In a hint that the punishment for players involved in the Saints’ bounty scandal will be severe, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said that the program was not simply ordered by defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, but celebrated by the players who participated in it.
Goodell told NFL Network’s Rich Eisen in an interview for an upcoming edition of the Rich Eisen Podcast that bounty discipline is coming “soon,” and he dismisses the notion floated by some that the players shouldn’t be punished because they were merely doing what their coach told them to do.
“[The] evidence was clear that the players embraced it,” Goodell said. “I don’t think they are absolved from responsibility.”
More than a month after Goodell announced that he had suspended Williams indefinitely, Saints coach Sean Payton for a year, Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis for eight games and Saints assistant Joe Vitt for six games, Goodell has still not announced the suspensions for the Saints’ players who were involved in the team’s program of bounties over the last three seasons. But the indications are that the announcement could come as soon as today, and that the news won’t be good for the Saints.