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It’s time for action, not words, on Saints players involved with bounties

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On Friday, NFL general counsel Jeff Pash addressed a group of Associated Press sports editors regarding the still-lingering bounty scandal.  Per the Associated Press, Pash criticized the union for protecting the Saints players who were involved in the bounty scandal at the expense of those who were the targets of it.

“They were protective of the players who could be disciplined in the next phase of this,” Pash said.  “That was their focus, on defending or excusing the conduct of players involved in this program.  That’s unfortunate; the players who could have been or even were injured are also members of the union.

“It’s their players who put the safety of other players in jeopardy.”

That’s fine, but the NFL has no legitimate reason to publicly point out the conflict of interest that arises whenever a member of a union engages in behavior that may infringe on the rights of another union member.  Has the NFL ever criticized the NFLPA for defending the rights of steroids users whose juiced-up bodies put other union members at greater risk of injury?  No, and the NFL shouldn’t start trying to drive a wedge within the rank and file now.

The simply reality is that the players accused of involvement in the bounty scandal have rights.  The NFLPA must defend those rights.  And the NFL knows this.

“Given the current dynamic, we have an obligation to ensure that players have fair due process and we protect them from the league,” NFLPA spokesman George Atallah told the Associated Press. “If the league was more forthcoming in the information they have related to what they are alleging [took] place, perhaps we could be in a better position to deal with this issue in a collaborative manner.”

So why is the NFL publicly twisting the NFLPA’s tail?  The NFL should instead be issuing discipline.  After all, it’s been seven weeks since the NFL disclosed the bounty scandal.  Punishment has been meted out and the appeals have been finalized for the non-players involved.  The league’s inaction as to the players coupled with gratuitous rhetoric apparently arising from the union’s justified refusal to pre-approve any discipline serves only to create the impression that the NFL realizes that, against the players, the case may not be as strong as the NFL has characterized it to be.

“I do think there will be player discipline that is appropriate based on the facts,” Pash said.  “That’s important because it reinforces our shared accountability here.  What our investigators uncovered is a serious violation of the rules and our player safety policies.”

Fine.  Then issue the discipline.  The Saints and any team that employs members of the Saints defense from 2009 through 2011 has a right to know before next week’s draft whether and to what extent those players may need to be replaced.

With each passing day without an announcement of discipline against the players, we’re becoming more inclined to believe that, as to the players, the NFL will have a hard time making stick the notion that the cartoonish rhetoric from former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams actually translated into heinous actions on the field.

The NFL can commence the process of dispelling those beliefs by imposing the discipline.

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64 Responses to “It’s time for action, not words, on Saints players involved with bounties”
  1. talkintrashallday says: Apr 20, 2012 6:57 PM

    Vilma is on the NFL’s bounty list

  2. flannlv says: Apr 20, 2012 7:00 PM

    Nice selective editing of the quotes from Pash. “Players could have been hurt…errrrr players were hurt.”

    I know who has a bounty out. It’s the NFL for the Minnesota* Vikings. I love LA.

  3. duanethomas says: Apr 20, 2012 7:01 PM

    What’s the rush? The suspensions won’t start until the regular seasons anyway. Probably 40% of those guys aren’t in the league anymore. No rush. You just need a new storyline until training camp, because after the draft it gets slow.

  4. bigredscouting says: Apr 20, 2012 7:08 PM

    Doesn’t history teach you anything. Like the last year’s lockout info that reflected poorly upon the league. The info was released the day before the draft so the Draft would sweep the bad press under the rug. They will do the same with the Saints players and their so called ‘bounty’ program.

  5. chawk12thman says: Apr 20, 2012 7:14 PM

    The NFL is wrong here. They need to issue the discipline. Then, if the NFLPA is not protecting both the suspended and those targeted, they can do some “bashing”. It wouldn’t be hard for the NFLPA to appoint union representatives that are separate from each other to ensure that all sides are appropriately represented.

    It is even more wrong for the NFL to wait until after the draft making sure the Saints don’t know what to expect this coming season. Kind of the same deal with making sure the suspensions of Vitt was after their bye week.

    I am not a fan of New Orleans, but fair is fair………..

    Lets’ get it on.

  6. amaf21 says: Apr 20, 2012 7:14 PM

    The Commish can and will drop the hammer on those turds at his leisure. And that’s the bottom line Saints fans.

  7. steviemo says: Apr 20, 2012 7:18 PM

    NFLPA: Do what you want about the bounty issue; just don’t take away our offensive linemen’s ability to use HGH.

  8. jeffw says: Apr 20, 2012 7:20 PM

    Duh… Self serving and hypocritical is the main job of every union.

  9. jm8ch10 says: Apr 20, 2012 7:20 PM

    Goodell is going to wait until after the draft to discipline the bountygate players. It’s just another way to get back at Sean Payton. There has to be more to this story because Goodell seems dead set on punishing them severely.

  10. sdisme says: Apr 20, 2012 7:22 PM

    I wonder if any reporters will start questioning the NFL’s evidence?

    eeehhh….probably not.

  11. jm8ch10 says: Apr 20, 2012 7:31 PM

    Where is nappy headed Gregg Williams at anyway? It’s like he’s in witness protection or something. Probably gator huntin in dem swamps.

  12. jcusa514 says: Apr 20, 2012 7:31 PM

    relax florio. this is unprecedented in professional sports. the nfl is just doing its homework before any fines/suspensions…remember now, they’re dealing with a union

  13. yssupasigninnamnotyep says: Apr 20, 2012 7:32 PM

    This has gone on long enough and I’m sure everyone is as sick of hearing about the bounty issue as I am.

    It’s time to get on with more important matters with the draft upcoming next week, and it’s also time to hand out the punishment to the players.

    All teams need to know to what extent this will affect their draft boards and obviously the sooner the better. To paraphrase the new corporate monopoly in the league:

    Just Do It!

  14. expertop says: Apr 20, 2012 7:35 PM

    Oh, now Gregg Williams’ comments are “cartoonish rhetoric”?

    What kind of cartoons would those be?

  15. vikingamericann says: Apr 20, 2012 7:35 PM

    The NFL needs to put up or shut up. So far the only evidence we have for a bounty system is Goodall’s word. I know I know!!! The whiners keeps but but but …..Payton took full responsibility. He said I share and support the league’s concern for player safety. He take full responsibility for the operation of the Saints. Funny thing he never admits to a bounty. Greg Williams tape never says bounty. The only source that there was a bounty is Goodall. Well if you want to take the word of an absolute dictator that’s your poor choice. But true American patriots say put your money where your mouth is. In other words Goodall needs to put up or shutup.

  16. shenanigans24 says: Apr 20, 2012 7:37 PM

    Well woohoo! Listen to mister man of action himself Florio. Tired of all these words so I’m going to use my words to criticize your words.

  17. beastup22 says: Apr 20, 2012 7:39 PM

    Where is the evidence, where are the injuries, and where are the ILLEGAL hits? The NFL had the tapes so whats the problem?

  18. vikingamericann says: Apr 20, 2012 7:41 PM

    amaf21 | Apr 20, 2012, 7:14 PM EDT
    The Commish can and will drop the hammer on those turds at his leisure. And that’s the bottom line Saints fans.

    Amaf21 one has to wonder if you would like to live under a dictatorship. I mean just thing a government that can drop the hammer no evidence needed. Perhaps, you should move to Iran.

  19. eswanny11 says: Apr 20, 2012 7:41 PM

    Do the same thing that the league to the Redskins and Cowboys; announce the suspencion the day before the season starts.

  20. pgui88 says: Apr 20, 2012 7:44 PM

    There is no proof of harm to players. And the nfl knows that. Case closed.

  21. pftcensorssuck says: Apr 20, 2012 7:47 PM

    You would think the union would come out dead-square against the saints players and their bounty system based on numbers alone…..

    Why protect 53 of your members, against the 848 who played against them in a season, and were placed at risk?

  22. vikingamericann says: Apr 20, 2012 7:48 PM

    Sdisme I wonder if any reporters will start questioning the NFL’s evidence?

    Quote from George Carlin ” don’t teach your child to read. Teach them to question what they read” too bad reporters don’t know this anymore and I don’t mean just sports reporters.

  23. santolonius says: Apr 20, 2012 7:50 PM

    conspiracy theory time: perhaps the league privately wants the players union to block these suspensions. that way the league can later maintain in court – when it is being sued over concussions – that owners have tried to bring a culture of safety, but it is the players union that is blocking it. thus the liability for injuries lies with the union/players. or at the very least it is shared with the union/players.

    in sum: the league may be delighted that the union is blocking discipline.

  24. realitypolice says: Apr 20, 2012 7:53 PM

    duanethomas says:
    Apr 20, 2012 7:01 PM
    What’s the rush? The suspensions won’t start until the regular seasons anyway. Probably 40% of those guys aren’t in the league anymore. No rush. You just need a new storyline until training camp, because after the draft it gets slow.
    ===============

    Typical half-baked comment from DT. Did it ever occur to you that it might be beneficial for the Saints to know who will or won’t be playing for them next year BEFORE THE DRAFT?

    Because, well you know, teams use the draft to fill holes in their roster and such.

  25. truthfactory says: Apr 20, 2012 8:04 PM

    I hate unions. Common sense goes out the window and it’s all about picking a fight. Even on the simplest of things, the general rule of thumb is to NEVER agree with management.

    By disagreeing with an issue, no matter how big or small, they view it as a point that they can “give in” on something with the expectation that they gain leverage on some other unrelated issue.

  26. truthfactory says: Apr 20, 2012 8:07 PM

    vikingamericann says:
    Apr 20, 2012 7:35 PM
    The NFL needs to put up or shut up. So far the only evidence we have for a bounty system is Goodall’s word. I know I know!!! The whiners keeps but but but …..Payton took full responsibility. He said I share and support the league’s concern for player safety. He take full responsibility for the operation of the Saints. Funny thing he never admits to a bounty. Greg Williams tape never says bounty. The only source that there was a bounty is Goodall. Well if you want to take the word of an absolute dictator that’s your poor choice. But true American patriots say put your money where your mouth is. In other words Goodall needs to put up or shutup.
    ————

    Ya, I’m sure Goodell was just bored one day and said… “you know what, i want to pick a fight with the Saints and I’m gonna make up a story that they were using bountys just to give the league a black eye”

    OR… He warned them several times, and then he had a reliable (or even multiple) sources confirm it. Chances are he talked to some players involved and told them we know what went on… you tell the truth right now. If we find out later that you are lying, then you could be banned from the league for a full year. I’m sure players annonymously started singing, while publically claiming it never happened just to save face.

  27. reppster says: Apr 20, 2012 8:22 PM

    Suspend the whole team for a season and bring in an old XFL team to replace them.

  28. amaf21 says: Apr 20, 2012 8:29 PM

    @vikingamericann – last time I checked, the NFL was business, not an entire country. The powers that be run their company the way they see fit. Those turds broke the company’s rules, people got hurt and now they’re going down.

    On a slightly different note, are you going to root for the Vikings after they move to LA?

  29. amaf21 says: Apr 20, 2012 8:35 PM

    @realitypolice – I know it’s 4/20 and all so I’m assuming you’re just high off your arse. <> – Why in the blue hell would the NFL give the Saints any type of break and why do you think they even deserve one? They broke the rules, lied, tried to cover up and then they were caught. They tried to make The Commish look like a fool. Oh so yeah that totally makes sense for the league to tell them who they’re suspending before the draft. Get a clue.

  30. SeenThisB4 says: Apr 20, 2012 8:38 PM

    How exactly would the NFLPA go about protecting the players that could have been injured or were at risk at being in danger the last three years? Has not the NFL owners and coaches already documented that there would be no such pay for injury programs in the future? Seems to me, that the NFLPA is focused on the only players that they are in position to protect, those who the NFL wants to suspend.

  31. vikingamericann says: Apr 20, 2012 8:38 PM

    Ya, I’m sure Goodell was just bored one day and said… “you know what, i want to pick a fight with the Saints and I’m gonna make up a story that they were using bountys just to give the league a black eye”

    OR… He warned them several times, and then he had a reliable (or even multiple) sources confirm it. Chances are he talked to some players involved and told them we know what went on… you tell the truth right now. If we find out later that you are lying, then you could be banned from the league for a full year. I’m sure players annonymously started singing, while publically claiming it never happened just to save face.

    Truthfactor for argument sake lets say everything you stated actually happened. Due process still demands that Goodall present evidence. I’ll remind a quote from Ronald Reagan “trust but verify” . What is the harm in laying out the evidence to the players, coaches and union. They have rights in this country and I support there right to confront the evidence against them and either say you got me or counter the evidence. That is the American Way of justice. I hope you wise up and learn to question even, if you think you know what the facts. Just remember WMD the trillion dollars and 10000 lives that dry hole cost us.

  32. stevenfbrackett says: Apr 20, 2012 8:41 PM

    Any news on when Tom Benson will become even slightly annoyed with the coaches and players who have set back his team decades and cost him big money though severely damaging the organization’s reputation and in turn costing them lost revenue from ticket sales, merch sales, sponsorship deals, etc..?

    (I’ve given up any hope of him being furious as he should have been.)

  33. vikingamericann says: Apr 20, 2012 8:49 PM

    Truthfactory again
    you dislike unions. Yeah they’re damn inconvenient and there history is full of let’s be nice and call it mischief. I know this will be too difficult for most PFT readers to grasp, but we need unions, we need the NFLPA. We need teachers unions. Historically speaking, our country developed a sense of worker rights and fairness because unions questioned authority. Mexico never went through the union stage in its development. Look where they are today.

  34. nineroutsider says: Apr 20, 2012 9:04 PM

    When they do announce the player suspensions many of you will be disappointed as I don’t think they will be too severe and rightfully so; it was a coach sponsored and administered program. I don’t think they can hammer the players.

    They should just release all of the evidence they have, but I know their cheif concern is protecting themselves in multiple ways. I am curious though.

  35. jesse1834 says: Apr 20, 2012 9:04 PM

    I don’t understand why all of the players punishments have to be handed out at the same time?

  36. backindasaddle says: Apr 20, 2012 9:08 PM

    Pash said:

    “They were protective of the players who could be disciplined in the next phase of this,” Pash said. “That was their focus, on defending or excusing the conduct of players involved in this program. That’s unfortunate; the players who could have been or even were injured are also members of the union.

    “It’s their players who put the safety of other players in jeopardy.”

    * BINGO. This is a point I brought up many weeks ago (of course my post was removed which seems to occur quite often) when the question of player discipline/NFLPA was raised. Before the NFLPA uttered a single word on the matter I predicted they would respond by not doing a thing to the offending players and instead taking up a position of opposition to the league. I’ve been dealing with unions for 3 decades and know how the leadership thinks. They care nothing of safety for safeties sake. If they genuinely did then they’d be in lock step with the league. They do use safety, however, as a leveraging tool in negotiations to get more man hours required for a given unit of work. That is the only thing that “safety” represents to the union heads. In reality and in the end the union (as always) just wants more power and more control over the owner/company.

    Lesson #1: Moremoremorenomatterwhat = unions.
    ______________________________________________________
    Florio said:

    “That’s fine, but the NFL has no legitimate reason to publicly point out the conflict of interest that arises whenever a member of a union engages in behavior that may infringe on the rights of another union member.”

    * Well it’s fairly obvious is it not? The NFL has every right to be pissed at the NFLPA and point out their hypocrisy. Instead of showing legitimate and genuine concern about the well being of their player/members, the NFLPA immediately just took up the ‘dig in your heels and fight against the owners’ position and gave no indication of collaboration with the league on this whatsoever. They just immediately indicated ‘we’re gonna fight ya’.

    Lesson # 2: When dealing with unions right vs. wrong doesn’t mater (because the only thing that DOES matter…. is Lesson #1)
    ______________________________________________________
    Florio said:

    “The simply reality is that the players accused of involvement in the bounty scandal have rights. The NFLPA must defend those rights. And the NFL knows this.”

    * The simple reality is that the players who were targeted not only have the very same rights, but they also have every right to expect, even demand, the same level of determination and passion from union management towards disciplining the bounty hunters as union management is giving towards fighting the owners.

    Lesson #2 applies here.
    ______________________________________________________
    Florio said”

    “So why is the NFL publicly twisting the NFLPA’s tail?”

    * Because they want the NFLPA to stand up, do the right thing, and join with them to jointly issue discipline to the bounty hunting players in a unified way to make it clean and righteous by all accounts. Instead, the union choses to protect the perps and ignore their own victims and (as always) illustrates the unwavering one dimensional, cast in granite, mindset of………

    Lesson #3: fighttheownersnomatterwhat
    _______________________________________________________

    One thing we can agree on Florio….
    Now that the union has illustrated that you can never expect anything other than piggish behavior from a pig, YES… the league should immediately commence with the player disciplines.

  37. sdisme says: Apr 20, 2012 9:19 PM

    stevenfbrackett says:
    Apr 20, 2012 8:41 PM
    Any news on when Tom Benson will become even slightly annoyed with the coaches and players who have set back his team decades and cost him big money though severely damaging the organization’s reputation and in turn costing them lost revenue from ticket sales, merch sales, sponsorship deals, etc..?

    ________________________________

    Season ticket renewals were 98% and the final couple of big money suites sold out after the bounty information came out.

    What people fail to understand is Loomis, Payton & Vitt are being punished for a different “crime”. Think about this for a second….How were Dennis Allen and Bill Johnson completely unaware of a bounty program?

  38. bluefan204 says: Apr 20, 2012 9:20 PM

    Whoa, wait a sec. Didn’t you guys hear? There was no bounty program

    Just ask Drew Brees

  39. vikingamericann says: Apr 20, 2012 9:23 PM

    Amaf21 @vikingamericann – last time I checked, the NFL was business, not an entire country. The powers that be run their company the way they see fit. Those turds broke the company’s rules, people got hurt and now they’re going down.

    Yep it’s a private company, but there still is this funny thing called worker rights, labor laws and due process, even private company have to follow. After all cooperation are people too. However in a nice dictatorship you get to do whatever the leader decides is best for you. Move to Iran you think like one of them you can live like one of them.

  40. packfaninchitown says: Apr 20, 2012 9:26 PM

    Saintsfan said: I’ll bet everyone criticizing the Saints are fans of a team the Saints have beaten and you’re just bitter…
    ___________________________________
    I’m yer Huckleberry…

  41. saints4evah says: Apr 20, 2012 9:35 PM

    I agree. Put every Saint who injured somebody on this so-called “bounty” program on a list, and let’s go down it and get the punishments dealt out and done with.
    1. Bobby McCray

    End of list.
    All else is hypocrisy and BS.

  42. duanethomas says: Apr 20, 2012 9:38 PM

    @Realitypolice. The Saints already know who is going to get hit and if you keep up with football you would know they have signed Curtis Lofton as Vilma’s replacement who will be hit the hardest. The rest will be staggered but no more then 3 game. So expand your limited football knowledge and quit counting on this site to inform you……bra.

  43. sfsaintsfan says: Apr 20, 2012 10:01 PM

    “With each passing day without an announcement of discipline against the players, we’re becoming more inclined to believe that, as to the players, the NFL will have a hard time making stick the notion that the cartoonish rhetoric from former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams actually translated into heinous actions on the field.”

    And with each passing day, more and more unbiased fans and unbiased members of the media are realizing the truth: NOT ONE SINGLE PLAYER WAS INJURED BY THE ENTIRE SAINTS DEFENSE DUE TO AN ILLEGAL HIT OVER A THREE YEAR PERIOD, NOT ONE!!!

    Gregg Williams is an idiot, and not much of a Defensive Coordinator, Sean Payton should have paid more attention to what his Defensive Coordinator spewed during Defensive Meetings (when he was in the “Offensive” meeting, because he pays attention to the Offense and not the Defense), but the level of penalties against the Saints was far too severe. Nobody got hurt, not one single player, due to an illegal hit. In the Niners playoff game, the Saints didn’t even have a single penalty, even after listening to Gregg Williams the night before.

    Goodell can “suspend” all he wants, but the players have rights, not a single one hurt anybody due to an illegal hit. These suspension will not hold up to due process with the union involved if he goes too far.

  44. realitypolice says: Apr 20, 2012 10:15 PM

    @amaf21:

    You’re walking around blind without a cane. Despite all of the saber rattling and show boating, do you really think the NFL wants their darling franchise to fail? And I’m the one who needs to get a clue?

    Goodell is a tool of the owners, nothing more, nothing less. He is “lashing out” against the Saints by order of an ownership group terrified that the mainstream media will figure out that every team in the league is guilty of what the Saints are.

    If you think the Saints won’t know at least 3-4 days in advance of the draft what players will suspended for a long enough time that the team should consider replacing them, you should forget about getting a clue because you wouldn’t know what to do with it if you found it.

  45. silentcount says: Apr 20, 2012 10:21 PM

    There’s evidence that Greg Williams ordered the code red, but no evidence that his orders were followed. For the sake of fairness, should a player be penalized if they all just ignored the coaches stupid BS? Perhaps there really isn’t any evidence that any players received additional money for performance. The coaches don’t have a union to help make sure their punishment is fair, but the players do, as do average citizens. Right now, Goodell has relied on working the public up into a lynch mob, without providing proof of a player actually injuring someone on purpose and being paid for it.

  46. crabboil says: Apr 20, 2012 10:23 PM

    stevenfbrackett-

    The waiting list for Saints tickets got longer this year, no one in New Orleans is buying new NFL gear, and the Super Dome is being paid for by Mercedes-freaking-Benz.

    I’m not sure where you’re getting your information.

  47. pcoisma says: Apr 20, 2012 10:49 PM

    While I believe the Saints deserve everything they are getting, A double standard I feel. The coaches and GM knows but the players do not?

  48. musicman495 says: Apr 20, 2012 10:50 PM

    Jeff Pash has proven himself repeatedly over the years to be an a$$ with a petty vendetta against the union, and today’s fiasco was no different.

    Mike Florio, it has taken you a while to come around to realize the injustice and hypocrisy associated with these bounties (not to mention the lack of actual evidence other than what people said or heard), but better late than never. Keep making a pest of yourself until someone from the Dictator’s office on Park Avenue pays attention. Bravo.

  49. kingfish4242 says: Apr 20, 2012 11:25 PM

    Truthfactory again
    you dislike unions. Yeah they’re damn inconvenient and there history is full of let’s be nice and call it mischief. I know this will be too difficult for most PFT readers to grasp, but we need unions, we need the NFLPA. We need teachers unions. Historically speaking, our country developed a sense of worker rights and fairness because unions questioned authority. Mexico never went through the union stage in its development. Look where they are today.

    ————————————————–

    I’m not a fan of unions myself,but you are correct. If not for Unions,we’d still have kids working in coal mines and sweatshops for slave wages. Call them a necessary evil if you want,but they are still needed even in this modern era.

    ————————————————

    vikingamericann says:
    Apr 20, 2012 9:23 PM
    Amaf21 @vikingamericann – last time I checked, the NFL was business, not an entire country. The powers that be run their company the way they see fit. Those turds broke the company’s rules, people got hurt and now they’re going down.

    Yep it’s a private company, but there still is this funny thing called worker rights, labor laws and due process, even private company have to follow. After all cooperation are people too. However in a nice dictatorship you get to do whatever the leader decides is best for you. Move to Iran you think like one of them you can live like one of them.

    ————————————————-

    Actually the NFL is an unincorporated 501 association,a federal nonprofit designation, comprising its 32 teams. Semantics I know,but the Individual teams are the private businesses and obviously not non profit.

  50. kodakinvegas says: Apr 21, 2012 12:04 AM

    I’m about to answer some of your questions.
    1. The NFL is a Corporation, not a state or country Just like General Motors or Ford

    2. There’s NO doubt Goodell has the goods on them or Willisms, Vitt, the GM and others would have screamed bloody murder. They hung their heads down, turnrd, put their tails between their legs and left. Why? I will answer that I’n a moment

    3. Goodell doesn’t want to expose anymore evidence than he has to because the the BIG HEADS are gonna start looking up EVERYONE’s a$$. It’s WORSE than WHAT you think it is and a GRENADE waiting to go off.

    4. Why? He’s trying to keep a lid on a lot of crap that showed up I’n 3 years of investigation and 50K p pages of documentation.

    If you had ever ran a Corporation you could understand that. Senate, congressional, D :A grand juries, IRrS, RICO organized crime laws and outside felon money trickled down and through upper level management. The FEDS DON’T PLAY. Time id an attorneys best friend and a block buster releases biggest enemy. Let things cool down and slide out the back door. Don’t believe me, ask Johnny Bench and the steroid boys I’n NY yankee territory it’s all about publiciity and $$$$. And the NFL is pay dirt, BIG TIME.
    End of Class

  51. genericuser8888 says: Apr 21, 2012 12:24 AM

    There is very little on-field evidence that the Saints’ players followed Williams directions to injure other players.

    For example:

    1) After Williams’ awful speech before the 49er playoff game, the Saints were called for no penalties the entire game. The only player to suffer a serious injury (concussion) was Pierre Thomas, who is a Saints running back.

    2) In 2009, a “bounty” year, ZERO players were carted off against the Saints.

    3) Why hasn’t anyone in the media produced a comprehensive list of cart-offs and career ending injures vs the Saints for the 2009-2011 seasons? –Probably because it wouldn’t look that bad.

    4) Why won’t Goodell provide the NFLPA with this “damning evidence” (may words)that he claims to have? Does he actually have it? If so, why not release it?

    A lack of on-field injuries makes it pretty easy for the players to claim that they disobeyed Williams and should not be punished, or punished only very lightly. A lack of specific, detailed examples of cash for payments also hurts the NFL’s case.

    So, it’s looking like the players will try to get off without much punishment because of the union.

    Meanwhile, Payton gets a one year suspension for “Failing to maintain institutional control”.

    It’s going to look really weird when the players get a 2-4 game suspension and the coach is banned from the entire NFL for a YEAR when he wasn’t even directly involved.

    Really, and this is all conjecture, Payton’s suspension is probably due to the fact that he would not admit to knowing about the bounty program, or, at least, he won’t admit to knowing about the severity of it. He says it “took place on his watch” and that he was “too involved with one side of the ball” (offense). Even now, Goodell says he can make back a substantial portion of his $8 million salary by “cooperating” with the league.

    Payton gets a year for failing to implement proper “institutional control”. Meanwhile, the players’ union doesn’t even think there’s enough evidence to suspend people.

    And, let’s not forget the NFLPA committee contains Drew Brees (Saint) and another ex-Saint. You can bet Drew wants to see the full extent of the evidence after his best friend gets suspended for a full year.

  52. cidman2001 says: Apr 21, 2012 12:28 AM

    “NOT ONE SINGLE PLAYER WAS INJURED BY THE ENTIRE SAINTS DEFENSE DUE TO AN ILLEGAL HIT OVER A THREE YEAR PERIOD, NOT ONE!!!”

    It only takes one a moment or two of watching the 2009 Vikes/Saints playoff game to see players going above and beyond the scope of clean play and take cheap shots (legal or not) at Favre. The refs botched the calls and let the Saints continue to tee off on Favre even after he was obviously dazed. I say we ask Brett Favre how he feels about it. I’d love to hear from him on this issue (honestly of course). Favre looked pretty injured to me. I’m not sure what was worse, watching the refs let him get hammered or watching the Vikes coaching staff not pull him. I’m a 40 year Vikings fan, but I would have been outraged as a fan if it had been anyone else too. I respect and love the game too much to tolerate dirty play of any kind. It was like watching a prize fight where the ref waits two rounds too long to stop the fight. I would like to see the blocking rules for linemen changed to reduce or eliminate dirty low cuts also. Winning isn’t everything, nor is it the same accomplishment if it isn’t done honorably. That code transcends team loyalty and speaks to the dignity of the sport. Not that either side will let that get in the way of union/management power struggles…….

  53. robf2010 says: Apr 21, 2012 3:07 AM

    “Why protect 53 of your members, against the 848 who played against them in a season, and were placed at risk?”

    You should maybe ask some of those 848, who haven’t spoken out yet, why they’re so tight-lipped about it. Anyone with half a brain can figure out this particular problem was not confined to one locker room. That’s the dirty little not-so-secret.

  54. jluns275 says: Apr 21, 2012 3:45 AM

    Hahahahahaha!
    I love it!
    Goodell can do what he wants you bunch of retard Saints apologists!
    It’s not up for debate!
    It’s a sports league, not a country, you dumb liberals!
    Goodell has no obligation OR inclination to make player discipline convenient for Saints-why the hell should they? None of this has been very convenient for the league.
    ENJOY!!!!!!!
    Hahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!
    Oh, & by the way, Saints fans now hear this:
    *

  55. drednot says: Apr 21, 2012 6:44 AM

    This is were the players are nothing but hypocrites. They go around during the season saying “we’re men, treat us like men” now they’re hiding behind the NFLPA like the cowards they really are. The NFL needs to treat them like men and drop the hammer. As the players always say…”It is what it is”!!

  56. tropicpurple says: Apr 21, 2012 7:23 AM

    pgui88 says:Apr 20, 2012 7:44 PM

    There is no proof of harm to players. And the nfl knows that. Case closed.

    ———————–

    You don’t have to cause harm to be guilty of a crime (and no, I’m not calling this a crime); intent, if proven, is enough to convict.

  57. TheWizard says: Apr 21, 2012 7:43 AM

    In 2009, a “bounty” year, ZERO players were carted off against the Saints

    Doesn’t sound like you’re in the spirit of the witch hunt.

  58. bluefan204 says: Apr 21, 2012 7:56 AM

    nineroutsider says: Apr 20, 2012 9:04 PM

    When they do announce the player suspensions many of you will be disappointed as I don’t think they will be too severe and rightfully so; it was a coach sponsored and administered program. I don’t think they can hammer the players.

    No, of course not. They can’t hit the players hard. After all, the players are only children, and children sometimes do things because they just don’t know better. Furthermore, their coaches are adults, and children should always listen to adults and respect their elders, because adults are always right. If an adult says to do something, children should do it without question and/or argument, because that’s how it should be.

    Now who wants to work on their times tables?

    (Get the eff outta here with that nonsense)

  59. prmpft says: Apr 21, 2012 8:27 AM

    …it’s taking so long because they have absolutely NO PROOF whatsoever that anyone did anything…how about those guys who are focusing on hanging someone (anyone) out to dry just to make their self righteous point? We can name lots of folks who allegedly did lots of things – shut the hell up and let them play football!

  60. kingfish4242 says: Apr 21, 2012 9:24 AM

    sfsaintsfan says:
    Apr 20, 2012 10:01 PM

    Gregg Williams is an idiot,

    ====================================

    That’s all you needed to say :)

    Seriously, not even blind homers dispute the fact Williams said go after Crabtrees ACL in his speech,but it never happened on the actual field.

    The fact is these players belong to a brotherhood regardless of the team they play for. They all know every snap could be their last. The last thing most players want to be known as is being a dirty player. A vast majority never cross that fine line between dirty and aggressive. They know if they do,they’ll become targets themselves.

    Brees took a lot of flak on this forum. Some made valid counterpoints,but others missed the big picture. Brees merely asked the league where was the evidence for all these illegal hits the Saints were accused of.

    If I called you on the phone and said I am going to rob XYZ bank,but never went through with the act,should I still be punished the same as one who actually did? That’s essentially what Goodell is threatning to do. Those hits on Favre can be seen in any football game,more so when the stakes are highest.

    My HS coach used more F Bombs in his speeches than Williams did in that audio. He would also tell our defensive players he wanted the opponent to “run out of stretchers carting them off the field” It was just a ploy to get us fired up emotionally for the games. We never took him literally. I played SE,but I also knew their defenders would try to make me part of the earth if given a chance. It’s just part of the game. Those who’ve played have been taught since pop warner if a Qb throws a pick,he becomes a tackler and you knock his block off if you have a shot from the front or side.

  61. mthead55 says: Apr 21, 2012 9:39 AM

    I have to agree that the NFL should simply list the illegal hits and a list of players they have proven to be injured by the “bounty” Program.
    Protection of employees from management abuse is what created unions in the first place and is still very much needed today. The NFLPA should start a separate action for any player who felt that they were adversely affected by any bounty program that was instituted by any coach from any team. If the NFL (Goodall) has evidence from a 3 year investigation and knows the bounties were in place on other teams, especially those Williams has admitted, then he should turn over that evidence to the NFLPA so they can represent those players in what would have to be considered the NFL coverup of an illegal practice.
    This would not relieve them of their duty to represent the accused players and insure that there is sufficient evidence to mete out punishment and that the punishment, if appropriate, fits the offense.

  62. wholelottacrazygoingon says: Apr 21, 2012 12:46 PM

    Actions for what? Show me the evidence that the Saints players were trying to hurt other players.

    Show me an increased number of personal fouls, unsportsmanlike conduct penalties on individual Saints defenders or injuries caused by the Saints defense.

    Until you can provide that all you have is a blowhard defensive coordinator giving payments to players outside of their contracts for no demonstrable acts. Big effing deal.

  63. cidman2001 says: Apr 21, 2012 2:09 PM

    You don’t need evidence if you can prove intent. You don’t have to kill someone to be charged with plotting to do it. Did we let Richard Reid (the shoe bomber) off because he didn’t actually blow up a plane? I believe the NFL has enough evidence to back up their charge that the Saints bounty program in of itself constitutes intent. If they didn’t I’m pretty sure their legal team would have told them not to move forward. Period. End of story.

  64. jackericsson says: Apr 21, 2012 8:39 PM

    is the NFLPA for player safety or protecting players from suspensions? You can’t have both.

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