Between Mark Maske’s Friday report in the Washington Post and former Redskins safety Matt Bowen’s Saturday item for the Chicago Tribune, it seems clear that, like the Saints, the Redskins under defensive coordinator Gregg Williams had a bounty program.
That’s apparently news to the NFL.
Maske reports that the league will investigate whether the Redskins used bounties. Though Maske, citing a source, characterizes the review as almost perfunctory, the fact remains that if the players tell the league what they told Maske, and if Bowen’s article is accepted as true and accurate, not much of an investigation will be needed.
And if the use of a bounty program with the Redskins is indeed news to the NFL, it likely means that, when Gregg Williams inevitably was given a chance to purge his soul by confessing the depth of the rabbit hole, he said something like “I swear I never did it before being hired by the Saints.”
If that’s the case — if Williams lied to the league about pre-New Orleans bounties after initially lying to the league about using bounties with the Saints — Williams has to go. Permanently.
Apart from any discipline imposed on the Saints or any other coaches or any of the players involved, if Williams failed to admit the extent of his use of a bounty program after finally admitting to using one in New Orleans, the man who recently was hired to serve as the Rams defensive coordinator should be banned from the NFL, for life.
Harsh? Yes. But necessary.
Apart from the habit (not mistake) of dangling cash as an incentive to cripple, Williams hasn’t been honest, at least when asked about bounties in New Orleans and most likely when asked about bounties elsewhere.
Williams both broke the rules and lied to conceal it. Given the underlying nature of the violation, the NFL can’t afford to keep him employed, not at a time when safety has become such a priority.