After a lengthy investigation of the Saints’ bounty program, punishment for former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, head coach Sean Payton and General Manager Mickey Loomis is finally close to being announced.
Jason La Canfora of NFL Network reports that a decision on bounty discipline for all three men is expected to come down shortly.
Williams, who is now the Rams’ defensive coordinator, will almost certainly face the harshest discipline of all. He has admitted to overseeing the program of bounties, and the NFL says he lied to the league office about it when the investigation began. There’s been talk that he could be facing a year-long suspension.
It’s unclear what will happen to Payton and Loomis, both of whom are accused of failing to act when they found out about Williams’ bounty program. But NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is expected to crack down on them as well. The Saints as a franchise may be disciplined with a hefty fine or the forfeiture of draft picks.
Some current and former Saints players who took part in the bounty program may also be suspended, although the NFL may take longer, and perhaps confer with the players’ union, before making those announcements. Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, who reportedly offered $10,000 to any player who could knock Brett Favre out of the NFC Championship Game, is believed to be the player who will face the harshest punishment.