Former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has confessed to administering a bounty system, accepting without appeal his indefinite suspension. When NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell considers Williams’ request for reinstatement after the season, Goodell “will give close attention to the extent to which Coach Williams cooperates with the NFL in any further proceedings.”
That broad term presumably includes appeal hearings conducted in connection with player suspensions. Given that both Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma and Saints defensive end Will Smith have strongly denied funding the bounty pool, testimony from Williams regarding the NFL’s assertion that Vilma and Smith “assisted” Williams with the establishment and funding of the bounty pool will go a long way toward confirming the NFL’s position via the appeal process.
For Williams, that’s a problem. He can’t return to the NFL unless he cooperates with “further proceedings,” but if that cooperation consists of testifying against his players in New Orleans, players in St. Louis or elsewhere may be even less inclined to respond to him.