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Payton, Loomis issue joint statement

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[Editor's note: Saints coach Sean Payton and Saints G.M. Mickey Loomis have issued a joint statement regarding the bounty system that the Saints utilized from 2009 through 2011. The full text of the statement appears below.]

We acknowledge that the violations disclosed by the NFL during their investigation of our club happened under our watch. We take full responsibility.

This has brought undue hardship on Mr. Benson, who had nothing to do with this activity. He has been nothing but supportive and for that we both apologize to him.

These are serious violations and we understand the negative impact it has had on our game. Both of us have made it clear within our organization that this will never happen again, and make that same promise to the NFL and most importantly to all of our fans.

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104 Responses to “Payton, Loomis issue joint statement”
  1. vikesfansteve says: Mar 6, 2012 5:30 PM

    Payton was too stoned on Vicodin that he stole from the trainers & covering that up to cover up the bounties. Just waiting for the pay offs to the officials to come out.

  2. jayhawk6 says: Mar 6, 2012 5:30 PM

    Looks like they took the high road, rather than make a statement such as we saw from Rush Limbaugh.

  3. giants56 says: Mar 6, 2012 5:31 PM

    Enjoy your Vacation!

  4. ogarcz says: Mar 6, 2012 5:31 PM

    Is the NFL going to take away their trophy?

  5. Manbearpig says: Mar 6, 2012 5:31 PM

    Cheating scumbags. Take their Lombardi. They didn’t earn it.

  6. rculross7 says: Mar 6, 2012 5:32 PM

    In summary….

    We got caught, so now we have to apologize. If no one ever found out, we’d still be doing it.

  7. oldbrowndawg says: Mar 6, 2012 5:32 PM

    So, why did they try to cover it up after the 2009 NFC Championship game? When you lie to the Comish, you’re gonna get your ass handed to you. These guys are probably toast, at least for 2012.

  8. bunjy96 says: Mar 6, 2012 5:32 PM

    This was supposedly done 2 years ago also.

    Were they lying then or they lying now?

  9. tjacks7 says: Mar 6, 2012 5:33 PM

    I’m only interested in a statement that gives a resignation. Disgraceful.

  10. vkngs77 says: Mar 6, 2012 5:34 PM

    Jackwagon’s. Both of em.

  11. JC says: Mar 6, 2012 5:34 PM

    That’s the best they can do? Enjoy your year long vacation fellas.

  12. hpeters77 says: Mar 6, 2012 5:34 PM

    case closed

  13. contra74 says: Mar 6, 2012 5:34 PM

    Its been kinda quiet with those “Who Dat” chants from the Saints faithful. Weird.

  14. FinFan68 says: Mar 6, 2012 5:34 PM

    About time, although predictable. It looks to me like they are protecting Benson. It would not surprise me to learn that he had knowledge of the issue but did nothing until the league said something. After that he told Loomis to stop but never followed up.

  15. rcampore says: Mar 6, 2012 5:35 PM

    This off season is so much more entertaining than last year’s. I can’t wait till Friday and the Peyton frenzy commences also!

  16. rexryanstoecheese says: Mar 6, 2012 5:35 PM

    ” ” said the men, looking into the abyss of their NFL legacies…

  17. chadmurdigan says: Mar 6, 2012 5:35 PM

    “This has brought undue hardship on Mr. Benson, who had nothing to do with this activity. He has been nothing but supportive and for that we both apologize to him.”

    Translation: Mr. Benson approved the bounty system and was happy with it because he believed the system helped us finally field a winning football team after all the years of being the Aints. He’s being so super supportive of us because we promised to not implicate him if he did so.

  18. nolahxc says: Mar 6, 2012 5:36 PM

    Well there ya go– it’s all water under the bridge now!

  19. toomburger says: Mar 6, 2012 5:37 PM

    have to admit, not a Saints fan but always liked Sean Payton as a coach. this, however is crossing the line.

  20. northstar69 says: Mar 6, 2012 5:38 PM

    Old man Benson is just as guilty as these 2 cheaters.

  21. ravensspades says: Mar 6, 2012 5:38 PM

    Everyone has 20-20 vision hindsight, the fact of the matter is that they did not prevent it which requires appropriate punishment

  22. Steeley McBeam says: Mar 6, 2012 5:38 PM

    Has anyone watched the NFL Films Saints Super Bowl video to see if they alluded to any of these bounties? A good reporter would probably do something like that, maybe I’ll send the idea to Mort and Schefter.

  23. seananagan says: Mar 6, 2012 5:39 PM

    How much extra did that player earn for tearing your ACL this year?
    This will never happen again because you should be blacklisted from the league.

  24. glac1 says: Mar 6, 2012 5:42 PM

    They both must be terminated and banned from the game for good. If the league does nothing I’m curious to see how Mr. Benson responds. His character is at stake. It’s also a good test for the city and the teams fans. There true colors will come out.

  25. colt2011 says: Mar 6, 2012 5:44 PM

    Took long enough! Like Williams they apologized to their fans-as it should be. However, someone needs to apologize to players who were targeted and ALL NFL FANS. This affects all 32 teams and their fans. I as one fan only don’t appreciate any impact where this misconduct has affected any targeted players from my team. Hope the Commisioner doesn’t lessen the punishment because of more lame words. They should have ‘kept their word’ from past promises.

  26. dave1961 says: Mar 6, 2012 5:45 PM

    The owner is ultimately responsible he hired these idiots then when warned didn’t demand followup on eliminating the policy. Ban the Gm, Coach, DEF coordinator…. ban the team from playoffs for 2 seasons….. and fine everyone involved heavily!…. Just like they fine players for illegal hits. Mr. Benson is not fit to own a franchise if he can’t follow a warning by the NFL to stop bounties!

  27. illiniftw says: Mar 6, 2012 5:45 PM

    That sounded so sincere! Almost brought a tear to my eye

  28. slickmarine says: Mar 6, 2012 5:46 PM

    I can tell you who DIDN’T have anything to do with this bounty fiasco… the Saints fans! You think Minnesota got screwed? How ’bout all those loyal Saints fans who waited decades for something that even resembled a team. Had to put up with Peyton’s father forEVER! And, after they finally win a Super Bowl, this….. We should exile Williams and humiliate the arrogant coach and G.M., but we should stop down to empathize with the Saints fan; gutted by his own team.

  29. duluthvikesfan says: Mar 6, 2012 5:49 PM

    I have a strong feeling that Payton will get a full one year suspension ans Williams might just get a lifetime ban from the NFL.

  30. blackandblue123 says: Mar 6, 2012 5:51 PM

    Anything less than lifetime suspensions would make the NFL look like a GONG SHOW……They won the superbowl while they were cheating, what a nightmare scenario for the league.

  31. rubbernilly says: Mar 6, 2012 5:51 PM

    Anyone who participated… several game suspension, concomitant to their level of involvement (Vilma, who had a $10K bounty on Favre, probably topping out at somewhere between 12-16 games)

    Anyone who lied about it… start at 1 yr. suspension and work up from there (might include Payton, might not)

    Anyone who lied about it multiple times… lifetime ban (that means you, Gregg)

  32. omniscient48 says: Mar 6, 2012 5:52 PM

    The media is still missing the real story — the relationship of Mike Ornstein to Sean Payton and the injection of Ornstein’s money into the bounty program, Did others inject money into the program? Were there any associations with organized crime? Since when does the NFL allow a twice-convicted felon to populate practices and the sidelines during games? I hope we get the answers to these questions before Hurricane Goodell hits landfall.

  33. brianbosworthisstonecold says: Mar 6, 2012 5:53 PM

    Ban!

  34. jwil444 says: Mar 6, 2012 5:54 PM

    seems like most of the coverage is all about Williams, at the end of the day isn’t Payton who is ultimately responsible? Where are the cries for punishment for Payton??

  35. bobwhitequail says: Mar 6, 2012 5:55 PM

    rculross7 hit the nail right on the head when he said,

    “We got caught, so now we have to apologize. If no one ever found out, we’d still be doing it.”

    Remember they did get caught and were told to stop it. They chose to continue to do it. So how arrogant can you be?

    Everyone knows the emphasis on player safety and these guys gave cash incentives to injure other players. And they did it even after they were told to stop it.

    These guys deserve the maximum punishment Goodell can dish out.

  36. Mick Collins says: Mar 6, 2012 5:55 PM

    “Yes we’ll take the blame for bounty system… but we’re not actually acknowledging we did anything wrong…”

  37. thetooloftools says: Mar 6, 2012 5:55 PM

    As long as they keep Mr. Benson happy, they may get suspended, but they’ll have jobs.

  38. youalldrinkhaterade says: Mar 6, 2012 5:56 PM

    This will definitely send this back to the organization we all knew as the ‘Aints.

    It’s only a matter of time before their bandwagon fans have bags back on their heads and the stadium is again at 8% capacity.

    Paper or Plastic?

  39. dwoofer says: Mar 6, 2012 5:56 PM

    As I recall, Kurt Warner was getting bashed a lot in the playoff game against them, and I specifically remember commenting to my family as we watched the game that the refs were letting the Saints really beat up Warner.

  40. arnoldziffel says: Mar 6, 2012 5:56 PM

    The NFL does not need Gregg Williams.

    The NFL does not need Mickey Loomis.

    The NFL does not need Sean Payton.

  41. IrsaysTwitterThumb says: Mar 6, 2012 5:57 PM

    hpeters77 says:
    Mar 6, 2012 5:34 PM
    case closed

    *******

    not even close.

  42. purp4lyfe says: Mar 6, 2012 5:57 PM

    The 6 turnovers cost the Vikings a superbowl bid…not anything the Aints did. So get over it! 2012 is a new year for all of us.

  43. IrsaysTwitterThumb says: Mar 6, 2012 5:59 PM

    “I’m sorry.”

    Really… is it so hard?

  44. weimtime says: Mar 6, 2012 6:01 PM

    Pretend I’m stupid b/c I feel like I am. Why is this wrong (other than the possible outside factor, ie money from the non football arena influencing games)?

    Were they paid to take players out legally? If so, arenn’t they legally paid to take players out anyways?

    If they were paid to take players out illegally, wouldn’t the fine levied be way more than these $10K or so rewards?

    I guess my main point is that anyone who grew up around football knows that defenders want to “kill the QB.”

    I don’t understand how offering meager amounts of money compared to even the league minimum would be such a motivator and such a problem. I feel like the issue isn’t really around the fact that some of the money may have come from outside the Saints organization, but that it was happening in the first place. I feel like it happens already so please explain what’s the big deal???

  45. catman72 says: Mar 6, 2012 6:03 PM

    This is a prayer for mercy at the alter of Commissioner Goodell… these guys know what’s coming, and it ain’t pretty.

    These jerks deserve every inch of punishment that’s coming to them, Payton should have to sit out the season.

  46. atwatercrushesokoye says: Mar 6, 2012 6:04 PM

    I’d be satisfied with the punishment if the NFL just banned their right to use that stupid “who dat nation” moniker

  47. profootballwalk says: Mar 6, 2012 6:07 PM

    “We take full responsibility.”

    Good. One year suspensions for both. After that, the team loses an entire draft year.

  48. leatherhelmets says: Mar 6, 2012 6:07 PM

    All bounties earned should go to the construction of the new Vikings Stadium

  49. annes22 says: Mar 6, 2012 6:08 PM

    Enjoy your vacation now, because it might be a long one. Maybe the Super bowl trophy should be returned too.

  50. xxwhodatxx says: Mar 6, 2012 6:13 PM

    Love the hate, keep it coming losers

  51. usmutts says: Mar 6, 2012 6:15 PM

    Benson should be concerned only with the future competitiveness of his team. What Goodell can do is destroy it by suspending players, taking away draft choices, lowering salary caps, etc. So Benson must take immediate, bold steps to curry favor with Goodell, to give Goodell the opportunity to stop short of a “death penalty.”

    I’m thinking the only thing Benson can do to convince Goodell that the Saints will no longer in the future allow this stuff is: (1) fire Loomis now, (2) fire Payton now, and (3) make a personal visit to Goodell’s office and beg for mercy for his players, himself, his team, and the city of New Orleans. Go kiss the ring, Tom, and mean it.

  52. tci6743 says: Mar 6, 2012 6:15 PM

    Full disclosure, I am a Saints fan, but I must address all these posts about the Saints cheating; they did not “cheat.”. What they did is bad. Real bad. And possibly illegal, but saying they cheated requires them to have done something, like and illegal hit to hurt someone, and got away with it. For this to happen, the refs would have to be complicit inthe whole scheme. Don’t get me wrong, the coaches should be punished. Severely. But the defense did not cheat by hitting with the intent to hurt. That is what has been alleged, that they were paid to hit and inflict injury. That in and of itself, is not cheating. And what about the offense? I think they deserve most of the credit in their recent success. Their defense, even with the “bounties” has been below average. With all that said, I am still pissed at the defense and the coaches for bringing this down on the city an its fans.

  53. odium45 says: Mar 6, 2012 6:15 PM

    Bounty system doesn’t mean cheating. Stop being stupid. Should they be penalized? Yes. But the Patriots who REALLY cheated didn’t get full year suspensions.

    Next I want to see all other teams who have committed a bounty system up on the chopping block. If we do that we will have a 2 team league possibly. However, what applies to one applies to all.

  54. ningenito78 says: Mar 6, 2012 6:16 PM

    You guys saying they should lose the Lombardi trophy or Payton should resign/be fired are either stupid or have no idea what being on a football team at any level entails. Just quit your holier than thou crap and get off your high horse because guess what? Your team was likely doing the same thing. Get a clue morons.

  55. mark0226 says: Mar 6, 2012 6:22 PM

    Looks like Rodney Harrison used bounties too. See quote from him about putting a bounty on T.O. in 2009.

    http://www.aolnews.com/2009/09/11/rodney-harrison-would-like-to-put-a-bounty-on-terrell-owens/

  56. arlingtonassasin says: Mar 6, 2012 6:25 PM

    Who Dat??
    Dat de Dirty Saints.

    Here’s hoping their celebration of dirty hits and bad english has ended forever.

  57. frenchy121212 says: Mar 6, 2012 6:25 PM

    Payton is a scumbag

  58. zn0rseman says: Mar 6, 2012 6:25 PM

    slickmarine says:
    Mar 6, 2012 5:46 PM
    I can tell you who DIDN’T have anything to do with this bounty fiasco… the Saints fans! You think Minnesota got screwed? How ’bout all those loyal Saints fans who waited decades for something that even resembled a team. Had to put up with Peyton’s father forEVER! And, after they finally win a Super Bowl, this….. We should exile Williams and humiliate the arrogant coach and G.M., but we should stop down to empathize with the Saints fan; gutted by his own team.

     ———

    You know who you should feel more sorry for? Viking fans. Because in the end, they are the team that got robbed of a Super Bowl victory as a direct result of the Saints cheating. At least the Saints fans have a Lombardi Trophy in the case. And frankly, Viking fans have been putting up with a bombardment of cruel ribbing from ‘Who Dat Nation’ ever since that game. Not only that, but as rare as Super Bowl wins are, in ten years when the majority of people no longer care about how the Saints stole a Super Bowl, the Vikings will likely still be a team without a Super Bowl win… unlike the Saints.

    So while things may suck for Saints fans right now, the real victims in this are the Vikings organization, the fans of all NFL teams other than the Saints, and the players like Brett Favre and Kurt Warner, who were intentionally injured and had their careers damaged as a result of the Saints illegal and unsportsmanlike practices of bounties for injuries.

    $0.02,

    –Z

  59. bwerickson82 says: Mar 6, 2012 6:26 PM

    So I am really confused…..Wasn’t it like a couple days ago Darren Sharper made the comment that the Saints did nothing of the sort. All they did was have a pool of money for big plays. Now the coach and GM are saying sorry for it all. AND we all know they aren’t apologizing for the big play pool, but on the bounties. So Darren Sharper you can shut your mouth dude. We all know you just don’t want to get caught. YOU SIR…..ARE AN IDIOT!

  60. rtk23 says: Mar 6, 2012 6:28 PM

    This whole thing is just stupid and way overblown. Looms and Williams will get a year and Payton 8 games. And for what? NFL needs to calm down and while they are at it, change the NFL logo back to the way it used to be for many many decades.

  61. Mary Jane says: Mar 6, 2012 6:29 PM

    The ability of a “fan” to justify any behavior is amazing to me.

  62. bigbluefan1 says: Mar 6, 2012 6:31 PM

    Any and every player that was ever injured buy a Saints player now has a Great law suit.

    Benson may not have known about it but damn it is going to cost some coin.

    This is like hiring a hitman

    Glad to see the load mouth Aints are back in the basement where they belong.

    Drew should be able to become a FA and go where he wants why should he have to be part of this mess.

    Job openings in NO Head Coach GM
    Also need to find a home for the next Super Bowl no reason on earth to reward those cheats

  63. theservice10 says: Mar 6, 2012 6:31 PM

    Everyone saying they should take their trophy should shut up. It wasnt cheating! If they had been illegal hits then they would have been fined and suspended by the league that season!! If the Patriots still have their trophies then the Saints damn well will keep theirs.

  64. neovenator250 says: Mar 6, 2012 6:32 PM

    You’re an idiot if you think that these bounties are cheating. Think for yourself for once. Stop watching whatever you see on TV then repeating it as your own opinion. Whether you get paid for it or not, you’re STILL TRYING TO HIT PEOPLE. And honestly, knocking Brett Favre out could only be a positive. Screw that guy.

  65. saintsly says: Mar 6, 2012 6:33 PM

    Wha, wha, wha,…………….Listen to all the haters who have called the NFL Pu$$ies for softening the game. How many have said “put pink skirts on the QB’s” like Brady and Manning??? How many have said”We might as well turn the NFL into “Touch football” because the hit were to vicious to your QB but at the same time you wanted brees’s legs taken out???
    Well, you are now getting what you want……..
    The Saints are only guilty of playing “Hard nose football” and the rest of you want to cry cause your little Pu$$ie QB’s got hurt and you was cheated out of wins. I think they took the day off when the 50K(Was there really a bounty) was on the table for Hasselback and Smith wouldn’t you think??? If touch football is what you want, then keep crying…………Fools. If this was your team, you wouldn’t be saying a word.

  66. musicman495 says: Mar 6, 2012 6:34 PM

    Clearly only death by lethal injection is punishment enough for these two.

    Sheesh, can it get more sanctimonious around here?

  67. ackattack22 says: Mar 6, 2012 6:35 PM

    @ningenito78… So bounties are OK with you? Then I guess you won’t have a problem if all 31 of the other teams put a bounty on Drew Brees. How about $5,000 to knock him out of the game, $10,000 to knock him out for the season and $15,000 to end his career? If and when that happens, remember not to complain because apparently, as you put it, “that’s what being on a football team at any level entails”. Get ready Saints…cuz you know what they say about KARMA. It’s coming!

  68. cincybert says: Mar 6, 2012 6:47 PM

    omniscient48 says:
    Mar 6, 2012 5:52 PM
    The media is still missing the real story — the relationship of Mike Ornstein to Sean Payton and the injection of Ornstein’s money into the bounty program, Did others inject money into the program? Were there any associations with organized crime? Since when does the NFL allow a twice-convicted felon to populate practices and the sidelines during games?
    ______________________________
    omniscient48, you are dead on with that. Sadly, the emails linking Ornstein to Sean Payton and the bounty money will probably make it into the same shredder in Goodell’s office as the Spygate evidence. The NFL will appear to come down hard on Williams, Payton, and the Saints with fines and suspensions while avoiding the real, and much larger, issue of what Ornstein gained from contributing $ to a fund targeting opposing team’s players. Did Ornstein ever bet on Saints games?

  69. saintsstillwillwin says: Mar 6, 2012 6:50 PM

    Bounties have been part of the NFL for decades. Read Jack Tatum’s autobiography titled “They Call Me Assasin.” Tatum goes into great detail of his time with the Raiders in the 1970′s and the various “pools” that Tatum won for “Knockouts” and bonus money for putting a guy on the disabled list. Nothing has really changed since then

  70. saintsly says: Mar 6, 2012 6:51 PM

    In addition to the above…….I will call anyone a liar that says that the game of football isn’t dying on the vine due to the BS brought on by Goodale and the outcry of the older players who think they were used during their years in the NFL and are seeking life time benefits because they are now broke. When you sign up to play football, especially if you have done it all your life and dreamed of being in the NFL, you should know by then it’s a dangerous game and hazardous to your health. If you signed up anyway………You accepted the hazard and the great money. My kid would kill to play in the NFL just as many of you have dreamed so dont tell me you dont miss the Old days of the NFL when men were men and the game of football was dangerous but we all loved it. If the Saints are killed for having side bets for fun, we all will be punished with watching touch football.

  71. bwerickson82 says: Mar 6, 2012 6:57 PM

    You know for some guys who are making the league minimum, football is all they have. Lets say perhaps when some guy know one has ever heard of, like victor cruz, comes out of no where and succeeds. If a team decides to put a bounty on him and injure the guy, well they are almost messing with his life and career. Yeah I know he can get injured during a play, but as the Saints did in the NFC title game, they hit after the whistle and had very questionable calls. Bounties have no place in the NFL or anywhere for that matter.

  72. saintsstillwillwin says: Mar 6, 2012 7:00 PM

    It’s something how people are saying Drew Brees should leave. I guess the Heart and Soul of the city and team had no clue. Everybody but Drew. Take Drew legs out, kill the Saints, send F-15s to the city and destroy it. Please, I am a Saints fan who is very much disgusted with the Saints for this but posting things like the Aints should die in another Katrina and our city is poor is really sad. We buy tickets and cheer, we are not in the locker room. Trust me this is only the beginning. People really believe it was and is only the Saints who did this.

  73. mark0226 says: Mar 6, 2012 7:01 PM

    @zn0rseman says:

    You know who you should feel more sorry for? Viking fans. Because in the end, they are the team that got robbed of a Super Bowl victory as a direct result of the Saints cheating.

    Let’s be real. The Colts would have won against the Vikings because Brad “Chilly” Childress would never have called an onside kick to start the 2nd half.

  74. jason1980 says: Mar 6, 2012 7:01 PM

    Just listen to all the loser fans from franchises that couldn’t beat a college team. The Saints will be fine, they ‘ll ride out this rough patch, and get right back down to business. You haters just go on hating, because that Lombardi ain’t goin’ nowhere. One more thing, we don’t care about being loved league wise, our fan base is all the love need. Geaux SAINTS!!!!!

  75. racerx2k11 says: Mar 6, 2012 7:02 PM

    “We acknowledge that the violations disclosed by the NFL happened under our watch. We take full responsibility”

    What exactly are they acknowledging here? That the bounty system happened under their watch? This is the sort of statement I would expect from someone not culpable, like Benson.

    “This has brought undue hardship on Mr. Benson, who had nothing to do with this activity. He has been nothing but supportive and for that we both apologize to him.”

    So, you are apologizing for the hardship brought upon Benson? He’s not supporting you because you are ethical or moral, he’s supporting you because you doubled the value of his franchise.

    “These are serious violations and we understand the negative impact it has had on our game. Both of us have made it clear within our organization that this will never happen again, and make that same promise to the NFL and most importantly to all of our fans.”

    Again, no apology in here to the NFL, the players injured or had their potential earnings impacted, or even the fans.

    Why not include the line,

    “We had zero to do with the preparation of this statement. This was crafted by team council to generate maximum emotion, with admitting to as little as possible in the vaguest of terms. We felt this was necessary due to the onslaught of pending civil litigation about to come our way”

  76. saintsly says: Mar 6, 2012 7:06 PM

    ackattack22 says:
    Mar 6, 2012 6:35 PM
    @ningenito78… So bounties are OK with you? Then I guess you won’t have a problem if all 31 of the other teams put a bounty on Drew Brees. How about $5,000 to knock him out of the game, $10,000 to knock him out for the season and $15,000 to end his career? If and when that happens, remember not to complain because apparently, as you put it, “that’s what being on a football team at any level entails”. Get ready Saints…cuz you know what they say about KARMA. It’s coming!
    ……………………………………………………………………………
    No sir I wouldn’t………These players are already paid millions to do exactly that. It’s in their contract. I am not nieve to think that Brees is untouchable but he had great protection. Remember the Dallas game where Brees was on his ass all nite long and being driven into the ground by Demarcus Ware ? No crying here. That was just great football and I would love to see it again. If he made 50K for his night, it was worth it because he ate Brees up. We lost and that was that. No crying here……..Fool !!!!!

  77. miamisaint3255 says: Mar 6, 2012 7:06 PM

    NFL is forever changed, no longer will hard hits be celebrated and helmet to helmet hits and long time health effects down the road are only ok for the interior linemen.

    But while it is not the NFL of earlier better days, it is still an exciting game to watch.

    And make no mistake about it, while the Saints are going to be seriously penalized, the most prolific offense in the history of the NFL is coming back in ’12 and even if suspensions keeps this team from reaching their potential during regular season in Ws and Ls, they will likely still make playoffs and be at full strength then (if no major injuries) and they will be very dangerous team, no different than this year.

    Brees is going to sign a long-term deal and while saints have cap room problems this year, they don’t the following few years after, so this is a team that will be contending for 4 more years or so. Report of the Saints complete demise are silly and only eye catching for the be all end all “click” and page view on the internet.

    Defense was bad last year and will likely be bad again in ’12, but that offense is just prolific, can’t really be stopped (regardless of whether Nicks and / or Colston come back). If Saints do lose Nicks and Colston, look for some adequate replacements anyways.

  78. saintsstillwillwin says: Mar 6, 2012 7:08 PM

    I thought Brett Farve threw a pick when he could have ran 5 yards set up a 25 yard field goal and go to the Superbowl. I will admit THE NFL AND THE REFS were watching the same game and blew a lot of calls on brett. Kurt Warner was sacked once and popped trying to tackle a DT who he tossed a pick to. P.S. Mike Vick doesn’t hurt himself every year, but of course that’s fine.

  79. Carl Gerbschmidt says: Mar 6, 2012 7:14 PM

    By the way, Sean, thanks for picking the Aints over the Packers. Oh, and also thanks for kicking in some of your salary so you could prevent GWill from getting on the plane to interview Green Bay!!!

  80. besdayz says: Mar 6, 2012 7:16 PM

    Where is the Joe Gibbs story about paying directly players? How about covering this issue without hypocrisy and implicate everyone in the NFL who did this?

  81. melikefootball says: Mar 6, 2012 8:03 PM

    If they take full responability than they should both step down.. Typical pro sports they feel all they have to do AFTER the fact is to say I’m sorry and i take the blame.. Then step down!

  82. flaccodelic says: Mar 6, 2012 8:05 PM

    “This has brought undue hardship on Mr. Benson, who had nothing to do with this activity. He has been nothing but supportive and for that we both apologize to him.”

    You apologize for making him be supportive?

  83. northsidesteel says: Mar 6, 2012 8:11 PM

    I can appreciate the uproar of fans, I have to post again that while the fact that any organization would support this type of action is questionable at best, any sort of bounty in the NFL has to be consider more of an office pool. Few of us can imagine what goes on during a play for anyone on the field. Coverages, route running, and blocking assignments are all predetermined and assigned. The thought that any of these well paid men would abandon those assignments to pick up $1500 dollars, is laughable. I don’t deny that one might give a extra twist of an ankle or eye gouge during a fumble pile up, but these men don’t try to ruin one and others careers on a play by play basis.

  84. fusion3450 says: Mar 6, 2012 9:12 PM

    do some research before running you head

  85. pnthrz1 says: Mar 6, 2012 9:14 PM

    BountyGate, Brees Tag Issue, the ‘Aints shall fall again.
    Feel good over that, Who Dey Nation, when Cam sees you twice a year, as the Panthers rise to dominate the division.
    Now about those pesky Falcons….

  86. fusion3450 says: Mar 6, 2012 9:16 PM

    this shows how many of you fear the saints. all the run them out of town, ban them from playoff games, strip their title talk. they did not cheat. they did not get flagged. they did not get fined. clean hits. stop crying. damn. its been over 2 years. this is a media driven thing going on here and there scape goats

  87. bassmaster357 says: Mar 6, 2012 9:21 PM

    As owner I would Fire everyone involved and as NFL Commissioner I would fine all involved with a hefty fine and ban all coaches and players from being on the sidelines and ever playing again in the NFL.This is all uncall for and should be punished by everyone.

  88. randygnyc says: Mar 6, 2012 9:32 PM

    I’ve been saying for days that this has CRIMINAL prosecution written all over it. There seems to be a serious RICO violation here. Conspiracy to commit crimes (tax evasion, premeditated battery for money) with a convicted felon providing monetary influence. Say what you want but we haven’t heard the end of this just yet.

  89. n001363 says: Mar 6, 2012 9:42 PM

    I want them out of the league for good. Anything less and the league is no better than than these coaches. The NFL will be the new pro wrestling. All a lie!

  90. djstat says: Mar 6, 2012 9:44 PM

    No news for a trial… What is the sentence commish?

  91. n001363 says: Mar 6, 2012 9:47 PM

    Saints fans. Losers, idiots, paper bag models. Your Lombardi trophy is tainted. We are haters. Can’t wait for the next category five hurricane to wipe out your dung heap of a city!

  92. boobsmcgoo says: Mar 6, 2012 9:48 PM

    Saints fan here. I am upset and embarrassed at the actions of my team. I can understand the trash talk from fans around the league…except the Viking fans. What a bunch of cry babies! Am I right, people,!? You want a Lombardi trophy? Stop crying, stop skipping your turn in the draft, stop signing Donavan McNabb, and stop trading draft picks for a former player, only to cut him two weeks later! Oh yeah, and patch that roof, losers!

  93. kimtrouard says: Mar 6, 2012 9:51 PM

    This is hilarious. Every team in the league has some form of these bounties or incentives for big hits and big plays. And, every team is trying to knock the opposing qb out of the game. Saints opponents are trying to knock Drew out as well. Simply because they used terms like “bounties” and “cart off” people are freaking out. This could easily be any NFL team in this trouble.
    The best part is how the Vikes fans keep saying they were robbed of the SB, as if there wasn’t another game vs. another excellent team after the NFCCG.

  94. gcsuk says: Mar 6, 2012 9:57 PM

    NOW does Darren Sharper shut up?

  95. nfl fan says: Mar 6, 2012 10:01 PM

    You are both a disgrace to New Orleans, the Saints Organization and all NFL fans that pay their money in good faith. Your punishment can not be severe enough.

  96. boobsmcgoo says: Mar 6, 2012 10:16 PM

    n001363 says:
    Mar 6, 2012 9:47 PM
    Saints fans. Losers, idiots, paper bag models. Your Lombardi trophy is tainted. We are haters. Can’t wait for the next category five hurricane to wipe out your dung heap of a city!

    ………………………..

    You are a bad person.

  97. fusion3450 says: Mar 6, 2012 10:20 PM

    always an idiot has to bring up katrina. we are so past that down here jackass

  98. prplpuzzetrz says: Mar 6, 2012 11:13 PM

    What is even more sad & pathetic…. This is really no secret…. They flaunted their strategy before the Vikings game in 2009 NFCCG… And we saw the hits, and what did my Vikes do to counter the attack? On a far less competitive team???? Blow it!!!! Yes, dropped the ball, make mental mistakes…. That is what hurts most of all!!! Favre got his a$$ whooped and they didn’t fight back enough.
    In the end, there will be a few fines, few suspensions , but aside from the behavior of some idiots, there will be a bigger story next month to hold our attention!! Like Jereny Lin etc. would have been fun to see the same kinda “fight” in my 09 vikes, maybe they would be holding the Lombardi

  99. billharford31 says: Mar 7, 2012 12:19 AM

    Somewhere in Nantucket, Bill Belichick is smiling.

  100. miguel3557 says: Mar 7, 2012 12:28 AM

    If these two jerks now acknowledge that the bounty practice they used for years seriously violated the integrity of the game, why didn’t they see this serious violation years ago and ended it then. These two jerks found the holy grail way, way too late, only after the practice was made public. Their absolution of the club’s owner is a great deal more pathetic and irritating than it is noble.

    Instead of paying empty, cheap lip service to being accountable, these two jerks should quit the positions they have sullied for years. Payton should be barred by the league from coaching for at least five years.

  101. dumplingsrbrown says: Mar 7, 2012 5:07 AM

    Okay….so some of you Saints fans are seriously going to argue over the semantics of using the word cheating?

    Technically you are correct, but thats similar to the difference of playing Monopoly and snagging an extra $100 from the bank after passing Go versus punching your sister in the face to make sure she doesn’t win.

    Thank you for clarifying it to us! Wouldn’t want to mistake reprehensible and malicious actions “cheating”. The horror!!

  102. mitchitized says: Mar 7, 2012 6:34 AM

    The problem isn’t the bounties, it’s that they got caught, and denied doing it, and got caught again.

    Just like Watergate, what Nixon did was what every presidential candidate has done since the birth of this country. His mistake was getting caught, and then denying it.

    What the Saints did, happens all the way down to the High School level, and I can guarantee you the vast majority of teams in the NFL have bounties in one fashion or another.

    Let’s get the facts straight here: The punishment is for getting caught, denying it, and getting caught again.

  103. gmsingh says: Mar 7, 2012 7:23 AM

    Three words: Favre got screwed.

  104. johnster67 says: Mar 7, 2012 1:15 PM

    This is all ridiculous. That said, what about if any teams dont do this, and they stay under the salary cap, then they really get screwed in this whole deal. I wonder what Reggie Bush got out of all this, you know he had to be in on it somehow, since it involved illicit funds.

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