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Rams expect to learn Gregg Williams’ fate this week

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Peyton’s next place of employment has eclipsed, for now, the Saints’ bounty system as the NFL’s top story.  That could change once Commissioner Roger Goodell metes out discipline to those involved in the cash-for-crippling conspiracy.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Rams expect to learn the fate of defensive coordinator Gregg Williams this week.  Unless Goodell plans to hand out punishment in piecemeal fashion, this means that all of the other various sanctions on folks like Saints coach Sean Payton and G.M. Mickey Loomis and the Saints organization itself will come out this week, too.

As to Williams, we’ve heard that there’s support within the league for a lifetime ban.  There’s also concern that a banishment would not survive a legal challenge under the same antitrust laws on which the players relied a year ago today, after shutting down the union and wiping out the league’s multi-employer labor exemption.  In something closer to English, the NFL consists of 32 separate businesses, and if they band together and refuse to employ Gregg Williams, the NFL could be violated the antitrust laws.

That’s why the end result could be a lengthy suspension (one year or more), and a termination of employment by the Rams, for cause.  (Firing Williams for cause would cut off his right to pay.  His contract undoubtedly contains a provision mandating that any legal challenges be resolved via arbitration.  Arbitration conducted by the league office.)

Then, if no NFL team ever hires him again, he essentially has been banned for life, without being banned for life.

As one league source explained it to PFT recently, the only flaw in this approach is that one of Williams’ friends in the coaching profession may hire him several years down the road, after this incident becomes a faded memory.  Thus, the only way to truly ban Williams for life may be to indeed ban him for life.

It’s unknown at this point whether the NFL will go that far.  Combining the three-year use of a bounty system in New Orleans with consistent and repeated lies to the NFL about the use of the bounty system with, quite possibly, further falsehoods about the use of bounty systems with prior teams, ending Williams’ NFL career could be the best way to ensure that no one uses bounties again — and that anyone caught breaking the rules in the future won’t deny it until backed into a corner with irrefutable proof.

The range of penalties for Payton and Loomis is far less clear.  We’re told that Goodell will be careful not to make the Saints non-competitive, even though there’s a belief in some circles that Loomis deserves as harsh a punishment as Williams.  As to Payton, a short suspension may be rendered meaningless, unless the league plans to monitor his whereabouts and communication habits around the clock.  For any suspension less than a year, he’ll be able at a minimum to work on game plans in which he’ll be involved after the suspension.

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53 Responses to “Rams expect to learn Gregg Williams’ fate this week”
  1. fumblenuts says: Mar 11, 2012 6:19 PM

    “Thus, the only way to truly ban Williams for life may be to indeed ban him for life.”

    If not life, at least 7 years.

  2. skito13 says: Mar 11, 2012 6:20 PM

    The league had better make sure there are no other violators of this unwritten rule or this could be a he said he said forever… If they want it to be a rule write it in as one…. Cannot believe that this has not come up before.

  3. gregthomas77 says: Mar 11, 2012 6:21 PM

    Make them all play in 1 upcoming NFL game. Then, offer a bounty to any opposing player that can injure them. Also, fine them to cover the bounties.

  4. lasher1650 says: Mar 11, 2012 6:21 PM

    In the context of today’s NFL and its very public focus on player safety, the ever-mounting number of lawsuits from former players due to injury-related issues, the active cover-up in New Orleans on the matter and Williams track record of bounties in Washington and Buffalo, I doubt that he coaches in the NFL ever again.

  5. uberniner says: Mar 11, 2012 6:25 PM

    Follow the investigation. Someone should get a lifetime ban. Intentionally injuring a player is out of the question. But, bring on the competition, just keep it clean. Clean and rough. Then, tell the refs to let them play.

  6. theysone says: Mar 11, 2012 6:25 PM

    Goodell, bring out the ban hammer!

  7. neupower says: Mar 11, 2012 6:26 PM

    I’m glad the Dolphins were passed over by Fisher. This is a distraction and will continue to be for the whole year.

  8. bucrightoff says: Mar 11, 2012 6:26 PM

    If it was only with the Saints I would say only a year, but this has been alledgedly on-going with this guy for years and multiple teams. Lifetime ban seems appropriate

  9. ackattack22 says: Mar 11, 2012 6:28 PM

    Throw the book at all of them! The only way for Goodell to make sure this never happens again is to come down hard on Williams, Payton and Loomis. And the way to do that is to suspend them and fine them…heavily.

  10. delmonte55 says: Mar 11, 2012 6:29 PM

    The league will come down hard on all those involved. Not because they care about the Bounties, but rather to make their case stronger in the upcoming concussion trials that they are indeed concerned about player safety.

  11. FinFan68 says: Mar 11, 2012 6:30 PM

    There should not even be a debate. This guy deserves to be banned. This is where the anti-trust laws and collusion becomes murky. I don’t see a legal difference between a suspension of “one year or more” and a ban. If there is a difference…how about a 10 year suspension? 20? The fact is that Williams does not deserve to represent the NFL in any capacity (paid or unpaid) and neither do many of the others involved. What laws (if any) were actually broken by the internal bounties and the involvement of those outside the NFL? Give the evidence to the authorities and file a complaint. It would be kind of difficult to coach fro a jail.

  12. jenniferxxx says: Mar 11, 2012 6:31 PM

    This Ornstein guy raises the ante a little. All those games where the Saints ran up the score … makes you wonder. I bet Ornstein had the over. Nice of him to kick something back to the players though. Very thoughtful.

  13. jharmon64 says: Mar 11, 2012 6:36 PM

    I’m undecided if Williams should be suspended for several games or a year or longer, but my advice to the Rams is cut ties now. No need for the media to be hounding your team for the next year or two.

  14. gotampabay52 says: Mar 11, 2012 6:37 PM

    Owner, GM should be punished hard. if the email from Ornstein is true that went to Peyton he desevres just as much. of a penatily just move saints to LA

  15. nyyjetsknicks says: Mar 11, 2012 6:38 PM

    He gets a minimum of 8 games and more likey a year.

  16. nflfollower says: Mar 11, 2012 6:38 PM

    I voted “for life” because in my opinion, this is worse than what Pete rose did to baseball. But I think a fair punishment would be one year and termination of his contract with the rams. And yes, Pete rose should be in the baseball hall of fame.

  17. PriorKnowledge says: Mar 11, 2012 6:41 PM

    How arrogant is Williams that after 2010 when he knows the NFL is investigating him, he continues the bounty program in 2011!

    That alone should up the ban from 1 year to life!

  18. greenman660 says: Mar 11, 2012 6:43 PM

    If they’re gonna penalize the Saints franchise, they better do the same to WAS/BUF/TEN.
    Leave the franchise alone, that just screws with the fans. Penalize the folks responsible for it in a harsh manner and move one.

  19. axespray says: Mar 11, 2012 6:43 PM

    lifetime ban ?

    You may as well eliminate Buddy Ryan from the NFL history books if you’re willing to ban a guy for life…smh

  20. lightofkolob says: Mar 11, 2012 6:45 PM

    People are so quick to punish. Everyone deserves the right to start over after suffering a penalty and making restitution. After he’s been punished give him a change to be forgiven,

  21. kingpel says: Mar 11, 2012 6:45 PM

    I’m sorry. If the guys actually carrying out these bounty hits are above any discipline, then how can a coach or GM get banned for life.

    There are guys who intentionally try to hurt players every week. Guys who wield guns and brutalize women. You really have to work to earn a suspension in this league.

    Ok. You can censor me now. Just like everyone else who doesnt agree with your opinion.

  22. motorcitym says: Mar 11, 2012 6:54 PM

    take away the Saints franchise tag,since they don’t have a first round pick!! That way the Dolphins can have a redo and make Drew Brees the face of their franchise.

  23. uslim2nun says: Mar 11, 2012 6:55 PM

    Are you serious bro? Ban him for like 3 yrs. after that no one will wanna hire him just for the baggage…..his defense isnt worth the reputation of your organization. Woo Woo Woo You know it

  24. turbodog1027 says: Mar 11, 2012 6:57 PM

    Ban Williams for life and any other defensive coach that preaches an aggressive hard-hitting defense. Hard hits and aggressive play have no place in today’s professional football. Next up is a 15 yd penalty for calling an opponent a bad name.

  25. edusregis says: Mar 11, 2012 6:57 PM

    One year seems fair, unless you can prove some sort of criminal intent.

  26. isujames says: Mar 11, 2012 7:00 PM

    He should be made an example, ban him for life.

  27. mataug says: Mar 11, 2012 7:01 PM

    The thing that really bothers me about the episode was that convicted felon (Mike Ornstein?) providing bounty money. I am just speculating here because Vegas may have been behind that and I have a feeling the NFL does not want to really investigate that part of this mess any further because the feds will definitely step in for stuff like that.

  28. barneysbullet says: Mar 11, 2012 7:05 PM

    Gregg Williams > Pete Rose (greater misdeed) = BAN FOR LIFE.

  29. Deb says: Mar 11, 2012 7:07 PM

    Bounties have been around forever. These guys were collecting funds for their bounties from an outside felon not working for the team–and the guy was rewarded with a Super Bowl ring. That sure implies this is about more than bounties. And if this investigation continues, it might wind up with the feds. Everyone involved will be lucky if the trail stops at bounties and a lifetime ban for Williams.

  30. wwwfella says: Mar 11, 2012 7:08 PM

    Let me get this straight…he ran a bounty system spread out over years and 3 teams, lied to the nfl about doing it and continued the system. The head coach, g.m, and owner knew about it. The owner told the g.m to put a stop to it and he didnt is that about right? After what happened to Joe Paterno they should all be gone.

  31. greysolon says: Mar 11, 2012 7:13 PM

    Anything other than a lengthy ban will be hypocritical compared to what so many players like Harrison have gotten. Ban Williams for five years. Ban Payton for one year. Ban Loomis for one year.

    Just think– if the Steelers’ James Harrison was caught ONCE giving a teammate $20 for a good hit, he’d be banned for life.

  32. whatevnfl says: Mar 11, 2012 7:35 PM

    After thinking about this some more, didn’t Jim Tressel ridiculously get like a 6 game suspension from the NFL/Colts for Ohio State things before he even was allowed to start with the Colts/NFL?? Anything less than that for Williams or even Payton (esp if he took money from that pig Ornstein) would not be right.

  33. captainyak says: Mar 11, 2012 7:35 PM

    He should be banned the same length of time he is found guilty of implementing the bounty system. 3yrs. All the players that were injured for opposing teams during the that time period and teams had to pay medical bills that amount should be New Orleans fine.

  34. broncobrewer says: Mar 11, 2012 7:46 PM

    It should be the same as when pats got cheating, they got a slap on the wrist so should Williams.

  35. captaincanuck84 says: Mar 11, 2012 7:48 PM

    Ban Williams for three years, Payton and loomis one year apiece. Williams has his contract torn up and Payton and loomis are fined their yearly salary and it goes to nflpa for retirees. Fine benson 5 million and give it to retirees as well.

  36. seanx40 says: Mar 11, 2012 7:56 PM

    Like said above by a few, more than 1 yr but less than lifetime. 3-5 yrs sounds right. No one will want him after than anyway.

  37. bucfaninil says: Mar 11, 2012 8:31 PM

    Williams == Lifetime Ban
    Payton == Lifetime Ban
    Vilma == Lifetime Ban
    Saints Organization == Loss of 2012 and 2013 Draft… Loss of First, Second and Third Round Picks 2014 Draft, Loss of 2015 First Round Pick…

    Loss of Franchise Tag, and ability to tender RFAs and ERFA’s until 2015 season

    harsh… cruel…. long-lasting

    then write it into law the next offender has twice that penalty… any repeat offender loses their franchise and $500 million fine
    :P

    harsh penalties are the only good penalties

  38. patfic15 says: Mar 11, 2012 8:33 PM

    Cash for crippling? Who did they knock out of a game? Yeah…didn’t think so. The worse part of this is that the powers that be will make sure the Saints do not make it to the Super Bowl this year.

  39. cowboycjn says: Mar 11, 2012 9:07 PM

    Yes, Yes, Yes – you are right on track.

    mataug says: Mar 11, 2012 7:01 PM
    The thing that really bothers me about the episode was that convicted felon (Mike Ornstein?) providing bounty money. I am just speculating here because Vegas may have been behind that and I have a feeling the NFL does not want to really investigate that part of this mess any further because the feds will definitely step in for stuff like that.
    – – – – – – – – – – – –
    I have been saying and printed this several times but they take it off because its true. The entire NFL (all 32 teams) are in organized crime beting each week and play offs to the SB.
    Las Vegas beters (mafia bosses) bet millions on these games.When the strong team gets the odds up, the games are fixed (paid off) to let the weak team win. Hell with 5:1 odds and you bet a million they get 5 million in pay off.

  40. themonster49 says: Mar 11, 2012 9:23 PM

    The NFL clearly makes decisions for the good of the NFL, so it will be hard to predict what they will actually do.

    Fortunately for the NFL, if they do ban Gregg Williams and he does bring a lawsuit against the NFL, they can simply turn over the findings of their investigation and let the federal, state or even local governments seek charges against him. The downside to that is the obvious negative impact both directly and through public appeal on the NFL.

    There is a common way of approaching these situations. I may do wrong but when you cross the line on me i will cast aside my fear of my guilt and any punishment it may bring and make known to all every thing you have done whether it incriminates me or not because what i did was nothing to what you tried doing to me. The NFL probably knew about this for a long time, maybe even technically protecting other people, in the past, for the good of the NFL in their eyes. But once they tried going after a publicly outed Gregg Williams, if he retaliates by bringing a lawsuit or really anything else, they can say screw you to him and release everything they have, even if it eventually brings bad things thier own way. Because the fact is he is the bad guy. Or at least the much worse of whoever is guilty in this.

  41. thraiderskin says: Mar 11, 2012 9:49 PM

    I believe a lifetime ban would be fair… The responsibility he had in what might have happened, could have reverberated far beyond a year to a player(if you get my drift). However, for the sake of the NFL, something the players seemed to not get during the lockout, possible legal action from Williams could very well be more damaging then the player safety issue.

  42. erod22 says: Mar 11, 2012 10:08 PM

    What about the Redskins and Bills?

  43. robf2010 says: Mar 11, 2012 11:18 PM

    “cash-for-crippling conspiracy”

    Cute.

    During a NFL Network broadcast I watched just a few minutes ago of the Steelers-Seahawks Super Bowl, a Seattle coach was heard telling his players about the Steelers’ Joey Porter, “Take him out”. I’m sure he meant to say “for dinner and dancing” but never got around to it. This whole thing is horsepuckey.

  44. keepyerstickontheice says: Mar 11, 2012 11:29 PM

    The NFL should vacate the Bills 31 losses for the three years he was head coach there.

  45. musicman495 says: Mar 12, 2012 12:17 AM

    Fortunately for the NFL, if they do ban Gregg Williams and he does bring a lawsuit against the NFL, they can simply turn over the findings of their investigation and let the federal, state or even local governments seek charges against him.
    ————————————–
    How about they start by turning the NFL’s findings over to the public, so we can decide for ourselves what actually happened, and confirm the league’s interpretation of the facts? I am not a Saints fan, but I suspect the Saints are being singled out as the victims of a witch hunt, intended less to clean up the game, and more to allow the league to do some CYA in regards to all their pending lawsuits. I have heard people talking about these types of bounties for 30 years, but the Saints are the only ones punished? Three years this supposedly went on, and the only actual hits we hear people talking about is a couple on Brett Favre in one game? I smell someone getting railroaded in order to save Goodell’s backside. Before all these punishments are meted out, where are the facts and results of the investigation?

  46. phuto says: Mar 12, 2012 1:16 AM

    Not a fan or dislike this team or coaches. I have a question ? How many players were put out of a game during this bounty era ? I never read anything about how this changed a game bc a player was put out of a game . Just wondering.

  47. bigjdve says: Mar 12, 2012 1:35 AM

    A couple thoughts.

    It was mentioned that if he is banned for life, there could be an anti-trust violation. How so, isn’t that why there is a CBA so that there isn’t anti-trust issues?

    Also there is precedent that if you are found guilty of a crime against a profession of being made UN-hireable by the entire profession. Just look at the financial services industry.

  48. jimbo75025 says: Mar 12, 2012 1:56 AM

    cowboycjn says:
    Mar 11, 2012 9:07 PM
    Yes, Yes, Yes – you are right on track.
    Las Vegas beters (mafia bosses) bet millions on these games.When the strong team gets the odds up, the games are fixed (paid off) to let the weak team win. Hell with 5:1 odds and you bet a million they get 5 million in pay off.

    —————

    Dude, you really need to get to Vegas more. Virtually all major sport betting is done based on a point differential and not on “odds”. While there are good teams and bad teams, they are not as far apart as they seem.

    Only major (if it even qualifies as major anymore though) sport I can think of with “odds” betting is boxing.

  49. GG Eden says: Mar 12, 2012 8:29 AM

    mataug says:
    Mar 11, 2012 7:01 PM
    The thing that really bothers me about the episode was that convicted felon (Mike Ornstein?) providing bounty money. I am just speculating here because Vegas may have been behind that and I have a feeling the NFL does not want to really investigate that part of this mess any further because the feds will definitely step in for stuff like that.

    ——-

    Which scratches the surface of that topic “the fix is in”. Also, touches on how the Saints went after a bunch of personal records this year outside of the ‘done way’.

  50. GG Eden says: Mar 12, 2012 8:31 AM

    Jeff Fisher should also be scrutinized. Competition Committee member for many years, allowed Williams bounty system at the Oilers/Titans, and rehired him at the Rams this year WHILST knowing about the bounty system AND rejoining the Competition Committee.

  51. nolarules says: Mar 12, 2012 9:57 AM

    gotampabay52
    Really, move the Saints out of New Orleans and punish the fans who had nothing to do with this? Sounds fair. Should also move the bucs to London seeing as their loser fan base refuses to actually support them, even when they are good. What a joke of a fan base you are.

    bucfaninil
    really, I understand some harsh punishments are coming and are deserved. but the last thing that the NFL wants is another team out there with the fan support the bucs have. Take that much away and there will be as many people at Saints games as there are at the Bucs home games. And the NFL does not want that to happen.

    And it is cute that you Buc fans are the ones calling for these sorts of punishments. Possibly worry about the Panthers who are going to be the real killers of this division for a while. I am sorry that they have Cam and you have Freeman. My Saints are probably cooked for a while because of this. But to make them non competitive for the next 6 to 10 years for this? Not going to happen.

  52. infectorman says: Mar 12, 2012 10:39 AM

    greenman660 says: Mar 11, 2012 6:43 PM

    If they’re gonna penalize the Saints franchise, they better do the same to WAS/BUF/TEN.
    Leave the franchise alone, that just screws with the fans. Penalize the folks responsible for it in a harsh manner and move one.
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    Is this all not as much the fault of Payton than it is Williams?
    Who did Williams report to? Same person that was RESPONSIBLE for Williams>>>>>Sean Payton
    Shocked if Payton coaches in the 2012-13 season.

  53. CKL says: Mar 12, 2012 1:33 PM

    broncobrewer says: Mar 11, 2012 7:46 PM

    It should be the same as when pats got cheating, they got a slap on the wrist so should Williams.
    ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
    This is a funny post.

    No a WRIST SLAP is what YOUR TEAM got from Tags for circumventing the salary cap for 2 years. You know, the two years your team got trophies.

    Williams should get a year at most. If anyone is interested in hiring him after that, they should be welcome to do it. Remember, THEY LET CONVICTED FELON VICK back in…and he was convicted of GAMBLING RELATED CHARGES. If they ban Williams, Payton etc longer than that, despite their “FO has a higher standard” mantra, I think they are playing with fire.

    I’ve always disliked Williams, but I’m surprised at the Payton/Ornstein connection with this. I know SP is a bit of a maverick but I am surprised he would allow this to get pushed so far.

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