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Bounty report paints ugly picture for Saints, NFL

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The NFL’s overall level of concern regarding the bounty system maintained by the Saints became obvious when the league tried to drop the press release announcing the findings into the shallow end of the news cycle by releasing it on late Friday afternoon.

In addition to the official statement from the NFL, the league’s security department generated a “confidential” report on March 2, which ended up being not so confidential, after all.  Within 30 minutes after the league disclosed the Saints’ bounty system, reporters were pointing to specific details from the four-page report written by NFL Security.

But while the fact that linebacker Jonathan Vilma offered $10,000 to any teammate who knocked Vikings quarterback Brett Favre out of the 2009 NFC title game represents one of the most jarring disclosures in the confidential report, it contains other specific conclusions that merit closer consideration and scrutiny, not on a piecemeal basis but all in one place.

So here’s a list of things that tend to jump off the page when reading the report that the league didn’t make public last Friday.

1.  The first allegation came in early 2010.  The Vikings claimed (as it turned out, accurately) that a defensive player who knocked Favre out of the game would receive $10,000.

2.  When interviewed by NFL Security, defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, linebackers coach Joe Vitt, and defensive end Anthony Hargrove each “categorically denied that any such activity had occurred.”  Hargrove was interviewed because he was “believed to have knowledge of the activity.”  Apparently, no other interviews were conducted, which means that the “categorical denials” (i.e., bald-faced lies) either were convincing — or the NFL opted not to engage in a scorched-earth investigation for fear of what may have been discovered.

3.  A specific Vikings player had made the allegation of a bounty on Brett Favre.  But that player then declined to provide any evidence to support the charge, and he actually retracted the allegation when interviewed.  (Maybe snitches really do get stitches.)

4.  When NFL Security went to interview Saints employees, coach Sean Payton instructed his staff to “get your ducks in a row.”  The report doesn’t elaborate on the meaning of Payton’s remark; he quite possibly was telling the assistant coaches to get their stories (or, as the case may be, their categorical denials) straight.

5.  In the latter part of the 2011 season, “new and credible information became available.”  The report doesn’t specify the source or type of the evidence, but it’s widely believed that someone, for whatever reason, blew the whistle.

6.  As reported elsewhere, the notorious Mike Ornstein pledged $10,000 to the bounty fund during the 2009 season.  In 2011, he also pledged substantial amounts “toward a bounty on an opposing quarterback.”  At one point, Ornstein sent an email to Payton committing $5,000 toward a bounty.  The fact that outside money came into the fund could be the primary magnet for the attention of state or federal authorities — especially since Ornstein is a twice-convicted felon.

7.  Though the report doesn’t expressly say it, the Saints apparently used the bounty system during the 2011 playoffs, when they faced the Lions and the 49ers.

8.  The report concludes that various persons engaged in “conduct detrimental” to the interests of the league:  the players who contributed money to the fund; the players who targeted players from opposing teams; the coaches who administered the program; head coach Sean Payton and G.M. Mickey Loomis for “failing to supervise the actions of their players and assistant coaches, failing to respond to the instructions of the club’s owner, and failing to ensure that club personnel fully cooperated during league inquiries into these matters.”  The use of that label — “conduct detrimental” — likely means that there will be significant punishment.

9.  The report at no point states that any person engaged in conduct detrimental to the interests of the league by flat-out lying to NFL Security.  In many respects, those violations are as serious as the underlying infractions.

It’s important to remember that the report doesn’t reflect mere allegations or speculation.  The report contains the findings of NFL Security.  This doesn’t mean that the things contained in the report definitely happened beyond a shadow of a doubt, but it means that the NFL’s in-house investigators have concluded that the statements are true.

The next step will be for the league to announce the consequences.  Don’t be surprised if they are severe.

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83 Responses to “Bounty report paints ugly picture for Saints, NFL”
  1. apooster says: Mar 7, 2012 9:09 PM

    Gregg Williams – Suspended for life
    Sean Payton – Fine + 1 year suspension
    Saints Organization – $1,500,000 fine, loss of SuperBowl, and forfeiting 2nd, 3rd, and 4th round picks this year, along with 1st round picks in 2013, and 2014.

  2. bluefan204 says: Mar 7, 2012 9:12 PM

    Oh man, this is gonna be huge. Quite possibly the biggest scandal in NFL history. These guys do not deserve to be a part of the NFL ever again.

  3. bozosforall says: Mar 7, 2012 9:13 PM

    apooster says:
    Mar 7, 2012 9:09 PM
    Gregg Williams – Suspended for life
    Sean Payton – Fine + 1 year suspension
    Saints Organization – $1,500,000 fine, loss of SuperBowl, and forfeiting 2nd, 3rd, and 4th round picks this year, along with 1st round picks in 2013, and 2014.

    __
    No way that they should be punished any worse than the punishment that the Pats got in 2007 for cheating.

  4. pilot2011 says: Mar 7, 2012 9:13 PM

    The bounty started with Fujita and it went onto Vilma and the current Saint defense. Get rid of these bums.

    youtube Fujita cheap shot on Steve Smith
    youtube Harper cheap shot on Steve Smith

    love,
    89

  5. detruthhurts says: Mar 7, 2012 9:17 PM

    Good bye aints!!!! Who Dat!!!!!

  6. mikeinsanfran says: Mar 7, 2012 9:18 PM

    Donte Whitner wants to know how Pierre Thomas’ head feels?

  7. bleed4philly says: Mar 7, 2012 9:18 PM

    Two-time felon tells me all I need to know.

  8. bigjdve says: Mar 7, 2012 9:20 PM

    I wonder how long Roger will make us wait to hear.

  9. nagaswan says: Mar 7, 2012 9:22 PM

    Payton knew about outside money? Lifetime ban.

  10. mikeinsanfran says: Mar 7, 2012 9:24 PM

    pilot2011 – That Fujita hit was from 2006, when Williams was in Washington. Everything I’m hearing is that the Bountry program went where Greg Williams went… I think that is just a B.S. cheap shot.

  11. melikefootball says: Mar 7, 2012 9:24 PM

    God-del and his henchman better step up on this one.. God-del has for two years wanted to cut down on dangerous hits by hefty fines and suspensions. Here is a team who has practiced this bounty for three years and got away with it. Every player that has paid through the nose is keeping a close eye on this one. How does the league office help from giving out a huge punishment for coaches, players and teams that have done this under Williams and head coaches knowledge.

  12. derekjetersmansion says: Mar 7, 2012 9:26 PM

    Williams, Loomis, and Payton need to be fined at least a million dollars. Suspending them doesn’t solve anything.

  13. Mr. Wright 212 says: Mar 7, 2012 9:28 PM

    Yet another reason to hate that fraud team, their fake, frontrunning, Johnnycumlately fans, that pendejo Brees and that smug piece, Payton.

  14. touchdownroddywhite says: Mar 7, 2012 9:30 PM

    Drop.The.Nuke.

  15. neauxgeaux44 says: Mar 7, 2012 9:32 PM

    If there is a bounty on stupidity, then Apooster and the other idiots above are toast…but, explains how McDonald’s finds employees…

  16. babyhorsemorgan says: Mar 7, 2012 9:32 PM

    Bounty on Favre was over $10,000, but no accurate figure could be found for the bounty on Aaron Rodgers. One player described it as “small change, coins mostly, a couple small denomination bills. About what you’d see in a panhandler’s hat or the tip jar at a fast food restaurant.”.

  17. time2speakup says: Mar 7, 2012 9:33 PM

    And then there is the owner. This man tried to get his people to stay within the rules, however, he failed to follow through to insure they did. Sad as it may be, he (owner) is really going to take it in the nether regions – and that’s sad I think. And if either the coach or GM is left still standing with employment, they’re gonna have to be slapped down and thereby double-dipped by him. Before it is all said and done, this is going to be even more of a mess than it appears this 7th day of March 2012.

  18. 6ball says: Mar 7, 2012 9:34 PM

    .

    Lying, cheating and stealing has become accepted in America. Be it government, the courts, the police, businesses, and even our clergy.

    Has anyone ever considered this is why our country is the way it is.

    .

  19. rexryansdirtysock says: Mar 7, 2012 9:34 PM

    @apooster

    Loss of a Super Bowl?

    Really. I’m not a Saints fan. I don’t support what they did, it was wrong and shouldn’t be allowed in the NFL.

    But the Saints went out and won those games. They won the Super Bowl. This isn’t some college football bullsh-t where you can take away awards and victories.

    I’m all for taking away draft picks and what not. But what was in the past is in the past when it comes to the Super Bowl victory.

  20. bcgreg says: Mar 7, 2012 9:39 PM

    How does this affect the current lawsuits of former players against the league about concussions? When old timers like Carl Banks come out and say this “bounty” type system has been around forever, I have no sympathy for these same guys crying foul about health issues due to concussions later in life. I mean if they have had systems in place that encourage “knock out” blows, then why should anyone care what effects these hits had on these players. They obviously didn’t care when they were playing.

  21. alldonesmith says: Mar 7, 2012 9:40 PM

    that bounty program sure didn’t help them against SF.

  22. jigga757 says: Mar 7, 2012 9:43 PM

    if they used the bounty system against the Lions and 49ers….i cant tell…Matthew Stafford 400+ yards passing…Calvin Johnson 200+ yards receiving on 12 catches…and Vernon Davis who ran right pass the idiots LBs who was scared to jam him at the line and ran the same 2 routes 10 times the whole game to get 180+ yards on 8 or 9 catches….BOUNTIES WHERE???? look like the bounty was on our their a$$ secondary and that aint including steve smith eating up the secondary the 1st game and Aaron Rodgers airing it out on them..WHERE WAS THE BOUNTIES??? Josh Freeman threw all over them the 1st game…Eli threw for 400+…Jake Locker almost beat them…AND WHERE WAS THE BOUNTIES AGAINST THE RAMS LOL….THE RAMS…THHHEEE RAAAMMMS CMON MAN…i guess they aint make no money wit their supposed to be bounty system

  23. ausernamethatisavailable says: Mar 7, 2012 9:43 PM

    As Mike in san fran points out, if you don’t believe SF had bounties as well, you either don’t pay close enough attention to the games or you are extremely naive. The hit on PT was a spear to the head intending to knock him out and a funny thing happened….HE DROPPED THE BALL AND DID NOT RETURN. This cost the Saints 7 pts and their only true dual threat RB. Without that hit SF loses the game.

    And people think that taking players out of the game is not a part of the strategy of the game? Obviously with legal hits so your team is not penalized and you are not fined, but seriously let’s not kid ourselves. All the Saints did differently than anybody else was get caught.

  24. gotampabay52 says: Mar 7, 2012 9:44 PM

    bozo, seriously they should be punshied no more the the Pats who cheated. um they had video of another team like u banging ur boyfriend just a video. This is a coaching staff putting money on table to take down a NFL player. video is just film doesnt take a player out causing them to not walk again your an idiot. saint fans who dat fans, its “who is that, not who dat,” yet you bang ur sis in the bayou it comes out who dat glad the saints durning this lent season are the devils.

  25. mikeinsanfran says: Mar 7, 2012 9:44 PM

    I think Marshawn Lynch and Donte Whitner had a better solution: Hit harder back and win the game!!!

  26. chatham10 says: Mar 7, 2012 9:45 PM

    Do we remember when the Saints were the “feel good story” now this happens and on top of that there are reports that Bree’s is pissed about having the franchise tag put on him and he will only make $17 or $18 million this coming year and he says that he will not sign it. I understand make as much as you can but I find it hard to be pissed off if they are going to pay me these bucks.
    In fact it sounds silly or stupid or both.

  27. teal379 says: Mar 7, 2012 9:48 PM

    I remember Ted Thompson interviewing McCarthy and then it was to be Peyton.

    I’d say he chose wisely….

  28. bangreggwilliams says: Mar 7, 2012 9:48 PM

    You’d think that after a few days of hearing about this story the shock and disgust would wear off…it hasn’t.

    Gregg Williams and the Saints, I hope this is eating at you. I hope you’re losing sleep wondering what’s going to happen to you. Suffer…feel the pain… disgusting cheaters.

  29. pudgalvin says: Mar 7, 2012 9:56 PM

    I was a guy that, when this first surfaced, thought it wasn’t a big deal. I can admit when I’m wrong.

  30. delmonte55 says: Mar 7, 2012 9:57 PM

    “Though the report doesn’t say it” I will go ahead and write that it did. Come on Mike! Let’s have some journalistic integrity.

  31. apooster says: Mar 7, 2012 9:57 PM

    The Patriots (not a fan), never went out to hurt and injure other players. They filmed walk-throughs, practices and signals. No malicious physical intent there.

    Here is why outside money takes this to another level:

    With outside money, it’s pretty blatantly obvious that this was a huge gambling racket. People were influencing the outcomes of games to make money.

    Get a pool, have Ornstein give them to the Saints, take out Favre and all the people who bet on the Saints to win make a lot of money.

    If this is the case, watch the feds get involved, the Senate, and who knows who else might involved. In this case the Saints will face a MASSIVE penalty.

  32. joesuhunka says: Mar 7, 2012 9:58 PM

    Wow!! Getting well beyond Pete Rose territory now.

  33. wcoastsaintsfan says: Mar 7, 2012 10:01 PM

    How about a complete copy of the report rather than just providing the juicy bits to make your story more appealing? This is out of hand with you media guys.

  34. ishoulbeagm says: Mar 7, 2012 10:02 PM

    Yea take their super bowl win away… And bill walsh’s mike didka’s, bill parcels’, mike tomlin’s, jon gruden’s, bill cower’s Brian billick’s, and many other titles. Matter of fact suspend the whole NFL, scrap it and start over. Immediately stop all college and high school football as well because that is where this problem stems from. Anyone who has played football knows some sort of system like this, ex. Stickers on helmets, weekly big hit awards ect. It’s not cash but it’s also not professional sports where they get paid to play. To rain fire and brimstone on the saints would be like taping a leak and calling it fixed. They should be disciplined but just a little more than the pats were for spygate. Loss of picks, fines for players coaches and management, and 4 game suspensions for all players and coaches involved. IMHO

  35. n001363 says: Mar 7, 2012 10:03 PM

    Take every player, every coach, and remind them who needs who. The NFL is bigger than any of them. The fans make it so. Clean house, clean well, make it shock and aww. So any player in the future would see themselves flipping burgers if they ever do it. The fans giveth, and when the league is corrupt, the fans will taketh away!!!!!

  36. krw81 says: Mar 7, 2012 10:07 PM

    The Vikings found a way to lose the 2009 NFC Championship game as a team with a history of bad luck, five turnovers and some questionable officiating. The NFL has admitted that the officiating crew blew 9 calls during regular time all in favor of the Saints. In over-time there were a total of 12 plays 5 of which were reviewed by the booth and all called in favor of the Saints! If it sounds like a duck and it walks like a duck it probably is a duck. That game was gift wrapped and given to the Saints!

    Now it comes to light that the Saints placed a bounty on Favre! The punishment for the Saints organization, personnel and players must be severe!!!

  37. footballfan5255 says: Mar 7, 2012 10:07 PM

    Though the report doesn’t expressly say it, the Saints apparently used the bounty system during the 2011 playoffs, when they faced the Lions and the 49ers. I guess there was no bounty on Vernon Davis.

  38. n001363 says: Mar 7, 2012 10:08 PM

    Gotampabay52. Seriously dude. Did you drop out of school in the second grade. Typical Saints fan!

  39. willkerns says: Mar 7, 2012 10:09 PM

    obliviously they didn’t use the bounty system against the Seahawks in the 2010 playoffs. Beast mode took over!

  40. jcf78 says: Mar 7, 2012 10:11 PM

    Hahaha saints b*****s!!!!! Niners had a bounty on you COME ON!!!! Rules are head to head on defenseless receiver, head to head on a established receiver/runner who puts his head down admissible!!! I know you boys are cheating c*n*s but blind as well!!!! Ig feels good to shut up these saints fans, who because of one super bowl, think they are the kings!!!!! More so like the drama queens, and after Goddell you all will be bitches!!!! Lol

  41. gimmeabruschi says: Mar 7, 2012 10:12 PM

    I still don’t get how the owner can tell them to knock it off, not report the infraction to the league, and come out of this unscathed.

  42. 49erlifer says: Mar 7, 2012 10:13 PM

    Screw a bounty the niners defense will take you out the game for free just ask half the running backs they faced this year!

  43. rascalmanny says: Mar 7, 2012 10:16 PM

    Hope you Saints fans enjoyed your SB and all the sympathy for Katrina.

    I hope ALL the coaches and players involved get banned for life from the NFL. Maybe legal action will be taken as well.

    I also would like the NFL to investigate if any refs didn’t throw flags on purpose. During that season many Saints hits were not called.

  44. Deb says: Mar 7, 2012 10:24 PM

    What a fine mess the Saints have created for the league. Football is like politics; folks can overlook a few small corruptions as the price of doing business. But when you turn it into organized crime, it’s gone too far.

    Rumors of bounties have been around as long as I can remember. But it’s seemed more of an in-game “take out that defender and I’ll buy you a case” thing. Now the Saints have an outside bagman paying players under the table to plan hits on opposing QBs. That does not fit Goodell’s family friendly corporate image.

    When is the last time an NFL Security report leaked?? Seems like Goodell wants everyone to know how serious this situation is before he drops the hammer. The league won’t monkey with a Super Bowl. But I could see Williams being banned for life and others taking some hard hits.

  45. cashcarewins says: Mar 7, 2012 10:25 PM

    I was sooo happy for New Orleans when the Saints won the Super Bowl. After following this story for the last several days, I think the only real punishment that will be understood and really consequential is to take away the Super Bowl. Than you would be left with the Vikings and Colts as Conference champions with no Super Bowl / NFL champion for 2009. Ask any coach, team owner, or player and probably 99% of them would gladly pay 6-7 figure fine if it meant winning a Super Bowl. So any fine leaves the guilty parties with the undeserved satisfaction of saying “it was all worth it to win the Super Bowl.” I am really sad to be saying this, but where else can you go if you want justice?

  46. fcs34 says: Mar 7, 2012 10:32 PM

    If I were Greg williams and Sean Payton I’d have someone else start my car for me from now on.

  47. durno99 says: Mar 7, 2012 10:35 PM

    This team and coach is disgusting!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Greg Williams reported to sean Peyton! 2 time felon and does anyone remeber the Pain Killers they were handing out that he did not know about? This guy is a puke as well as that team. I think the NFL is equally guilty as they watched Favre get creamed and called nothing for the feel good story from Katrina and Drew Brees with his little boy!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Shame on both!!!!!!!!!!

  48. Mr. Wright 212 says: Mar 7, 2012 10:41 PM

    apooster says:
    Mar 7, 2012 9:09 PM
    Gregg Williams – Suspended for life
    Sean Payton – Fine + 1 year suspension
    Saints Organization – $1,500,000 fine, loss of SuperBowl, and forfeiting 2nd, 3rd, and 4th round picks this year, along with 1st round picks in 2013, and 2014.
    ————-
    That Super Bowl team was a sham anyway; and the rest of this, I agree with — since Williams has apparently been doing this for years, wherever he’s been.

  49. noeffinway says: Mar 7, 2012 10:48 PM

    I hope that penalizing KC for tampering doesn’t get brushed aside and forgotten due to this bigger fish to fry.

  50. justwaittilnextyear says: Mar 7, 2012 10:48 PM

    Scum….The whole coaching staff needs 2 years to think about this. Williams lifetime banishment.2 first round draft picks lost. Loss of Lombardi Trophy…and this will never happen again! BTW Saint were my 2nd favorite team!

  51. sneaker3949 says: Mar 7, 2012 10:49 PM

    I have been a Saints fan for over 25 years, this is a very bad time to be a Saints fan!!! But if you dont think that there has been some sort of bounty system in place since pee wee football, then your crazy. Look at a college football players helmet at the end of the season, those stickers arent for good grades, they are for good hits or good plays. The way they went about it was wrong, but they just got caught doing what everybody else has been doing since the beginning of time!!!

  52. triviaman says: Mar 7, 2012 10:53 PM

    If you want to hurt the Saints this is how you do it…3 infractions should lead to 3 penalties.They circumvented the salary cap, lied to the NFL and the injury bounties.
    1) For the salary cap…the next 3 years the Saints salary cap is reduced by 1/3 compared to the rest of the league. If they’re over now they must get under.
    2) For lying to the NFL…all coaches who knew are suspended for 1 year (Gregg Williams lifetime ban). All players who it is proved participated are given 5 games suspensions.
    3) For the bounties… they lose ALL draft picks for the the next two years. And as an added bonus (if it can be proven) a Saints pick should be awarded to any team that was directly affected by the bounty system I.E the Cardinals

  53. istateyourname says: Mar 7, 2012 10:57 PM

    We’re going to have to work this into fantasy football somehow. Maybe if your QB, or any player, gets carted off, the other team gets 3-6 points or so…

  54. jason1214 says: Mar 7, 2012 11:02 PM

    Suspensions, fines, loss of multiple day 1 draft choices, but I don’t believe for one second the SB is going away.
    Loss of those draft choices however will HURT

  55. cowboycjn says: Mar 7, 2012 11:10 PM

    Your quote: apooster says: Mar 7, 2012 9:57 PM
    The Patriots (not a fan), never went out to hurt and injure other players. They filmed walk-throughs, practices and signals. No malicious physical intent there.

    Here is why outside money takes this to another level:
    With outside money, it’s pretty blatantly obvious that this was a huge gambling racket. People were influencing the outcomes of games to make money.

    Get a pool, have Ornstein give them to the Saints, take out Favre and all the people who bet on the Saints to win make a lot of money.

    If this is the case, watch the feds get involved, the Senate, and who knows who else might involved. In this case the Saints will face a MASSIVE penalty.
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    About a huge gambling racket. I 100% agree with you, but the entire NFL league is a huge organized gambling racket. Bets placed all over the country especially by bookies in Las Vegas put millions on games and playoffs. Every game is paid off to win or lose depending on the odds.(Your team too) The 2010 playoffs when the Saints lost to the Seahawks – you think they were so strong all season then just played like lil sissies and lost?? The game was fixed to that outcome. The Saints losing to the Rams this past season- another fixed game to allow the high betting aganist the odds to rake in millions to the mobs. You are all being taken if you think games are not fixed.

  56. jessethegreat says: Mar 7, 2012 11:17 PM

    Kinda feel bad for Reggie Bush. He had to give the Heisman back, now the NFL’s going to take his ring back.

    With the gambling/unethical outside influence effecting the outcome of the games during the Saints “championship” year, the league needs to remove the term “World Champion New Orleans Saints” from all their books.

    If I were any player that was injured during a game against the Saints in the past few years, you better bet I’d be lawyering up and going after that cash cow. Sue the player(s) involved in the injury. Sue Williams, Sue the guy handing the money under the table (inciting violence against me), Sue Payton since he was well aware of it, and Sue the owner since he knew it was happening and didn’t put a stop to it.

  57. nomesayin says: Mar 7, 2012 11:29 PM

    Conspicuously absent in any article I’ve read is the role of the lame-brained officiating crews that worked the games in question. They were right frickin’ there on the field. They must have heard something to make them suspicious, just like the ‘unnamed’ Viking player.

    Suspicious enough to flag the Saints, for no other reason other than the distinct possibility that they could have lost control of the game. Any team aware of a bounty against their star players could have started a brawl on the field.

    I watched some games where the Raiders were flagged two or three times in the same drive for some pitiful holding call which happened on the other side of the field. They threw flags every other play in some drives of a few games. Hue was losing his mind. It is arguable that the NFL penalty record which was “earned” by the Raiders this yr was the final straw in Hue’s head coaching career in Oakland. It was ridiculous.

    Yet, they never noticed anything curious in the Saints’ games? Gimme a break.

    When you consider some of the idiotic, game-clinching penalty flags the officials shamelessly threw this yr alone, is it not odd that they did not see anything untoward in any of the Saints’ games?

    Jus’ sayin’

  58. johntonioholmes says: Mar 7, 2012 11:29 PM

    Here’s my biggest problem with this story:

    The Saints go out and actually try to injure players. In the Vikings game, they hit Favre on almost every play.

    In the 2 years following, I noticed that their defensive backs consistently hit helmet to helmet on defenseless players. At the very least, they launched an awful lot. I’m not even joking–I actually wrote to Peter King about it because I felt that James Harrison was getting a bad rap.

    As you might guess, I’m a Steelers fan. I make no excuses for Harrison’s style of play.

    But he actually got suspended! How did no Saints defender not receive the same treatment? How did the Saints avoid $75,000 fines?

    Why did the officials and the NFL notice Harrison’s style of play was unsafe, but they didn’t notice that the Saints style of play was unsafe until they conducted an investigation?

    I’m only using Harrison as an example. What I’m trying to get at is this: Theleague should have taken notice of the Saints a lot sooner than this.

    They notice Harrison and Suh; how could they miss 11 guys on one defense?

  59. ravensman says: Mar 7, 2012 11:30 PM

    In my opinion Goddell should hit them where it hurts the most – their wallets. Taking away an abundance of draft picks would hurt the quality of play, and in the long run the fans that pay to see the games are the ones that suffer. Not just the Saints fans, but the fans of teams that they oppose.

  60. davikes says: Mar 7, 2012 11:31 PM

    Did Mike Ornstein bet on the Saints? Deadspin has a story saying that Ornstein contributed $10,000 to the Saint’s bounty during the ’09 season. That implies that a two time felon, who is really tight with Sean Payton, put the bounty on a QB, maybe Warner (Because the other bounty that large was on Farve by Warner. There is no other mention of a bounty that large that season.) He also contributed money at least twice more targeting opposing quarterbacks. This is much worse for the NFL than a player doing that. You have to wonder what his motivation is. Is he gambling on games? Given that he has been convicted of felonies twice, including for defrauding the NFL, it’s not really a stretch to think he was betting on games. Why else would he put that much cash into the bounty? If the NFL can connect Ornstein to betting on games, Payton is done. Or at least he should be.

    Also, the NFL apparently has documentation of how much Ornstein contributed. They will turn it over to the IRS, because the NFL has no other way to punish him. I’m not sure what the IRS would call it or if it’s a felony, but it might be conspiracy to avoid paying income tax. He’s got big problems. The IRS will lean on him to get cooperation, because he will not want to go back to jail again.

  61. rkingndayton says: Mar 7, 2012 11:32 PM

    1st round pick – gone
    G. Williams – 1 mill gone and 2 year suspension
    S. Payton – fired and 500k gone
    Saints – 500k fine
    Let’s be realistic and not go overboard.

  62. briscocountyjr says: Mar 7, 2012 11:34 PM

    Look at the bright side Saints fans …

    … never mind.

  63. boobsmcgoo says: Mar 7, 2012 11:36 PM

    krw81 says:
    Mar 7, 2012 10:07 PM
    The Vikings found a way to lose the 2009 NFC Championship game as a team with a history of bad luck, five turnovers and some questionable officiating. The NFL has admitted that the officiating crew blew 9 calls during regular time all in favor of the Saints. In over-time there were a total of 12 plays 5 of which were reviewed by the booth and all called in favor of the Saints! If it sounds like a duck and it walks like a duck it probably is a duck. That game was gift wrapped and given to the Saints!

    Now it comes to light that the Saints placed a bounty on Favre! The punishment for the Saints organization, personnel and players must be severe!!!
    ____________

    Are you suggesting there is an NFL conspiracy against the Vikings and in favor of the Saints?
    Or are you suggesting the Saints’ bounty system gave them a competitive advantage?

    Vikings, get a clue, you don’t have a dog in this fight. The Saints are in trouble because they broke league rules and lied about it, not because they abused Brett Fav-ruh.

    Oh and the Saints’ Lombardi trophy isn’t going anywhere. If you want to see what it looks like, just hop on Fred Smoot’s Booze Cruise Love Boat and float on down the Mississippi River to take a look at it. That’s as close as you’re going to get!

  64. johntonioholmes says: Mar 7, 2012 11:41 PM

    nomesayin

    I just wrote a post about that, but I talked about James Harrison instead.

    The officials noticed his hits were illegal before he even made them.

    Why did they not notice the Saints hits?

  65. purplegreenandgold says: Mar 7, 2012 11:58 PM

    rkingndayton says: Mar 7, 2012 11:32 PM

    1st round pick – gone
    G. Williams – 1 mill gone and 2 year suspension
    S. Payton – fired and 500k gone
    Saints – 500k fine
    Let’s be realistic and not go overboard.
    =====================================
    i know however cannot b helped when u have a story
    about it every five minutes throwing gas on the fire.
    here its all about the click$.

  66. roamingabriel says: Mar 8, 2012 12:44 AM

    I see Payton taking the biggest hit here. He and Williams…

    I can see them both getting a year at least…

    Or, if Goodell is REALLY mad he’ll make them move to Pittsfield!

  67. effedinLA says: Mar 8, 2012 12:45 AM

    cowboycjn says:
    Mar 7, 2012 11:10 PM
    The game was fixed to that outcome. The Saints losing to the Rams this past season- another fixed game to allow the high betting aganist the odds to rake in millions to the mobs. You are all being taken if you think games are not fixed.
    =================
    So when do you think they will start fixing games so the Cowboys can win?

  68. jason1980 says: Mar 8, 2012 12:50 AM

    I love it, the Saints must scare the bejesus out of you crackerjack loser franchise fans. Have your fun, because Godell can’t stop us from reaching the Superbowl again, probably before any of the hater franchises even see a playoff. The SAINTS are invicible!!! Who Dat!!!

  69. davejsepdx says: Mar 8, 2012 12:57 AM

    The thing I keep coming back to is the story that was REALLY hushed up a few years back about Payton taking painkillers out of the Saints medical staff’s offices. That story went absolutely nowhere, which is curious. The other thing I wonder about is how much Payton knows about how that story was covered up, who in the league office helped the Saints cover it up, and whether he’d take them down with him by threatening to go public with that story if they hit him too hard over this.

  70. smgraff4 says: Mar 8, 2012 1:28 AM

    The people that are involved could be banned for life, particularly from the fact that outside felons were definitely involved. The felon does not have to be one from the USA (or the country where the bounties were given, or money was given to throw a match).

    There has been an uptick in the number of match-fixing reports being claimed—partially because of a couple fishy World Cup bids that were approved without much of a premise–particularly the 2022 WC in which Qatar beat the United States (and England lost the 2018 bid)…unexpectedly. There were lots of deals that were handed out, and people paid for votes. But at the same time, FIFA decided to step up its efforts on match-fixing to probably save its own image.

    There had been a number of case in which games were thrown—like the Calciopoli saga which saw Juventus get relegated and Inter escape punishment, and “fake friendlies” being set up like the one between a fake “Togo” team and Bahrain. In fact, Bahrain was once again involved very recently in another case that could be considered match fixing, in which it crushed Indonesia 10-0. The Bahrainians need to win and make up a 10-goal difference, and for Qatar to lose its match, in order to advance to the Fourth Round of AFC World Cup Qualifying. Indonesia had already been mathematically eliminated from qualifying for the next round–so it was a mop-up round for them. The general odds for Bahrain making up that 10-goal difference are not good. (Think of it like trying to make up a 75-pt differential if pts scored meant making the playoffs or not.) Because the odds weren’t good, the amount of money to be made betting could be high if this result were to happen. And players (probably on the Indonesian side) could have been paid a good amount of money to play really poorly (more like a team that did not make it to that qualifying round, for instance Palestine or Macau). If that Bahrain-Indonesia match is indeed investigated, and they find some people connected to throwing the game in that way (though Qatar did not cooperate), it would probably result in Indonesia being banned from international competition for some time, much like Togo was initially after the “fake team” incident.

    As another example (to show that disbanding the club is a possible penalty), there was a Finnish soccer team (Tampere United) that had to disband because a Singapore crime syndicate had paid a number of the players on the team (all of them foreign; six Zambians and two Georgians) to throw a number of games in the Finnish top soccer league.

    ——
    As for football, there was a recent documentary on E#PN about youth football in Miami, and how kids were being paid by varying levels of drug dealers and gangsters for big hits, or to throw a game a certain way, or to make a tackle or a sack to meet a line. It is also even sadder because many of the kids who get talked into playing this way by the gangs may leave football to join them, or get shot. With some security measure in place to try to stop the gangsters from fixing the youth football league matches, maybe they could save some of the young talent. (If for some reason an NFL team could establish a residency academy for these young players, where they are housed, fed, and educated at these academies for free, it would advance the NFL game a lot farther, and it would keep kids that know they could be good at football, at least in one area of the country, off the streets.

    ——–
    Onto the case at hand. I feel bad for the city of New Orleans that they allowed such scumbags to fool the system by putting bounties on QBs that would change the game–if successful. The bounties, in actuality, do not change much in the game other than make the offensive (or defensive) player slightly more intimidated to hit the ‘hitting player’ and allows the bounty-team to win one-on-one battles a little easier.

    But Goodell’s concern is safety–and that so mostly to save youth participation in football in the coming years against heated competition from sports where concussions are not the biggest concern (quite yet)–soccer, outdoor lacrosse, basketball, swimming, or even baseball or cricket to some extent. And it’s youth participation that’s going to determine if the sport is going to stay relevant in a generation or two.

    And the other part of the concern is a very natural one–as in are the games legitimate? Is the sport, at least for the time, keeping evil people and unnecessary vice/corruption out? (I am not talking about chicken/beer or porn in the locker room. I am talking about fixing games, sexual crimes (in some cases–molestation–others,kidnapping and prostituting women, other cases, selling illicit drugs (see Sam Hurd)) and being connected to an empire which kills people for no reason (other than being bystanders, or looking someone the wrong way).

    But even then, everyone goes into football (or ice hockey), or MMA, or boxing, or wrestling, or rugby accepting the risk that they are going to suffer a nasty injury (like with any other sport) that could affect them years down the road. It’s like asking, do young men and women still sign up for the military knowing that they could be killed, or they could be home one day not able to escape the war they fought?

    And if the bounties are rid of for good, what sort of motivation tactics will be left? Commitment to the logo on the helmet–I guess and not the name on the back of the jersey.

    It’s a rhetorical qu

  71. smgraff4 says: Mar 8, 2012 1:29 AM

    It’s a rhetorical question. But these are the kinds of questions that I am sure are being asked in league and team circles (and certainly among us fans).

  72. CKL says: Mar 8, 2012 1:55 AM

    apooster says:
    Mar 7, 2012 9:57 PM
    The Patriots (not a fan), never went out to hurt and injure other players. They filmed walk-throughs, practices and signals.
    –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
    There is not a single shred of proof the Pats ever taped any practice or walkthrough. Not one.
    Thank you, John TomASSe.

    I wouldn’t be surprised at suspensions for the coaches but think of how unfair that would be to the guys who have to fill in for a year or whatever length the suspension is. This isn’t like suspending a player. The only way I could see a long suspension for a coach is if the replacement gets his salary also. And I doubt highly that a suspension would be lifetime. Though Goodell talks of “higher standards” for coaches and staff, I can’t imagine that he would remove someone’s livelihood permanently when he didn’t remove the livelihood (and in fact was active in guiding the re-entry to the NFL) of Vick, who is a felon convicted of GAMBLING RELATED offenses.

  73. broo53 says: Mar 8, 2012 2:09 AM

    So did Ornstein turn evidence against the Saints in exchange for the 8 month sentence? Strange timing about how that all went down.

  74. gbpack13champs says: Mar 8, 2012 2:30 AM

    I feel as if half of the people on here have never even stepped onto a football field. The intent to injure someone isn’t exactly a new concept and its execution isn’t that simple either. Some of you are acting like the thought of a malicious hit should result in a fine. A player cannot just snap their fingers and injure someone, everyone on the field is an athlete out for blood, as much as the nfl is trying to subdue this attitude football is a violent game by nature and therefore no matter how hard the nfl or other football controlling entities try and control it violence will always be encouraged.

  75. joesphkerr says: Mar 8, 2012 3:01 AM

    For those of us old enough to remember, look what happened to SMU when the NCCA dropped the hammer on them back in 1985. ( yes I know we are comparing apples to oranges.) SMU’s football program, to this day has not recovered. Have to wonder what is going to happen to the Saints program. If everything that has reported is true, and the Feds get involved, I would have to think that Saints are about to suffer a nuclear winter and not see a winning season in a long time.

  76. goldsteel says: Mar 8, 2012 3:42 AM

    The bounty story is overblown and only shows how ineffective the coach’s bounties were. The Saints had mediocre defenses for all three seasons. It points to a defensive coach that can’t motivate his players properly to play to their potential.

    If Gregg Williams isn’t coaching it should be because he is a lousy coach. Not because of the bounties. I’ve never been impressed with the current Saints defenses.

  77. gimmeabruschi says: Mar 8, 2012 6:21 AM

    rkingndayton says: Mar 7, 2012 11:32 PM

    1st round pick – gone
    G. Williams – 1 mill gone and 2 year suspension
    S. Payton – fired and 500k gone
    Saints – 500k fine
    Let’s be realistic and not go overboard.

    _______________________________

    I would say trying to possibly end a guys career for as little as a lousy $1000 is going way overboard and deserves a response in kind.

    I would modify your recommendations to include:

    Two concurrent 1st rounders – gone.

    If the owner had blown the whistle to the league when he found out about it I would not have the team itself penalized at all. But he didn’t.

    And all fines go to address player health benefits.

  78. dkrauss93 says: Mar 8, 2012 6:41 AM

    And everyone thinks the Jets are done!!!! Who dat???

  79. vikesfansteve says: Mar 8, 2012 11:47 AM

    The NFL or a good reporter needs to investigate Morelli & his officiating teams bank accounts, purchases, financial records and associates around the time of the 09′ NFCCG. That’s the real story the NFL is desperate to avoid because they are going to find that the fix was on and the refs were paid and involved in illegal betting just like Donaghue and the dirty NBA officials. The NFL is terrified to confirm that because it will call into question the result of every game Morelli has ever officiated. The game was fixed, that’s going to be confirmed. When that happens the bounty allegations are going to look like child’s play.

  80. encroachmentor says: Mar 8, 2012 12:25 PM

    Is anyone going to investigate the hit that Tony Siragusa put on Rich Gannon during the 2001 playoffs that put Gannon out of that game very early? I guess that kind of hit was different than the ones during “Bounty Gate”. Football players are paid to hit hard, bounty or no bounty.

  81. krw81 says: Mar 8, 2012 4:29 PM

    @boobsmcgoo

    I will type this response slow as anyone can see you have serious issues and comprehending plain English is a challenge for you!

    1) I am not suggesting anything, I am stating the facts!

    2) The NFL admitted that the officiating in that game was horrid, as you can plainly read in my first post.

    3) The Vikings have suffered damages because of the Saints illegal bounty on opposing team’s players.

    4) I think the Vikings and other teams that were affected by these illegal bounties deserve to receive compensation from the Saints. The Vikings are definitely in line for a few #1 draft picks from the Saints.

    5) The Saints should be forced to return the Lombardi Trophy, which is ill gotten booty.

    6) I am not merely a fan of the Vikings but a fan of the NFL! Leave it to the Saints to taint the NFL. Btw… Taint means spoil, contaminate, infect, ruin, poison!

    ___________________________________

    boobsmcgoo says:
    Mar 7, 2012 11:36 PM

    Are you suggesting there is an NFL conspiracy against the Vikings and in favor of the Saints?
    Or are you suggesting the Saints’ bounty system gave them a competitive advantage?

    Vikings, get a clue, you don’t have a dog in this fight. The Saints are in trouble because they broke league rules and lied about it, not because they abused Brett Fav-ruh.

    Oh and the Saints’ Lombardi trophy isn’t going anywhere. If you want to see what it looks like, just hop on Fred Smoot’s Booze Cruise Love Boat and float on down the Mississippi River to take a look at it. That’s as close as you’re going to get!

    __________________________________

    krw81 says:
    Mar 7, 2012 10:07 PM

    The Vikings found a way to lose the 2009 NFC Championship game as a team with a history of bad luck, five turnovers and some questionable officiating. The NFL has admitted that the officiating crew blew 9 calls during regular time all in favor of the Saints. In over-time there were a total of 12 plays 5 of which were reviewed by the booth and all called in favor of the Saints! If it sounds like a duck and it walks like a duck it probably is a duck. That game was gift wrapped and given to the Saints!

    Now it comes to light that the Saints placed a bounty on Favre! The punishment for the Saints organization, personnel and players must be severe!!!

  82. marvin49 says: Mar 8, 2012 7:21 PM

    Ya know what STILL cracks me up? All the freakin’ Saints fans who even after THIS still call the Whitner hit on Thomas a “dirty hit”.

    Look people: It was a GREAT LEGAL hit on a RB who had lowered his head to get into the endzone. Yes, it was Helmet to helmet, but Saints fans seem to think that only THEIR player is allowed to put his head down. I guess WHitner was just supposed to let Thomas put his head in his chest adn let him score. Whitner wasn’t trying to hurt him, he was trying to knowck the hell out of him to keep him out of the endzone.

    Moreover, Saints fans who complain about that completely gloss over the 18 blitzes on 21 snaps in the first PRESEASON game after a lockout and the play in which Roman Harper put the crown of his helmet in Alex Smiths chin on a blitz.

    Whitner knocked Thomas out ona a 100% LEGAL hit. Helmet-to-helmet is LEGAL when he has established himself as a ball carrier.

    Get. Over. It. You lost and now you are exposed.

  83. simplicity1111 says: Mar 10, 2012 10:45 AM

    The real issue which will get buried in all this is the fact that the Vikings would have gone to the SB if it wasn’t for the combination of Injuries Favre received due to the bounties combined with the refs missing game changing calls in favour of the Saints all game !!!!

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