Tucked into the NFL’s full announcement on suspensions for four Saints players for the team’s bounty program is the launching of a new initiative aimed at making it crystal clear to every NFL player and coach that bounties — and all bonuses not included in players’ contracts — are strictly prohibited.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell distributed a memo to all 32 teams today emphasizing that all non-contract bonuses are violations of league rules. He also said that all league personnel will be reminded that bounties are against the rules, and that every head coach will be required to remind all his players and assistants of that during minicamp or training camp.
Every NFL player will also be given information about how to report violations confidentially if they see any evidence that any rules regarding player safety or the integrity of the game are being broken.
Goodell also said he considers ensuring player safety and fair play to be the obligation of everyone involved in the NFL, and he said some Saints employees have already come forward and said they would like to participate in the league’s programs on teaching safe and fair play.