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Label applied to Saints players’ punishment will be key to appeal process

Minnesota Vikings v New Orleans Saints Getty Images

At some point, the NFL will impose punishment on multiple non-players who were involved in the Saints’ three-year bounty system.  But plenty of players also will face some type of sanction.

As a source with knowledge of the process has explained it, one of the key factors in any discipline will be whether the penalties are characterized as on-field or off-field behavior.

It it’s the former, any appeals would be heard by Ted Cottrell or Art Shell, jointly appointed and paid by the NFL and the NFLPA.  For the latter, the NFL would review the decision.

For example, last year’s stomping incident by Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh was reviewed via the independent appeal process.  But Troy Polamalu’s cell-phone call to his wife from the sidelines was regarded as an off-field violation.

This one could go either way.  The payments were aimed at getting players to attempt to inflict injury and otherwise perform on the field.  But the system was maintained and administered off the field.  And some could be fined or suspended for funding the payments (like Jonathan Vilma, who offered $10,000 to anyone who knocked Brett Favre out of the 2009 NFC title game), while others could be sanctioned for delivering the hits and pocketing the payments.

Though the assumption is that it would be better for the players to have the punishment appealed by Shell or Cottrell, keep in mind that the independent process upheld the two-game suspension of Suh.  The in-house jury/jury routine overturned the fine imposed on Polamalu.

Either way, it could still be a while before the players are punished.  Steve Wyche of NFL.com reports that the NFL may take action against the non-players before doing so against the players.

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27 Responses to “Label applied to Saints players’ punishment will be key to appeal process”
  1. jenniferxxx says: Mar 18, 2012 2:47 PM

    Classy. Lawyer up and hope for a technicality. At least we’re not saying it didn’t happen anymore.

  2. ponderqb says: Mar 18, 2012 2:49 PM

    The NFL punishment will be just fine i’m sure, another question is where does the IRS fit into the equation and how will they handle this?

  3. thespeaker08 says: Mar 18, 2012 2:54 PM

    Isn’t planning to hurt someone OFF the field then following up with those plans by attempting to do it ON the field classified as both?

    It does not seem so either/or if you’re paying any attention at all.

  4. twodat says: Mar 18, 2012 2:55 PM

    Judges cannot overturn certain aspects of a trial because they were not present for the trial and have only a transcript. This is why written documentation should be accompanied by oral testimony. Oral testimony conducted under proper questioning gives an opportunity to discover intent and truthfulness. Each witness’s testimony is considered in its entirety as well as how the witnesses hold together as a whole. Hopefully, the players will be given a time and a place to have their side of the story told to impartial adjudicators.

  5. pharvinisback says: Mar 18, 2012 2:56 PM

    I have plenty of labels to apply to the Aints players. And none would be allowed on here,,,

  6. j0esixpack says: Mar 18, 2012 3:02 PM

    Hopefully they’ll be able to plea down from “Attempted Murder.”

  7. backindasaddle says: Mar 18, 2012 3:03 PM

    “The payments were aimed at getting players to attempt to inflict injury………”
    __________________________________________________________

    Really???…. Has that been established as fact???…. Is there proof of that yet???…. Should you not be stating that it’s actually just an allegation at this point instead of “reporting” as if it’s factual???

    The bounty system, first and foremost, was designed and intended to get players to perform and be productive. I seriously question the allegation that it was instituted with the intention to get players to injure each other. That very well may have become a byproduct of the system, however, stating it was “aimed” at achieving injury as a goal is a big leap. YET…. you throw it out there as if it’s an established fact. Irresponsible.

  8. duanethomas says: Mar 18, 2012 3:05 PM

    @twodat. Thanks for giving us a legal point of view, you would think the ex lawyer who started this blog with provide it.

  9. duanethomas says: Mar 18, 2012 3:06 PM

    “Would Provide” autospell is a B

  10. ricksaints says: Mar 18, 2012 3:09 PM

    This is y T. Porter hasn’t been signed yet or y the saints haven’t decide the fate of Vilma.

  11. ponderqb says: Mar 18, 2012 3:10 PM

    @backindasaddle

    This is an established fact, based on the admission of guilt by multiple members of the Saints organization. c’mon man everyone knows that by now…

  12. itsdaweasel says: Mar 18, 2012 3:10 PM

    pharvinisback says:Mar 18, 2012 2:56 PM

    I have plenty of labels to apply to the Aints players. And none would be allowed on here,,,
    —————————————————–

    I’ve got one for you….how about the team that whipped the vikes’ a$$ up and down the field on the way to their first ever SuperBowl!

  13. saintsrealdeal says: Mar 18, 2012 3:14 PM

    Football was meant to be played barbaric so stop whining and let the boys be boys let’s play football or two hand touch. You can’t be serious.

  14. buchopeful says: Mar 18, 2012 3:29 PM

    May the hammer fall … HARD on them cheatin dogs.. back to the souths cellar with you bums.. :) j/k

  15. senky3 says: Mar 18, 2012 3:31 PM

    it is an established fact that this happened and was for getting people out of games. why do the saints fans keep saying that it is allegations. do they not believe the coaches and players that have ADMITTED and CONFIRMED the bounty system for taking OUT players. and to realdeal, the game was meant to be played hard, not barbaric. but that isnt the problem here, the biggest problem was the lying and coverup that your coaches and gm did. the players are in trouble for taking bonuses and not repporting income to the irs and the salary cap gurus.

  16. ascensionparish says: Mar 18, 2012 3:32 PM

    pharvinisback says:Mar 18, 2012 2:56 PM

    I have plenty of labels to apply to the Aints players. And none would be allowed on here,,,
    __________________________

    You just worry about having a team in the next couple of years.

  17. airstreamtex says: Mar 18, 2012 3:35 PM

    @ backsaddle – generally when you are trying to knock someone out of the game, they need to be injured…otherwise they dont come out. that being said they should all be doing that for free within the rules. I love the violence of football, but at the same time its not a street fight…Saints punked out and got caught.

  18. insidej0b says: Mar 18, 2012 3:38 PM

    Wouldn’t “Jonathan Vilma, who allegedly offered $10,000 to anyone who knocked Brett Favre out of the 2009 NFC title game” be the appropriate way to phrase that? Considering the fact that you haven’t seen anything that the common fan has not seen, you should stop stating things as fact that are nothing more than unproven allegations at this point.

    Lazy, sensationalistic journalism from the captain of all things lazy and sensationalistic…as usual.

  19. pharvinisback says: Mar 18, 2012 3:45 PM

    itsdaweasel says: I’ve got one for you….how about the team that whipped the vikes’ a$$ up and down the field on the way to their first ever SuperBowl!
    —————————————————- I will forgive your ignorance being that “Choot em! ” is most likely your claim to fame swamp person,,,Vikes won first downs 31-15….3rd down eff. 7-12 to Aints 3-12,,,,,Vikes had 475 yards to your 257,,,,Vikes rushed 4.6 ypc to your 3,,,,sounds like you really whooped us on the field Troy,,,Even with 5 turnovers we had it. But congrats, your Longest Yard criminal antics prevailed,,,oh yah, old man Favre says he took harder shots from high school kids,,,

  20. vtopa says: Mar 18, 2012 3:58 PM

    Gregg WIlliams-8 games ($250K)
    Sean Payton-4 games ($250K)
    Mickey Loomis-8games ($500K)
    Jonathan Vilma-4 games (250K)
    Other players, $100K and 2 games.

    Plus: Loss of all picks this year. Loss of 1st next year.

    That is not what I want to happen…but that is what will. According to a very well written piece by the WSJ, an ANALYSIS of the Saints hits during the “bounty years” demonstrates little or no effect of bounties. The saints were not the most penalized or the most called for illegal hits and they did not knock more players out of games or end any careers. The NFL is blowing SMOKE on this and GODdell is the problem. He should’ve never released that statement to the media. The Saints were tried int he court of public opinion. Now he has to satisfy their fake anger. WHAT A JOKE.

  21. ndnut says: Mar 18, 2012 4:31 PM

    @vtopa
    How do you plan on suspending a GM? The worst you can do is stop him from showing up at games, at which point he can watch on TV.

  22. nowillrepeat says: Mar 18, 2012 4:31 PM

    I will forgive your ignorance being that “Choot em! ” is most likely your claim to fame swamp person,,,Vikes won first downs 31-15….3rd down eff. 7-12 to Aints 3-12,,,,,Vikes had 475 yards to your 257,,,,Vikes rushed 4.6 ypc to your 3,,,,sounds like you really whooped us on the field Troy,,,Even with 5 turnovers we had it. But congrats, your Longest Yard criminal antics prevailed,,,oh yah, old man Favre says he took harder shots from high school kids,,,
    ——————————-
    H0w are those sour grapes?

  23. saints25 says: Mar 18, 2012 4:38 PM

    @pharvinisback ..l…How that new stadium deal in LA coming along…Favre tried to be the hero at the end of the game..thats what cost your vikqueens the game,:-)

  24. stevenfbrackett says: Mar 18, 2012 4:43 PM

    They can label “on field” or “off field”. In the minds of most people the only true label is “lowlife scum”.

    That will take a long time for the Saints to overcome. And thanks to the continued refusal to take responsibility by the team — no one has even been publicly scolded much less fired or suspended. Not even put on probation pending the the outcome of the investigation. Coupled with an owner who not only isn’t furious by any of this but can’t stop saying what great guys the perpetrators are — ‘a long time’ is now decades, if ever.

  25. fafaflunky says: Mar 18, 2012 4:47 PM

    nfl will drop the punishment on saints in two years the day before free agency

  26. kungfubillysims says: Mar 18, 2012 4:56 PM

    You just can’t help but bring up the Ndamukong Suh “stomping incident” at any time possible, can you?

  27. sfsaintsfan says: Mar 18, 2012 5:01 PM

    How many “illegal” hits have the Saints defense inflicted on opposing players over the last three years? Are the numbers any higher or lower than other teams?

    You would think, this late into the story that somebody would have this answer. The WSJ article is the closest to an investigative story we have seen yet. Where are the rest of the sports reporters? Do the answers to the questions not fit the narrative that the Saints were a “dirty team”?

    The Saints organization will be punished for lying about the performance enhancement program, as it should be, but how many of the hits were truly illegal hits and how many of the hits were just players playing football?

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