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No bounty punishment, yet

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Two weeks ago, when the league dropped a bounty bomb late Friday afternoon, the release identified the crime without specifying the punishment.

Within a day, multiple reports indicated that discipline would come within one or two weeks.  Last weekend, multiple reports indicated that the sanctions would be imposed by the end of this week.

It’s now the end of this week — the second week since the situation arose — and there has been nothing yet.

Don Banks of SI.com reports that the ruling is expected in the coming week.  He’s probably right, because on March 25 owners will begin to gather in Palm Beach.  All along, it has been treated as a given that the punishment would be announced before the NFL’s annual March get-together, given that the situation will be even more of a distraction if the decision is still pending.

But what would create the bigger distraction, the absence of a decision on punishment or an announcement of extensive and unprecedented penalties only a couple days before the meetings convene?

At this point, it may be better to let it ride.

Or maybe the best approach would be for Commissioner Roger Goodell to announce the discipline at a press conference to conclude the meetings?  This approach would limit the media’s opportunity to formulate the most meaningful questions possible, and it wouldn’t put a dark cloud over the meetings because the meetings would be over.

Even if the Commissioner announces the penalties in this fashion without notice to the media, the media would at least have an opportunity to ask questions — and Goodell would have a chance to hammer his message home by explaining himself not through a release that pops up on a slow Friday afternoon but by saying in his own words why strong measures were needed, and how important it is that this kind of behavior never happen again.

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34 Responses to “No bounty punishment, yet”
  1. katrinasafterbirth says: Mar 16, 2012 11:49 PM

    C’mon Goddell, what are you waiting for? We know you wish this was all just a bad dream, since it involves those lovable little Saints. If this was Dallas, Washington, or Oakland…lifetime bans and draft picks for years to come would already be taken away.

  2. marcinhouston says: Mar 16, 2012 11:51 PM

    Gooddell is an east coast guy born and bred and if it turns out he hammers New Orleans alone for something that many of his beloved northeast teams like Washington DC, Buffalo, Philadelphia, and Baltimore have all done continuously for decades it might not sit well in the long run. I know it is easy for an east coast guy to sit and point fingers at the south from Washington DC but it is a little out of touch.

  3. gregthomas77 says: Mar 16, 2012 11:51 PM

    Well, it took 2 years to punish the Redskins and Cowboys, so who knows how long it will take.

  4. pittsburghsteelerz says: Mar 16, 2012 11:52 PM

    They’ll time this around the Peyton Manning signing… hoping to bury it as much as possible.

  5. 69finfan says: Mar 16, 2012 11:55 PM

    Roger, Peyton, Archie, somebody make a frickin decision on something will or can you.

  6. samapoc says: Mar 16, 2012 11:58 PM

    The primary wrong here is the illegal bonuses that violate the salary cap. So the salary cap violation repercussions (issued last week) don’t count as punishment? What about the fines the NFL regularly issues for illegal hits? In comparison to NFL salaries, we’re talking chump change. So the punishments that were already levied seem to fit the crimes pretty well.

  7. t16rich says: Mar 16, 2012 11:59 PM

    In more important news, it has been 2o days without a player arrest.

  8. astrosfan75956 says: Mar 17, 2012 12:07 AM

    The dallas/Washington punishment was BS

  9. miamibungles says: Mar 17, 2012 12:09 AM

    I hope this decision comes soon. End all this nonsense about this has always been this way in the nfl give me a break. It needs to change. Enough with hard hitting. Just tackle. No one wants to do that any more. Folks making millions to stop a man form scoring, and most of the time the tackle is missed, and touchdown. Go back to tackeling, and stop some one from crossing the first down marker/endzone.

  10. babyhorsemorgan says: Mar 17, 2012 12:12 AM

    Mutants of the Bounty. Make them walk the plank. Arrr!!!

  11. rockstart42 says: Mar 17, 2012 12:12 AM

    IDIOT… it has nothing to do with cap violations. That was basically an office pool not anything to do with the team paying the money but players putting into it.

    The rule they violated which everyone violated was you can NOT have any program that pays for incentives during a game. That means not even the players can do it themselves. Its all illegal by the rule.

  12. tlaw21 says: Mar 17, 2012 12:15 AM

    That would be NYC marcinhouston and how are the redskins a beloved team of his when he just took 36 mil in cap space from em as if it was 36 bucks.

  13. yourblackdaddy says: Mar 17, 2012 12:22 AM

    @katrinasafterbirth

    Making fun of a natural disaster that killed over 300 people and destroyed many others’ livelihoods, huh? You come up with that all by yourself? You’ll get what’s coming to you.

    What a complete moron you are.

  14. paulienuts says: Mar 17, 2012 12:48 AM

    Or…they found they didn’t have enough proof to make the charges and “announce punishments” to appease the media.

    This is a ridiculous fiasco. Goodell wants to cover his a$$ by hiking up his big boy pants and threatening to lower the boom on the horrible Saints when there is only proof that they had a pay for performance system in place. You know, THE SAME ONE THAT **ALL** THE TEAMS HAD. It’s going to be difficult to mete out punishment to one team when 31 others were doing the same thing.

    There was no “bounty” program. That’s a headline dreamed up by PKing and spread by the likes of you, Mike. The Saints are getting this bad press because of remarks made by Gregg Williams, such as “remember me hits” and the like. There was no “bounty” and you guys should wait for the facts to be revealed before you condemn anyone.

  15. danphxariz says: Mar 17, 2012 12:59 AM

    Or maybe if you’re going to suspend a team’s general manager and head coach, it would be better to do it after the draft, rather than before …

  16. sbdt says: Mar 17, 2012 1:07 AM

    katrinasafterbirth says: Mar 16, 2012 11:49 PM

    C’mon Goddell, what are you waiting for? We know you wish this was all just a bad dream, since it involves those lovable little Saints. If this was Dallas, Washington, or Oakland…lifetime bans and draft picks for years to come would already be taken away.

    ————————————————————-

    First – of all I’m not a fan of the term “hater” but for god’s sake, your handle is “Katrina’s Afterbirth?” Are you kidding? Tasteless, idiotic, immature, and quite honestly not even that clever. I hope you have more to look forward to in your life than hanging out on here and just blowing up Saints posts every time they hit the wire.

    Second – in the two weeks since the story broke people have been coming out of the woodwork saying this is a common practice and it goes back before the ’09 Saints, with and without Gregg Williams. And yes, other teams too. As more info comes to light maybe the “Hang ‘em high” attitude everyone had isn’t as appropriate as initially suspected.

    Third – “Katrina’s Afterbirth?” Seriously?

  17. skinsrollyou says: Mar 17, 2012 1:25 AM

    Goodell is a clown. And I’m not saying that necessarily because of his handling of THIS situation. He is just a clown. Someone call Pauly t and ask him if we wants his job back

  18. nunpuncher says: Mar 17, 2012 2:09 AM

    This investgation was going on a long time. The NFL should’ve handed out the punishments before Free Agency. And the NFL should’ve done it before the Rams hired Willams as their DC.

  19. lnfinite says: Mar 17, 2012 2:43 AM

    Goodell is sticking his head in the sand in hopes it will all just go away. He needs to go along with all those responsible for tolerating such action.

    Saints sold their soul to the devil for a super bowl win, embarrassing……..

  20. dunno1234 says: Mar 17, 2012 5:51 AM

    I would say that the reports if true that a coach may have paid into the pool of money it would be a salary cap violation. Not to mention the reports of a shady character not affiliated with the team contributed to the pool of money as well. As reported by Pft.

    I wonder if the IRS would be interested about the unreported earnings of these players. I agree that is weak but it’s what the IRS does. I personally don’t care if the players paid taxes on the money or not.

    Also the league had contacted the team and told them to stop the bounty program. But the team denied it was happening and continued the practice anyway. At least to me the Nfl seems more worried about the perception of fans that the Nfl is fair than real fairness.

    The argument that other teams did it too makes you sound like a six year old. It’s also called the drug dealer defense. “If I didn’t sell them the drugs someone else would. Everybody is doing it!”

    I am a fan of clean hard hitting like any other football fan. Its part of the game. But to intentionally harm another player is beneath what this game is supposed to be about. Like all sports it’s a metaphor for life. You do the hard work and play by the rules and you will be successful. I’ m sure that the players that may have been injured are not happy that someone was encouraged to harm them and made money off of there injury.

    I don’t want to be Goodell in this situation. This is a touchy thing. If he doles out some big punishment it will only bring more attention to the bounty system and the calls that other teams did it but were not punished will only get louder. Not to mention raise more negative media attention. And the media will want to see the findings of the investigation. Not to mention want to see the proof of what transpired. If all evidence is deystroyed like the spygate incident. There will be calls of a cover up. He is stuck between a rock and a hard place. If he gives them a slap on the wrist the players and fans will think the Nfl doesn’t truly care about player safety.

  21. musicman495 says: Mar 17, 2012 6:50 AM

    sbdt says: Mar 17, 2012 1:07 AM

    First – of all I’m not a fan of the term “hater” but for god’s sake, your handle is “Katrina’s Afterbirth?” Are you kidding? Tasteless, idiotic, immature, and quite honestly not even that clever. I hope you have more to look forward to in your life than hanging out on here and just blowing up Saints posts every time they hit the wire.
    —————————————–
    sbdt, you either missed or did not mention this loser’s tasteless comments a few days ago about Sean Taylor’s murder. He is an equal opportunity hater.

  22. bluefan204 says: Mar 17, 2012 7:57 AM

    paulienuts says: Mar 17, 2012 12:48 AM

    There was no “bounty” program. That’s a headline dreamed up by PKing and spread by the likes of you, Mike. The Saints are getting this bad press because of remarks made by Gregg Williams, such as “remember me hits” and the like. There was no “bounty” and you guys should wait for the facts to be revealed before you condemn anyone.

    So the fact that Sean Payton, Gregg Williams, and Mickey Loomis admitted that there WAS abounty program won’t change your(and I use the term loosely) mind?

    Straight from the horses mouth:

    “We acknowledge that the violations disclosed by the NFL during their investigation of our club happened under our watch,” the statement read. “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.”

    http://www.newsday.com/sports/football/sean-payton-gm-admit-saints-had-bounties-1.3583921?qr=1

  23. waltdawg says: Mar 17, 2012 7:58 AM

    I cannot believe that Goodell can pick and choose how he wants to hand down punishment and when! It is really a statement that he thinks cutting 36 million in cap space because a team is creative in the “uncapped 2010″ year like Washington and Dallas, yet guys who may have gone out and intentionally tried to break legs and keep players out of games are allowed to potentially get off with a warning.

    What Roger has done, until we have our day in court, is single handedly pick and choose who he wants to help and hurt. This is not a fair practice

  24. sg419 says: Mar 17, 2012 9:03 AM

    And the media continues to salivate

  25. dobberdubinsky says: Mar 17, 2012 9:28 AM

    Doesn’t matter how long it takes, just as long as the Taints pay for this disgrace significantl and force the fans bust out their infamous paper bags within a few years.

  26. raiderlyfe510 says: Mar 17, 2012 9:42 AM

    I told you all Goodell is only heavy handed on young black athletes. He’s a poodle when it comes to anybody else.

    Classic case of “selective prosecution”. The NFLPA is a disgrace for letting this institutional racism go down.

  27. matthewderbes says: Mar 17, 2012 9:55 AM

    Dear Mr. Goodell,

    In doing your investigation into the so-called bounty program in New Orleans, have you considered looking at the game tapes from the last three years? If so, you should consider the following questions:

    How many times did a Saints player dive for the knees or make any other blatant attempts to injure someone?

    Were the Saints penalized more for unsportsmanlike conduct or late hits than other team?

    Did you see any Saint defender hit someone with a tire iron or slice their achilles with a razor knife?

    Did you see any Saint defender spiking the other team’s gatorade with Visine in an effort to collect a financial incentive that amounted to 0.000007% of that players annual salary?

    If not, how can you come down on the Saints for doing something every single defensive players does or attempts to do in every single game? If you don’t want big massive collisions and hard hits on the field, then why didn’t you restrict those networks with whom you negotiated broadcast rights from airing such hits as either “top plays” or in segments called “Jacked-Up”?

    Look, the fact is that your customers enjoy the big hits. Your customers like watching a running back steam roll a cornerback or a safety laying out a wide receiver. It’s part of the game. Who cares if teammates or coaches were motivating their players to do so with nominal side bets?

    There is a risk of injury in your sport because of these collisions, that’s why they wear helmets and pads….please don’t make this a sport where the players just wear flags.

    Sincerely,

    An NFL Fan

  28. robf2010 says: Mar 17, 2012 9:58 AM

    Don’t fret. The league will hand down the excessive punishment everyone is hoping for and you can all jump for joy. Goodell doesn’t have the courage to do anything else.

  29. camocav213 says: Mar 17, 2012 10:29 AM

    I like the saints ,but they NEED A PUNISHMENT

  30. zn0rseman says: Mar 17, 2012 10:31 AM

    At a minimum, the punishment should be as follows…

    Greg Williams and Sean Payton banned indefinitely, and out for at least a year. The Saints give their 2nd round draft pick to the Vikings, and their 3rd round pick to the Cardinals for cheating each of them out of a shot at a Lombardi Trophy, which the Saints stole. The rest of the Saints 2012 draft is forfeited. The Saints lose their 2013 1st round pick because they don’t have one this year. Any player involved faces a four game suspension, and any player who hit an opponent that resulted in injury, is suspended at least as long as it took their victim to fully recover. (In the case of Brett Favre, that was 6 months.)

    If the league does any less than this, they will have proven that cheaters prosper and that any team who cheats to win a Lombardi Trophy, will just get a slap on the wrist.

  31. packhawk04 says: Mar 17, 2012 11:40 AM

    Pretty sure the vikings cheated themselves out of a shot at the lombardi trophy. No team with 5 turnovers should EVER get sympathy.

  32. zn0rseman says: Mar 17, 2012 12:50 PM

    packhawk04 says:
    Mar 17, 2012 11:40 AM
    Pretty sure the vikings cheated themselves out of a shot at the lombardi trophy.

    ————–

    Right, because Brett Favre’s broken ankle and busted ribs had nothing to do with his interception at the end of the 2009 NFC Championship. He could have easily run for the yardage needed to seal the game, but he couldn’t because of the damage done by an illegal hit that was a direct result of the Saints illegal bounty program.

    Think before you type.

  33. nowillrepeat says: Mar 17, 2012 12:57 PM

    Pretty sure the vikings cheated themselves out of a shot at the lombardi trophy. No team with 5 turnovers should EVER get sympathy.
    ————————————-
    12 men in the huddle penalty at the game’s most crucial moment didnt help either. If that penatly doenst happen, they run AP into the line twice and kick a game winning field goal.

    Viking fans are pathetic

  34. vtopa says: Mar 18, 2012 3:49 AM

    @Katrinasafterbirth

    Low class dude. Low class.

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