Skip to content

Goodell will discipline Saints players later

2014 New York/New Jersey Super Bowl Host Company Press Conference Getty Images

On Wednesday, Commissioner Roger Goodell meted out discipline to a variety of non-players who were responsible for and/or had knowledge of the Saints’ bounty system.  Players like linebacker Jonathan Vilma, who offered $10,000 to anyone who knocked Brett Favre out of the 2009 NFC title game, were not punished.

Eventually, they will be.

“While I will not address player conduct at this time, I am profoundly troubled by the fact that players – including leaders among the defensive players – embraced this program so enthusiastically and participated with what appears to have been a deliberate lack of concern for the well-being of their fellow players,” Commissioner Goodell said in the official announcement regarding the punishment.  “While all club personnel are expected to play to win, they must not let the quest for victory so cloud their judgment that they willingly and willfully target their opponents and engage in unsafe and prohibited conduct intended to injure players.”

As recently explained, the characterization of the punishment imposed on players will influence the appeal process that applies.  Discipline for on-field conduct goes to one of two independent arbitrators — Ted Cottrell or Art Shell.  If characterized as off-field misconduct, the NFL ultimately resolves any appeal.

The NFLPA will be involved in the appeal process, whatever that process may be.  “It is clear the League took the role of management and the coaching staff seriously in this matter,” the union said in response to Wednesday’s news.  The bigger question is whether and to what extent the NFLPA will fight discipline imposed on one or more players.

Permalink 42 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Home, New Orleans Saints, Rumor Mill
42 Responses to “Goodell will discipline Saints players later”
  1. dakingsocrownme says: Mar 21, 2012 7:55 PM

    Anyone ever been Hi Fived for making a hard hit??? You sir were just part of a bounty. Ever hit a guy on a block(clean) that knocked him out and walked over to the bench to a few “nice hit(s)” You sir are demoralizing the intergrity of the game. Bunch of bullspit and baloney.

    I hope we crack some skulls on purpose this year and break a few ankles..that way i can at least feel better about it being called a BOUNTY.

  2. lennydpocketqb says: Mar 21, 2012 7:56 PM

    In real life all these knuckled draggers would be in jail.

  3. toad8572 says: Mar 21, 2012 7:57 PM

    Obviously Goodell never played.

    These types of incentives have been going on for decades from PW on up.

    Nobody goes for cheap shots just to earn the bounty; it adds a spice to the defensive effort. If you’re a cheap shot artist, it isn’t due to the bounty; you’re just twisted.

    This is really much ado about nothing. NFL = No Fun League

  4. i, flounder says: Mar 21, 2012 7:59 PM

    if i was vilma id be praying y punishment came in the form of hj’s.

  5. chawk12thman says: Mar 21, 2012 8:02 PM

    Advocating for both the disciplined players as well as their targets is going to be hard. Good luck staying atop that fence NFLPA.

  6. stadanko says: Mar 21, 2012 8:03 PM

    I didn’t know it was possible to cram this much piety into one day of blog writing. This has to be some kind of record.

  7. dakingsocrownme says: Mar 21, 2012 8:03 PM

    This is so dumb….Even Roddy White of the Falclowns stated that “he never felt like saints players were trying to take him out of the game”

    There are incentives in DL contracts for Sacks. Isn’t that in essence a bounty? IJS

  8. vbe2 says: Mar 21, 2012 8:07 PM

    When will he punish Sapp?

  9. bearsstillsuck says: Mar 21, 2012 8:07 PM

    I have a hard time imagining a pee wee football coach offering a snickers bar to any player who takes out the opposing quarterback.
    It’s not just unmoral, it’s criminal. Imagine paying somebody to deliberately hurt somebody else, that’s a felony.

  10. kp4lsu says: Mar 21, 2012 8:09 PM

    Nimrod Goodell are you naive enough or just plain stupid to think the Saints are the only team that did this, also everyone talks about Farve and the championship game, 1st he should not have been in the game in the first place he was done few game before that, 2nd why didn’t his OL protect him better.

  11. mungman69 says: Mar 21, 2012 8:13 PM

    You can’t injure people on purpose. Some fans want the same action as there is in pro rasslin. That can’t happen. Someone is going to get killed. Let’s call it the No Death League.

  12. snotienose says: Mar 21, 2012 8:21 PM

    So Goodell, why don’t you do something instead of talking about it. Nothing done yet, just big talk about discipline. Big deal, do something, suspend someone, fine the team, the coaches, do something, damn.

  13. wicky888 says: Mar 21, 2012 8:26 PM

    To all you whiny Saints fans:
    I’m sure other teams have done this, I would bet my life. Do you think Michael Vick is the only NFL player to fight dogs? Do you think Plax is the only player to ever carry a gun? Do you think Cushing is the only guy to ever take steroids?

    Of course not, but the Saints, like all those other guys, GOT CAUGHT. They took their punishments, and you are gonna take yours. Man the F up

  14. eyeh8goodell says: Mar 21, 2012 8:31 PM

    @mungman69

    If you don’t think pro wrestling takes the same toll on their bodies that football takes, you’re dreaming. Those guys are just as crippled later in life as NFL players are. And FAR more pro wrestlers have died as a result of their trade than NFL players have, and a few have even died during the show in front of the paying audience (Owen Hart). The NFL and the WWE are exactly the same. They are both entertainment products, nothing more.

  15. lnfinite says: Mar 21, 2012 8:34 PM

    Just take the tainted trophy and be done with it.

  16. billb49 says: Mar 21, 2012 8:40 PM

    The Saints got hammered. It does seem a little extreme, but on the other hand, this program was sanctioned by coaches who lied about it to the NFL brass when first questioned, so the Saints coaches knew they were doing something wrong.

    At the beginning of the last exhibition season, the Saints coaching staff completely broke all pre-season tradition and threw everything but the kitchen sink at the Niners in that first game. As a Niner fan, I thought it was one of the the most dickish thing I’d ever seen from a coaching staff. Everyone knew that the Niners had about one week to prepare and for Peyton and Williams to do that to them just seemed low class to me. Evidently, karma is such a bitch that that last second playoff win wasn’t even enough.

  17. delmonte55 says: Mar 21, 2012 8:43 PM

    stadanko says:
    Mar 21, 2012 8:03 PM
    I didn’t know it was possible to cram this much piety into one day of blog writing. This has to be some kind of record.
    _________________________________

    How true the above comment is.

  18. nyyjetsknicks says: Mar 21, 2012 8:44 PM

    He gets 4 games.

  19. packhawk04 says: Mar 21, 2012 8:47 PM

    The next time i read about a man or woman paying someone to off their wife or husband, im going to think to myself, “well, theyre not the first or last people to do it, so its ok.”

    Maybe i wont. Unlike some of you, i just cant bring myself to think like that.

  20. dad4dds says: Mar 21, 2012 8:49 PM

    Players should be suspended forever.

  21. snoqualmieterry says: Mar 21, 2012 8:50 PM

    There is a difference between hitting a player hard and being paid extra to on purposely hurt somebody. Any fan or player who thinks its ok, probably thinks its ok to beat their children with belts and spoons.

  22. jerid21 says: Mar 21, 2012 8:52 PM

    Anyone who thinks these punishments are too harsh or not needed are just uneducated idiots. Don’t rip Goodell for the punishments, they were all completely warranted, Sean Payton knew the whole time about the program and didn’t say a word, he actually encouraged lying about it to the league. As for Greg Williams, he is a cheap gutless bastard, who has been running this program his entire career. He should never step foot on an NFL field again, EVER. #BannedForLife

  23. seagulljr says: Mar 21, 2012 9:01 PM

    What’s amazing is the intellectual disconnect some of you have. Dakingsocrownme, I’m looking at you.

    Hi fiving a fellow player for making a great stop with a hard, clean hit is completely different from offering to pay / reward someone for taking a fellow player out of the game. To suggest differently is disingenuous at best and… ignorant. If you’re under 12 years old you get a pass.

    Just because others do it doesn’t make it right. If you’re following 50 other cars on the interstate, and you’re the only one stopped for speeding, you don’t get a free pass because 50 other cars were doing it. Yu get to pay the ticket. The saints get to pay the ticket.

    Season ticket holders deserve to see the best players play the game. They want to see the starters out there. If you wish to disagree, check out the attendance for pre-season games. Having a bounty robs those fans and the opposing team from fielding the best players. Sure accidents and bad luck happen. Incentivizing someone to go the extra mile to take out an opposing player devalues the game, players, and fans of the best this entertaining sport has to offer.

    If no one goes for cheap shots due to the bounty, WHY OFFER IT? Rewards are offered in many facets in life to encourage a specific behavior. The desired behavior was to knock out big play makers on the opposing team. Essentially admitting you have not the skill, nor discipline to beat them with them in the game.

    kp4lsu… Really? The defense of your position is if the defensive lineman had protected the player this wouldn’t have happened? The whole nation has this attitude. Take some personal responsibility, man. The offensive lineman is not responsible for a bounty system imposed by the opposing team. If a motorcyclist opts to not wear a helmet (in a state where it’s legal to ride without a helmet) and a drunk driver hits him and kiss him, the drunk driver gets a free pass, huh? The motorcyclist should have worn a helmet, right? Seriously??

    Justify it however you wish, but financial rewards for injury has no place in football.

  24. brandonyer says: Mar 21, 2012 9:05 PM

    It is embarrassing to read comments comparing high fives to what happened. Not sure if these are blinded fans or just stupid people.

    Any coach or player doing this should be suspended for at least the season. If you can’t understand how great a sport this is and how it is meant to be played you shouldn’t be a fan. Injuries happen, they should not be intentional.

    I have a feeling if someone gave Brees a helmet-to-helmet hit after a player that ended his career that Saints fans would begin to understand how dumb they sound.

  25. melikefootball says: Mar 21, 2012 9:28 PM

    Go getem God-del, lets see if you have it in you.

  26. cmpenny says: Mar 21, 2012 10:00 PM

    I might be alone in this thinking but I feel personally that everyone involved has or will get let off WAY to easily. What they did was very wrong, and personally I would have FIRED everyone involved.

  27. blspears says: Mar 21, 2012 11:33 PM

    I have been thinking of picking up some Packers stock so I can cuss Goodell out at the shareholders meeting.

  28. tombstone7 says: Mar 22, 2012 12:11 AM

    Goodell is WRONG!…..Because He Never Assesses The Entire League & He Ignored The Fact That OFFENSIVE LINEMEN, RECEIVERS TRY TO TAKE OUT THE DEFENSIVE STANDOUTS..chop blocks, grabbing scrotums, blocks in the.backs, clipping penalties…Bull-Sh#t!….i.e.Hines Ward & others…when Was He Called or Suspended for A Cheap Shot? Goodell is a PUNK….LET’s play T-FOOTBALL w/SKIRTS or Let the NFL resemble the 2012 PRO-BOWL…..A WUSSY GAME!

  29. jdl8422 says: Mar 22, 2012 12:53 AM

    I’m getting tired of people saying the saints players were cheating and purposely trying to hurt people.

    There is a difference being someone motivating a player to give it 100% the entire game and some one saying go out there and purposely hurt some one.

    If the saints were doing illegal hits they would of been fined during the season. The saints were motivated to go out and make legal hits. I don’t recall seeing them running around with bats and knifes beating people.

    They did not cheat, they still had to go out and play and win. I’m tired of hearing about how farce should have a trophy. The saints won fair and square. The Vikings OL couldn’t stop the Saints.

    Steroids are cheating, it’s performance enhancing and gives and unfair advantage. Money isn’t, but juicing up hasn’t resulted in half a team being suspended.

  30. xx4zu1 says: Mar 22, 2012 2:07 AM

    Anyone remember mutant league football for the sega?

  31. seagulljr says: Mar 22, 2012 2:19 AM

    But jdl8422… You’re proving my point for me. Someone WAS saying go out there and purposely hurt people… And if you’re successful, we’ll pay you. That’s exactly what happened.

    There is nothing wrong with motivating a group to play hard, but that’s not what happened, is it? There is a big difference between “don’t let them gain another inch,” and “I’ll pay $10,000 to the person who takes their quarterback out of the game. I don’t care if you break his leg, Lead with your helmet or launch yourself at their player.”

    You state the saints would have been fined during the season if they were doing anything wrong. If Sandusky was abusing children, the school / police would have stepped in immediately and arrested him. He must be innocent according to your reasoning.

    I guess you’re correct in that they won fair and square. Provided fair means “take out the opponent so he cannot continue to play” and square means “we’ll pay you for doing so.”

  32. jcg23 says: Mar 22, 2012 5:44 AM

    I wouldn’t care if they had to cancel the season to suspend every coach or player that ever did or does this. I’d empty out the Hall of Fame too. There is being brutal within the rules and then there is this.

    They are lucky and I’m not sure why they haven’t been, but they are lucky that they haven’t had criminal charges pressed against them.

    It is all on tape.

  33. howiegtr says: Mar 22, 2012 9:05 AM

    tombstone7 says:
    Mar 22, 2012 12:11 AM
    Goodell is WRONG!…..Because He Never Assesses The Entire League & He Ignored The Fact That OFFENSIVE LINEMEN, RECEIVERS TRY TO TAKE OUT THE DEFENSIVE STANDOUTS..chop blocks, grabbing scrotums, blocks in the.backs, clipping penalties…Bull-Sh#t!….i.e.Hines Ward & others…when Was He Called or Suspended for A Cheap Shot? Goodell is a PUNK….LET’s play T-FOOTBALL w/SKIRTS or Let the NFL resemble the 2012 PRO-BOWL…..A WUSSY GAME!
    ————————————————-
    Ever play football? How would you feel if players on the defense went after your knees and head even if you did have the ball, purposely to actually break bones illegally? You wouldn’t appreciate it would you. You’d jump up after the ‘illegal’ hit on your knees and yell to the ref “what the f*ck was that for!? Then you realize the coach on the opposing team is paying his players to end your football season/career. But that’s OK with you though, your a ‘mans man’

  34. jody9235 says: Mar 22, 2012 10:04 AM

    I’m a die hard Saints fan and believe this system was wrong, but the NFL is covering its own ass, they compiled 50,ooo pages of proof over three years. Noone understands that the leauge as well let this go on for the same amount of time. Penalties should have been imposed then, when this began, but then again no one is in place to police Goodell. He is picking and choosing when to levvy penalties. So during this whole time he left players in a bad situation until it was politically right to penalize the Saints. This must not have been so bad if our glorious commisioner let it go on for so long, he had to do something about it because he was forced to when it became public. Competitive balance and player safety my ass! Active players on many teams have come forward admitting to the same type of system, Goodell says no investigations forthcoming. Open your eyes NFL fans everywhere and look in your own backyard before bashing the Saints.

  35. askabutcher says: Mar 22, 2012 12:33 PM

    Just curious….did any of the players ever refuse the bounty money?

  36. agentfreak82 says: Mar 22, 2012 2:21 PM

    Dirty town, dirty players, dirty fans….

  37. cowboycjn says: Mar 22, 2012 2:27 PM

    Yes they did wrong & yes they should be punished as handed out. But cheat – no way, they just played the game with more intenisity. This “bounty” term is a media word to create more drama and have a far more reaching reader base as it is doing.
    As for tarnished SB – heres a quarter Vikes- go call someone to whine to-call someone who cares. Your Fave was all washed up and your team couldn’t stop the Saints if they had one hand tied behind their backs.
    Saints have a new motivator to drive them this year – look out whinney babies we are coming for ya.

  38. cmpenny says: Mar 22, 2012 4:10 PM

    If this organization has any brain cells left @ all, they will man up and take the punishment on the chin. Fighting it will only make things worse. They are guilty as charged, period.

  39. judgebill says: Mar 22, 2012 4:19 PM

    This is all wrong, the League should have suspended the entire team for an year, get some strength in there. Goodall should have fined the owner millions of dollars in fine. What goodall did, is show he has no strength or cares what a league does.

  40. nofunleague says: Mar 22, 2012 6:02 PM

    These guys are supposed to be a brotherhood, members of the same union. they fight for money, respect and benefits and some of them think its ok to take a guys lively hood from them?
    Baloney. I can’t wait for the players to get their names published with their suspensions. If other teams get caught and then lie about it, I would expect the same results. But to excuse it because “everyone does it is bunk.

  41. nofunleague says: Mar 22, 2012 6:03 PM

    One other thing. If I am the owner Mr. Benson, Payton is gone. See you later liar. you won’t embarrass my team.

  42. mx429 says: Mar 22, 2012 7:14 PM

    Jonathan Vilma, nothing but trash. It’s a reflection of upbringing and culture.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!