who ran the bounty program and who’s now the defensive coordinator of the Rams, would seem to be the person who would get the longest suspension. Rams head coach Jeff Fisher should probably be in the process of coming up with a Plan B at the defensive coordinator position on his coaching staff because Williams, the Plan A, may be unavailable for some or all of the season.

But Payton and Loomis appear to be facing discipline as well, and players involved could also be suspended. The NFL said 22 to 27 players on the Saints were involved, but the league hasn’t said who those players are. We don’t know how many are still in the league, how many are still with the Saints and whether some players were ringleaders of the bounty program and will face more significant than others.

What is clear is that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is preparing to come down hard. After the Spygate scandal, Goodell stripped the Patriots of a first-round pick, fined Bill Belichick $500,000 and fined the Patriots $250,000. All indications are that the sanctions for the Saints will be significantly more severe.

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84 Responses to “Williams, Payton, Loomis, players all may face long suspensions”
  1. bigpantherfan says: Mar 4, 2012 7:19 PM

    Ban Williams for life from the NFL, Suspend the rest of the Saints coaches for a season that will teach them

  2. 4ever19 says: Mar 4, 2012 7:21 PM

    Good. Williams gone for a season. Payton for 8 games. Loomis for a season. The players 4 games each. Send a message RGI. Don’t do this. Don’t ever ever ever do this. For those who say trying to knock opposing players out of the game goes on all the time, yeah, they are most likely right. But organized bounty hunting to this degree is out of the ordinary – I hope.

  3. rip4gehrig says: Mar 4, 2012 7:21 PM

    Williams has been doing this for years and should be suspended for for at least the entire season if not longer…..he should just retire.

  4. thatobnoxiousguy says: Mar 4, 2012 7:23 PM

    Really???

    This is football, not checkers.

    So what, this no more thay a pay for performance system.

    So the Patriots are C H E A T I N G !!!!! and Beicheat only gets a fine, but the corrupt NFL plans to hand out lengthy suspensions over a much less issue??

    Again, Belicheat C H E A T E D and didnt get suspended.

    Oh and BTW, not “everyone” was doing it, and the Patriots STILL haven’t won a championship legitimately.

  5. pacodawg says: Mar 4, 2012 7:23 PM

    I wish the Browns showed some intensity on the field.

  6. seahawksfan25 says: Mar 4, 2012 7:24 PM

    They should get suspended without pay for the whole season and striped of the first round pick the saints and players involved. anyway. Gregg Williams gets the whole year with a hefty fine. Its no need for that kind of nonsense to go on in the league.

  7. cmb79 says: Mar 4, 2012 7:25 PM

    It’s a good thing they have Brees, because the Saints defense is gonna be barely better lingerie league team’s defense. And they’ve pretty bad for the past few years as it was.

  8. packerswambulance says: Mar 4, 2012 7:25 PM

    How about awarding their draft picks to the Cardinals and Vikings for altering the course of NFL history by cheating.

  9. nekelund says: Mar 4, 2012 7:25 PM

    My favorite part of this whole affair is how disclosure of this suddenly caused Tony Dungy to realize how Peyton Manning’s injury was, in fact, Gregg Williams’ fault. Not Tony Dungy’s for letting Peyton continue to play after having a concussion or the Indy staff for not taking away PM’s helmet or the Indy o-line for letting Manning get repeatedly battered by opponents, all of which are things over which Dungy ostensibly had control. Nope. It was Willams and the Redskins.

    Thanks, Dungy. If only current NFL executives were as skilled at passing the buck as you have been.

  10. beckzhere says: Mar 4, 2012 7:27 PM

    There’s no place for this kind of idocracy in the NFL. If you’re guilty, you should be looking for employment elsewhere.

  11. rip4gehrig says: Mar 4, 2012 7:27 PM

    thatobnoxiousguy – –

    big difference between filming someone and trying to end their career dont ya think?

  12. tommyf15 says: Mar 4, 2012 7:27 PM

    I have a serious question.

    Goodell suspending players is subject to collective bargaining and is something the NFLPA agreed to.

    The coaches don’t have a union, and neither Goodell nor the NFL are their employers. Yet there’s a precedent, as the NFL fined Bill Belechick over Spygate.

    Can someone explain how this works? Offhand, the NFL disciplining coaches and GMs strikes me as an anti-trust violation.

    If anyone knows this, please help me understand. Thanks.

  13. mrcosio says: Mar 4, 2012 7:32 PM

    Former Raiders DC Chuck Bresnahan had a similar system in place in Oakland known as “Let Them Play for Pay” where defensive players were given bonuses for every big play that they allowed.

  14. yodelpoo says: Mar 4, 2012 7:32 PM

    The Saints are screwed.

  15. rip4gehrig says: Mar 4, 2012 7:33 PM

    I believe he can discipline anyone he wants, including owners and executives…I may be wrong on that, not really sure.

  16. beavertonsteve says: Mar 4, 2012 7:34 PM

    Once the precedent is set there could be a lot of suspensions going around.

  17. clavette says: Mar 4, 2012 7:34 PM

    could sharper get fired from nfl network too if hes one of the players?

  18. hendawg21 says: Mar 4, 2012 7:34 PM

    Now what if a bounty was paid but the player was not fined, penalized or suspended and it was a legit play? I mean unless it was blatant then what case do u have against the player? Now the coach is a different story…

  19. surly1n1nd1anapol1s says: Mar 4, 2012 7:37 PM

    Williams should not coach again.
    Payton and Loomis out for year.

  20. dubaradhandi says: Mar 4, 2012 7:37 PM

    People saying pats never won anything….did they stop watching football after 2007. They went twice after that and one of them undefeated and the other they lost only 3 games in total that year. They lost to a Good team on that day. Goodel should have actually fined the other teams for not changing the signal and play calling when pats play them 2nd time. How dumb were these teams. Uh. Btw, how many teams they played twice during these years?

  21. mistersmith22 says: Mar 4, 2012 7:40 PM

    tommyf15 says:
    Mar 4, 2012 7:27 PM
    I have a serious question.

    The coaches don’t have a union, and neither Goodell nor the NFL are their employers. Yet there’s a precedent, as the NFL fined Bill Belechick over Spygate.

    Can someone explain how this works? Offhand, the NFL disciplining coaches and GMs strikes me as an anti-trust violation.

    If anyone knows this, please help me understand. Thanks.

    ——————

    I agree that it seems like garbage, and the NFL is, in my opinion, far too quick to throw out fines and suspensions. And I also think there has to be some kind of legal maneuver in the employer-employee codes that can keep it from happening.

    But I think it’s really as easy as…it’s in their contract. The NFL mandates teams put clauses in that say behavior is subject to review, fines, and punishment by the NFL, and the people have signed them, so I guess that works. It sucks, in my opinion, but it’s there.

  22. thejuddstir says: Mar 4, 2012 7:42 PM

    With the NFL changing the rules and emphazing player safety, Goodell has no choice but to come down hard on the individuals involved. With the trail of “bounty hunting” that was established by Williams, he should be banned for 2-3 years at a minimum. If the league wants to make sure they put an end to this, it needs to come down hard.

  23. stairwayto7 says: Mar 4, 2012 7:45 PM

    Fine team $15 million and no natioanl tv games for Saints and all Saint games will be blackout out in state of Louisiana!

  24. jagerbmb says: Mar 4, 2012 7:53 PM

    This still doesn’t address the circumventing of the salary cap by any team that did this during the salary cap era. And before people say it happened 5 or 6 years ago, just be aware that the 49ers were docked draft picks because of Carmen Policy’s actions even though he was with a different team at the time.

  25. rocketcrab says: Mar 4, 2012 7:54 PM

    To me, what is so arrogant and stupid about this is the money involved. If $1,000 or $1,500 landed in my lap, it would go towards paying off my kids college loans. To these guys, that is chump change!! Why risk your career or the one of a fellow player?? Williams needs to go for good, maybe Payton too. Jerks.

  26. jus10jonez says: Mar 4, 2012 7:55 PM

    Williams: banned for life
    GM and HC: 1 year suspension w/o pay
    Players involved: 2 year suspension w/o pay
    Ring leader players: ban for life

    This should grab the attention of anyone who would even think about another bounty system.

  27. Bar None says: Mar 4, 2012 7:58 PM

    This could be potentially hazardous to the NFL. If you suspend a player no longer with the team they committed infractions with, you are punishing the team that signed them. It is one thing to sign a player knowing they will be suspended, but to have a player under contract and then they get suspended for something they did a year ago is bad. In that case, fine them those game checks.

    People are acting like is something new. Reggie White got in trouble (just a verbal warning) for offering money for every sack, TFL, or INT a player got. Bounties in the NFL are as shocking as steroids were in baseball. It’s wrong, but it isn’t like it kept us from watching.

  28. tommyf15 says: Mar 4, 2012 8:02 PM

    mistersmith22 says: But I think it’s really as easy as…it’s in their contract. The NFL mandates teams put clauses in that say behavior is subject to review, fines, and punishment by the NFL, and the people have signed them.

    But if the NFL mandates that the teams coerce coaches into signing a standardized contract with coaches, that reads like an anti-trust violation to me.

    This is why I don’t expect long suspensions for anyone involved- the coaches will accept something reasonable as opposed to fighting the NFL, while the NFL won’t go nuclear on these guys in order to stay out of court.

  29. thetooloftools says: Mar 4, 2012 8:05 PM

    suspend them for the year. the league office must send a strong message.

  30. nflsonlyone says: Mar 4, 2012 8:05 PM

    why do you think goodell destroyed everything so fast

  31. j0esixpack says: Mar 4, 2012 8:36 PM

    Seriously folks… Going 16-0 for the first and only time in NFL history and making it to 2 additional Super Bowls is not the “proof” of not being able to win without “cheating” that you all seem to think it is.

    Other organizations wish they “can’t win” half as much as the Patriots.

    The NFL actually ALLOWS filming of signal calling to this day, just from the stands, not the sidelines like Belichick. Do you haters really not notice ALL coordinators in the NFL covering their mouths.

    Those that think camera placement is more important than cheating the cap and encouraging player injury are both clueless and sick.

  32. ehatem says: Mar 4, 2012 8:37 PM

    As a Saints fan, there’s a ominous thing nobody is talking about yet but it could come about. What if the reason the Saints franchised Brees was because they knew their team was about to be so hammered by the league that the only option left is to rebuild? The window of opportunity for the Saints is closing. Brees is 33 now I think. Its going to take 2 to 3 years minimum to get the defense back up to snuff and that could be a charitable number considering the loss of draft picks. Add that to the fact that there’s a strong possibility that their GM and Head Coach are probably going to be suspended for a year, Vilma probably for the year, Will Smith probably for the year (he’s effectively a repeat offender after the Star Caps suspension), and who knows who else gets suspended and you have a team that goes from a Super Bowl contender to what the Colts had last year.

    We could very well be witnessing the end of one of the most prolific offenses in NFL history because of something the defense was doing. Forget the Madden Curse. The Curse of Hosting a Super Bowl fells yet another team.

  33. botchedextrapoint says: Mar 4, 2012 8:39 PM

    Simple punishment, make them play this season as the New Orleans Taints. Replace their logo with a big black stain and an L on the front of their helmets.

  34. weskcfan says: Mar 4, 2012 8:42 PM

    This is gonna get ugly for those in the “Who Dat” nation.

  35. dumptrucked says: Mar 4, 2012 8:42 PM

    Anyone saying ‘this is football, get over it’ is a complete idiot. This isn’t about the bounty itself as much as it is about the conflict of interest and culture clash it represents. In an era of player safety awareness and where the league is regularly being sued by ex players for not doing enough to prevent injuries and not doing thier due diligence related to the matter, these practices of Pay for Pain cannot be tolerated. If the league does not act with an extremely heavy and swift hand then their efforts to change the culture and promote player safety will be all for not, and they will open themselves up to a PR and legal nightmare.

  36. frozeninfear says: Mar 4, 2012 8:44 PM

    I believe a lifetime ban for Loomis, Payton and Williams is justice served. A $500,000 fine and a 6 game suspension for Vilma would be about right. I suggest 4 game suspensions and $250,000 fines for those players who tried to injure Warner and Favre.

  37. jgava19 says: Mar 4, 2012 8:49 PM

    I’m sure your suggestions will be taken into consideration…….NOT!

  38. LoCoSu@%s says: Mar 4, 2012 8:54 PM

    I don’t condone what GW did, but this is low hanging fruit for God-dell. Time for him to play the dictator again.
    Watch him come down hard on these poor suckers

  39. stanklepoot says: Mar 4, 2012 8:57 PM

    tommyf15 says: Mar 4, 2012 7:27 PM

    I have a serious question.

    Goodell suspending players is subject to collective bargaining and is something the NFLPA agreed to.

    The coaches don’t have a union, and neither Goodell nor the NFL are their employers. Yet there’s a precedent, as the NFL fined Bill Belechick over Spygate.

    Can someone explain how this works? Offhand, the NFL disciplining coaches and GMs strikes me as an anti-trust violation.

    If anyone knows this, please help me understand. Thanks.
    ______________________________
    Well, the coaches don’t have a union, but they do have an association. It’s much weaker than a union, but they can speak for coaches as a whole, assuming the coaches consent on the specific issue. Not that it matters anyway. Coaches are not considered labor, they’re classified as management. Management doesn’t have the same protections because they’re considered to have more power and influence. In the case of lower level management (in this case, position coaches for instance), it can actually leave them more vulnerable in negotiations. For upper level management, the people who wrote the labor rights laws tend to be pretty much right on the money. They simply don’t typically require the same protections.

  40. torgerl says: Mar 4, 2012 9:02 PM

    With all the former players and coaches that have come out and said they did something similar, how can they really come down too harsh here? Maybe make an example of williams but how do you suspend 22-27 players?

  41. tommyf15 says: Mar 4, 2012 9:03 PM

    frozeninfear says: I suggest 4 game suspensions and $250,000 fines for those players who tried to injure Warner and Favre.

    So how do you identify the players that were trying to hurt Warner and Favre as opposed to the ones that were just playing hard and hitting hard like they’re supposed to?

  42. reebsta says: Mar 4, 2012 9:04 PM

    I for one will enjoy every minute of a Sean Payton suspension.

  43. backspacez says: Mar 4, 2012 9:08 PM

    Some of you are saying this is football. Yes, you have a point. But football is about hard hitting, not trying to injure and ruin a career.

  44. r66x says: Mar 4, 2012 9:27 PM

    Intentionally trying to injure someone is called assault and is illegal. Doesn’t matter if it is on a street corner or football field.

    Fire Williams, suspend Payton, Loomis for at least a year. Leave players alone…this time.

  45. fground says: Mar 4, 2012 9:38 PM

    They won a Super Bowl in large part by injuring their opponents QB. Now it is known it was part of a planned illegal strategy.

    They should be stripped of their title and it should be awarded to Indy.

  46. vikescry1 says: Mar 4, 2012 9:40 PM

    i thinks it been happening for years, that doesn’t make it right. i hope the punishment suit’s the crime.

  47. hazelmn says: Mar 4, 2012 9:42 PM

    This is serious. I don’t care if the Saints weren’t the only ones doing it. If my team was doing it, they should pay too. For the integrity of the game, you can’t have guys trying to end careers. That is WAY different that laying a good, clean hit on someone.

    Here is what you do:

    1. Suspend Williams from the game
    2. Suspend Payton, Loomis, and any Assistants who knew for the season
    3. Take away at least two #1 draft picks.
    4. Then the fun begins. one you know which 22-27 players were involved, go back and review game film for the three years. Any of those players who applied a cheap hit (ahem…Bobby McCray?) get a major fine and suspension if they are still playing. Others get a smaller fine.

    If you determine that those cheap hits had a causal effect on the Saints winning the Super Bowl, then an asterisk next to their title would be fair.

  48. holdthemayo123 says: Mar 4, 2012 9:45 PM

    illegal payments = circumventing the salary cap = cheating.

  49. natefalkirk says: Mar 4, 2012 10:01 PM

    @ thatobnoxiousguy:

    Please. I love how the Saints deliberately seeking to hurt other teams brings out all the Pat haters. I am a Pats fan, and I don’t defend the taping of other teams. Sure others do it, but that’s never an excuse. Get pulled over speeding, don’t bother telling the cop about someone else speeding more. You got caught. Deal with it.

    That said, the Saints issue is way worse. Like Spygate, bounties are illegal, like Spygate it possibly affects the outcome of the game, but unlike Spygate, this could leave a guy busted up and without a career.

    You must be a Jets fan. At least we Pats GET to the SB.

  50. besdayz says: Mar 4, 2012 10:04 PM

    illegal payments = circumventing the salary cap = cheating.

    ——————————————————-

    who’s making the payments? I thought the pool is from players chipping in like side bets.

    I doubt the team is ponying up this cash.

    In the end, this is on the players themselves and the assistant coaches who encourage this while the team looks away. You can’t really police the players unless you have big brother watching them every step of the way. That’s why this has always been happening.

  51. ilovefoolsball says: Mar 4, 2012 10:09 PM

    It’s so funny reading all of your self righteous responses and also hearing all of you offer your view on what the penalties should be, even though no one gives two farts about what your opinion is.

    The only reason you all are acting like you hate this so much is because the Saints were successful and many of you simply hate the team and the city.

    If this were the Cleveland Browns doing this I doubt so many of you would be so passionate.

    It’s…cute.

  52. glazerh8er says: Mar 4, 2012 10:16 PM

    Everyone is a lawyer now. Unreal. This is football. Taking people out on the other side is as old as the sport. (many people actually died in the first few years it was played). As a Bucs fan of the teams that played just 10 years ago UNDER DUNGY, I cringe at the future of the game. We already have taken the fear out of the offensive player’s mindsets. They can do whatever they want over the middle. Are you kidding me? I’ve read “Dungy wouldn’t do this” a few times. Do you remember Sapp knocking out the GB kid on special teams. Do you think Lynch tried just to tackle people? Litigious and regulation mindset at it’s best.

  53. southcakpanther says: Mar 4, 2012 10:18 PM

    Us Panther fans have been seeing these cheating Saints throw cheap shots for years. The most recent last season when Steve Smith was blown up in the end zone several seconds after scoring. The Saints deserve everything they get out of this. I hope Goodell throws the book at the Saints. Time to pay the piper.

  54. umrguy42 says: Mar 4, 2012 10:27 PM

    As a Rams fan, they need to fire him *now*, for cause if possible, before he brings this crap to their defense as well.

  55. gotampabay52 says: Mar 4, 2012 10:29 PM

    screw the saints. williams ban from football new orlean what is worst katrina or your team cheats and are scumbags of the league. redcross helped ya hope the league dosent move the saint to LA

  56. tatum064 says: Mar 4, 2012 11:09 PM

    packerswambulance says:
    Mar 4, 2012 7:25 PM
    How about awarding their draft picks to the Cardinals and Vikings for altering the course of NFL history by cheating.

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

    Like you didnt have refs in your back pocket in the NFC Championship….and you still got DISCOUNT DOUBLE CHECKED out. GTFO …you guys had a bounty on Jerry Rice back in the 90s. The Saints just got caught.

    “We fly high”
    -N.Y.Giants

  57. botully says: Mar 4, 2012 11:19 PM

    fground says:
    Mar 4, 2012 9:38 PM
    They won a Super Bowl in large part by injuring their opponents QB. Now it is known it was part of a planned illegal strategy.

    They should be stripped of their title and it should be awarded to Indy.
    —————————————————-

    They PLAYED in a Super Bowl “in large part by injuring their opponents QB”. Of course 12 men in the huddle doesn’t help.

    Indy lost. IF I were a fan or player on that team I would not want such a “championship”. It would mean less than nothing.

    No game results will be overturned, to suggest it is just silly. Fines and suspensions, lost draft picks. The only thing to quibble about is how much and how many and who. Hitting players is problematic as some may not even be in the league anymore or play on different teams, which makes punishments unequal for equal offenses. Besides, proven intent to injure in football is impossible unless blatant.
    I think the coaches and management involved will, rightfully so, take the hit for this disgraceful practice.

  58. tomtravis76 says: Mar 4, 2012 11:39 PM

    So, if a RB or QB tells the O-line before the season or any game, that if he makes the Pro Bowl or has a big game, then the O-line will in return get a gift for that achievement, that is an incentive. And if one of those O linemen is so motivated that he injures D players, should the QB or RB be held accountable?

    Yes, trying to end someones career intentionally is wrong, but isn’t winning at all costs the game of Pro sports? Winning equals money and power.

  59. marcinhouston says: Mar 4, 2012 11:41 PM

    You can’t suspend young players on their rookie contracts who merely failed to blow the whistle on their defensive coordinator and team veterans for something that had been done for years by other teams and never drawn attention. How would you feel if one day you got fired from your job because it came to light that in your first year you saw your boss exceeding the speed limit on a business trip and did not say anything?

  60. whatevnfl says: Mar 4, 2012 11:44 PM

    I’m sure a lot goes on under the radar in pro football. But it’s sort of interesting looking back that Sean Payton thought there was supposed to be a “gentleman’s agreement” in place for Gregg Williams’s defense to not go hard against the opposing team in preseason. Since Jim Harbaugh never called to arrange this “gentleman’s agreement,” the Saints came out blitzing. Later Harbaugh sounded genuinely perplexed, not upset by the blitzing or that a team would play so aggressively in preseason, but that he was supposed to have an arrangement in place. He said he asked his brother who also said he had no idea that was supposed to be arranged. Did some teams know they were supposed to call Payton & the Saints to tell Gregg Williams to take it easy in preseason and they would as well?

  61. loytomaki says: Mar 4, 2012 11:50 PM

    The thing that burns me the most, is that by suspending Williams (which HAS to happen IMO) you end up hurting the Rams more than the Saints. I am sure the Saints will be hurt as well, by suspending the coach, and the GM, and some players, but the Rams are going to be without a DC going into the draft.

    I would like to see them strip the Saints of the franchise tag for a couple seasons as well. It would likely cost them a lot more to keep Brees, which is fitting considering that they were offering bounties for activities that could have cost other teams franchise QBs.

  62. coachglove says: Mar 5, 2012 12:05 AM

    How can a league fine be an anti-trust violation? You aren’t clear on what creates collusion. Having a self-policing regulatory body overseeing individual franchises is perfectly legal. The NASD regulates securities firms and it is paid for and run by broker-dealers. It can discipline individual brokers and firms. Collusion would come if the team owners were getting together to talk about punishments, etc. The coach signs a contract with one team and is overseen by a self-policing regulatory body called the NFL. No anti-trust. Nice try. The league has every right to ban/fine/suspend a coach for almost any offense as long as it does so consistently.

  63. ehatem says: Mar 5, 2012 12:19 AM

    To all those who are screaming, “Review the tape on all those cheap hits” seem to be forgetting the fact that the NFL already does that. Hence them handing out fines for illegal hits. The McCray hit was NOT illegal. Brutal? Yes. Illegal? No. The Favre hit was and I’m sure those players will pay the price. As will Roman Harper who got fined several times this year for late and/or illegal hits because its going to be an impossible defense for him especially if they can follow the money trail. If they accepted money for a hit deemed to be illegal, they’re screwed.

    As to the circumventing the salary cap issue, even if the money is only coming from the players, its a rules violation. I’ve seen the wording of the exact bylaw and its crystal clear on that point. Its part of the bounty rule that all of this got started by in the first place. So yeah, even without the fact that Williams threw in his own money from time to time the Saints are guilty of a cap violation. Even though the number is small in comparison to say what the 49ers were doing, its a black and white rule. You don’t get it lessened by the fact that we’re talking about 100 grand total over the years for all the hits and fumbles and such combined.

    All this from a Saints fan. I’m kind of passed the whole “Everybody does it the only thing we did wrong was get caught” point. Its actually the truth in that statement that is the reason why the Saints are about to be nuked back to the stone ages. Goodell is going to send the league a message. This ends, now. Or else.

    Ah well, it was fun while it lasted.

  64. 2dat says: Mar 5, 2012 12:19 AM

    Suspend them all and we will still win the conference and play in the Super Bowl ! The organization is deep with talent and as long as #9 in under center, we are perfectly fine.

  65. granadafan says: Mar 5, 2012 12:43 AM

    “loytomaki says: Mar 4, 2012 11:50 PM
    The thing that burns me the most, is that by suspending Williams (which HAS to happen IMO) you end up hurting the Rams more than the Saints.”
    ===========================================

    Yeah, it does stink that the Rams suffer for this, but Williams is the lead figure in this scandal and he cannot be rewarded for his illegal and completely unethical coaching by suffering no penalty.

  66. grannyvi4 says: Mar 5, 2012 1:26 AM

    ilovefoolsball says:Mar 4, 2012 10:09 PM

    It’s so funny reading all of your self righteous responses and also hearing all of you offer your view on what the penalties should be, even though no one gives two farts about what your opinion is.

    The only reason you all are acting like you hate this so much is because the Saints were successful and many of you simply hate the team and the city.

    If this were the Cleveland Browns doing this I doubt so many of you would be so passionate.

    It’s…cute.
    =====================
    Um, no. I actually liked the Saints until we played them in the NFCCG and saw how dirty their defense played. My respect for the Saints spiraled downward after that, and it wasn’t because we lost to them. But when Vikings fans complained at the time we were called whiny losers or worse. Glad to know this is finally coming to light. The Saints have basked in the glow of a nationwide “Cinderella” story since Katrina, but the fairy tale is about to end…and deservedly so.

  67. goawayeverybody says: Mar 5, 2012 1:43 AM

    It just goes to show that Goddell loves some teams and openly hates others. The fact that Belichick was not supended although he was THE ONE intiating the cheating is absurd. But Payton will be supsended for half a season even though he wasn’t the one who initiated the program.

    This is rank hypocrisy.

  68. boothlustig says: Mar 5, 2012 2:27 AM

    who were the officials in the Jan 2010 NFC Title game? Favre was getting some pretty good shots to the lower leg. Not much referee love.

  69. Tadd says: Mar 5, 2012 2:29 AM

    Bar None says:
    Mar 4, 2012 7:58 PM

    “People are acting like is something new. Reggie White got in trouble (just a verbal warning) for offering money for every sack, TFL, or INT a player got. Bounties in the NFL are as shocking as steroids were in baseball. It’s wrong, but it isn’t like it kept us from watching.”

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

    So paying a guy for a big play is the same as paying a guy to injure a guy, and risk ending his career?

    Sorry dude your comparison really sucks. Reggie was not paying people to headhunt, he was paying guys to do their jobs and make big plays. The league had no reason to suspend him or do anything more than a verbal warning because what he was doing is no different than friendly bets to perform, whereas this whole saints thing is paying people to hurt other people, which sounds a lot more like organized crime.

    Goodell should ban Williams for life, and give the HC and GM of the Saints and players involved 1 year suspensions without pay, and strip the Saints of a first round pick if not two. Because the league is pushing safety and this flies directly in the face of it, and frankly the best way to stop it is to make it too costly for other teams and players in the future to even consider doing.

  70. whatevnfl says: Mar 5, 2012 2:34 AM

    I have no doubt this goes on in locker rooms all over the NFL….I more wonder how many coaches actually participate….that’s where I think this case might be different. If players are putting in their own money and working out their own incentives….yah yah it breaks the rules and all that…and some coaches of course have to be aware and figure its all part of the game…whatev. But I wonder how many coaches actually participate, as in pay out of pocket themselves…i tend to think that wouldn’t be the norm, but who knows. it’s one thing to be play tough and physical, but it seems pretty jerk-like to cheer and pay money for watching some guy get carted off the field. the jets dude got fired for tripping someone who merely fell down, paying players money to hurt a player bad enough to knock him out of the game? That just feels so dirty and wrong. But then those same people probably kneel down and act like they are praying when they fear someone is really hurt.

  71. waxedagain says: Mar 5, 2012 4:34 AM

    Whenever the NFL uncovers some sort of systemic unethical behavior, the immediate defense is ‘everybody is doing it’. But how was this Williams ‘bounty’ system covered up for almost 10 years across three teams?

  72. waxedagain says: Mar 5, 2012 4:45 AM

    Was Fisher really unaware of the controversy surrounding Williams when he hired him for Rams’ DC ? The NFL investigation was ongoing for 2 years, and Fisher is an insider on the Competition Committee. The Rams new owner must be furious over how foolish this makes the franchise look in vetting its coaches.

  73. blackqbwhiterb says: Mar 5, 2012 6:19 AM

    Williams will get a fine, and that’s about all. It’s swept under the rug after that. Once the next hot NFL news story breaks, this too shall pass…

  74. phillyforlife says: Mar 5, 2012 6:28 AM

    tommyf15
    But if the NFL mandates that the teams coerce coaches into signing a standardized contract with coaches, that reads like an anti-trust violation to me.

    This is why I don’t expect long suspensions for anyone involved- the coaches will accept something reasonable as opposed to fighting the NFL, while the NFL won’t go nuclear on these guys in order to stay out of court.
    —————————————————-

    No one has to sign a contract they dont agree with, there for by signing it you And your lawer/agent agree with the terms. Now you have to pay the price for violating it. Now live with it. Peyton knew what was happening he aloud it so he is just as guilty as Williams , and if he did not know then he should be fired for not having control or knowledge of what was happening in his locker room.

  75. rjg427 says: Mar 5, 2012 7:47 AM

    Now it all adds up…Im wondering how much Jimmy Graham got paid to knock his own coach out last season…

  76. gorilladik81 says: Mar 5, 2012 7:50 AM

    And these guys complain that the nfl does not care about their safety, when across the league this stuff is happening trying to injure other players, these uneducated douches need to shut their throats and get paid to play a GAME, and to all the patriot haters its ok it’s just years of frustration of your team sucking that’s talking.

  77. ehatem says: Mar 5, 2012 7:59 AM

    The competition committee deals with reviewing rules on the field. It has zero to do with NFL Security investigations. I think the fact that Williams has been doing this crap for two decades tends to prove that if the competition committee actually WAS responsible for these investigations there would have been nothing illegal found.

    As an aside, if I was a Titan’s fan, I’d be nervous. If Fisher knew what Williams was doing and the NFL can prove it, you guys are in deep too. Bet the Dolphins are happy they lost the Fisher sweepstakes about now.

  78. broncobeta says: Mar 5, 2012 8:02 AM

    “After the Spygate scandal, Goodell stripped the Patriots of a first-round pick, fined Bill Belichick $500,000 and fined the Patriots $250,000.”

    I thought that was not nearly enough, seeing how they had two first round picks that year and their later one was stripped.

    The $500k for Belichick was a lot, I’ll admit that. However, $250k for an NFL Franchise is chump change.

    The Saints will get the wood laid a lot harder because of two main reasons.

    1) They’re not the Patriots, Robert Kraft has Goodell by the balls.

    2) Safety will be Goodell’s legacy whether the fans like it or not. This is a marquee moment for Goodell’s pet project.

  79. jgava19 says: Mar 5, 2012 8:07 AM

    The league addressed this with the Saints a few years ago. That’s why they are going to be punished severely. The Saints assured the NFL that this wasn’t going to happen going forward.

  80. nebster21 says: Mar 5, 2012 9:46 AM

    What is the difference between offering them a huge contract at the end of the year or paying them on the spot. Sure the IRS cannot keep track of those payments but if you do not think that players get paid under the table you have alot of thinking to do. The Midgets are big into doing this.

  81. djjasonpaul says: Mar 5, 2012 9:49 AM

    They should suspend or ban Loomis, fine Payton and ban Williams. Sean Payton was a hands on O coach, nothing to do with the D so I don’t think they should suspend him. I would also fine/suspend Vilma for being the head of it on the D and also fine some of the players. I can’t see suspending players over this matter since so many OTHER TEAMS DO IT TOO. Are they going to investigate all of them? Bills, Skins, Pats, Steelers (you know the most fined player gets paid bounties), etc…

  82. canjura says: Mar 5, 2012 10:34 AM

    and of course my Rams continue to get owned. I don’t think it’s fairs to the Rams to suspend Williams for a season or longer. I think if the league wants to lay a punishment on the entire Rams organization by suspending Williams, they should enforce it next season, not this season. If the league would have said word of this a month or two ago, there’s no way the Rams hire Williams. And now, the pool of potential D-Coordinators is so thin that the Rams might as well not have a D-Coordinator. Yeah, I know its a homer opinion, but it’s a completely honest and valid one. League didn’t need to tell every team in the league about their investigation, but they owed it them to tell them that anyone who hires Gregg Williams would face losing him for 8 games, if not longer.

  83. rjg427 says: Mar 5, 2012 2:39 PM

    “and of course my Rams continue to get owned. I don’t think it’s fairs to the Rams to suspend Williams for a season or longer. I think if the league wants to lay a punishment on the entire Rams organization by suspending Williams, they should enforce it next season, not this season. If the league would have said word of this a month or two ago, there’s no way the Rams hire Williams. And now, the pool of potential D-Coordinators is so thin that the Rams might as well not have a D-Coordinator. Yeah, I know its a homer opinion, but it’s a completely honest and valid one. League didn’t need to tell every team in the league about their investigation, but they owed it them to tell them that anyone who hires Gregg Williams would face losing him for 8 games, if not longer.”

    and how do you definitely know that they werent warned, and it serves the Rams right for hiring him in the first place..He’s been known for doing this for years..but dont fret, Fisher did the same thing HOU/TEN as well with bounties..

    “You want to go to bed with dogs, be prepared to wake up with fleas”

  84. canjura says: Mar 6, 2012 11:04 AM

    @rjg: he’s been known for doing this for years? really? I didn’t know about it till last Friday. I dont think you knew about it either. I guess 4 days is years in hater years?

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