In addition to imposing severe punishment against multiple individuals involved in the Saints’ bounty program, Commissioner Roger Goodell has required all teams to certify that they currently maintain no similar systems.
“In a memo to NFL clubs, Commissioner Goodell directed the principal owner of every NFL team to meet with the head coach and confirm that the club does not operate a similar pay-for-performance or bounty program and to instruct his coach that no such program is permissible and that if such a program exists, it must be terminated immediately,” the NFL said in a release. (It’s unclear whether any sort of amnesty will apply to teams that currently maintain a bounty program, and that terminate it in response to the league’s directive.)
Teams already are required on an annual basis to sign documentation certifying full compliance with rules relating to the integrity of the game. The certifications will now be modified to include specific reference to bounties and other “pay-for-performance” programs.
Such procedures will force teams not only to avoid establishing such systems but also to actively police the locker room to ensure that players aren’t maintaining similar programs without the direct involvement of the team.