James Harrison eager to see the NFL’s punishment for the Saints


Steelers linebacker James Harrison has been fined more than anyone as the NFL has cracked down on helmet-to-helmet hits in the last couple of years. And now he says he’ll be watching intently to see the NFL’s next major discipline issue.

Harrison wrote on Twitter that he wants to know what the league is going to do about the Saints paying bounties for defensive players knocking opponents out of games.

“We’ll see how concerned the NFL is about player safety when they decide what the punishment for the saints is,” Harrison wrote. “I’ll just say this, if that was me I would have been kicked out of the NFL!”

Harrison, who has been fined several times and suspended for one game for illegal hits, didn’t say what he sees as an appropriate penalty.

90 responses to “James Harrison eager to see the NFL’s punishment for the Saints

  1. Full season ban for Gregg Williams plus $1m fine. Half season ban for Payton and Loomis, $500k each. $2m fine for the organization from Benson’s pocket. $150k from each player who took part. Loss of 2nd round pick this year, loss of 1st and second round picks in 2013.

  2. One year suspension for every year his “program” was in place. And two years for every player injured under his program.

  3. Too bad he wasn’t involved. I’d love to see this ignorant clown kicked out of the league.

  4. I don’t particularly care for Harrison’s attitude, but I agree with him on this one.

    Another example is the ridiculous suspension of Pat and Kevin Williams for taking a banned drug that wasn’t even listed on the label. They also didn’t take it to mask another drug which was the reason it was banned to begin with.

    In comparison they should just shut the Saints down for a year…..

    How about posting a picture of Benson dancing with his umbrella now…..

  5. Harrison you are a dirty player, enough said. quit trying to justify another team’s actions. I’m surprised you didn’t have your own bounty pool.

  6. I don’t see the comparison considering that James Harrison discipline was a series of warnings, small fines, and progressively got more severe…. and he kept doing it. This is the first time this matter is up for discipline. If you’re to liken it to Harrison’s case progressive discipline should be considered.

  7. You know, I can’t understand why people are saying Williams should get more punishment than Payton or Loomis. Up to this point in his career, Payton has been portrayed as a super detailed guy that was all over his team and every inch of the team’s management was looked over by him … now you expect me to believe he somehow did not condone this? C’mon let’s be real here – Williams had the idea, but Payton gave the consent and told Loomis to give him cover with the big boss. Payton should go down hard here – not just the underling or the guy covering his back.

  8. The Saints need to be hit hard – suspend the HC for 8 games, plus $5 million fine, plus lose 1st and 2nd round picks this year

  9. Bad news James, goodell is always harder on the players than he is on the teams. 200k fine for Greg Williams. 500k fine for Payton. 1 million fine for saints. No loss of draft picks or franchise tag. If it was an unintentional illegal hit by a player, 500k.

  10. I agree with Harrison here.

    The League Office needs to show consistency. They have been inconsistent at times with the amounts of the fines that are dispensed, so it will be very interesting to see how they handle this.

    At least one suspension should come for Greg Williams & possibly a few others. And for the organizations, heavy fines should be thrown down.

  11. Mr. Harrison, your situation of not learning to hit someone without leading with your helmet has nothing to do with this ordeal… nice try though.

  12. This is more important then helmet to helmet hits. These guys were getting paid to hurt players. Now there is nothing wrong with playing hard and somebody gets hurt. Players should not get in courage to hurt players, these are people’s life’s!

  13. Not a Saints fan, but all of this talk of taking away draft picks is just crazy. Yes the intentionally targeting of players is bad, but unless they are going to give the same penalty to everywhere Greg Williams has coached they can not hammer the Saints. The NFL needs to treat this as a wake up call and set huge penalties for the future. Yes all the coaches, note I said all, should be suspended and fined. The organizations like the Redskins and Bills should also be fined, but the loss of draft picks is ridiculous.

  14. rpiotro1, wow, that is pretty harsh. The players are probably glad you aren’t the commissioner.

    You post brings up a legit question – Can the league punish players that are no longer in the league? Can they suspend their benefits or anything like that?

  15. When you try to keep something a secret… it’s because you know it’s wrong.

    NFL has changed since Williams was in Buffalo or even Washington…

    Saints (Loomis and Payton) knew what was going on… apparently lied to Goodell about it by trying to keep it secret.

    That’ll be as much the reason for the punishment as the actions

  16. Right now, I don’t care a whole lot what happens to the Saints. They got their Super Bowl, and they had their passing title season last year. The League should come down on them pretty hard, and that’s probably okay…

    I feel bad for Rams fans, though. Last year must have been a total nightmare for them, and now this. They didn’t get to go to the party, but they get to help clean up the mess.

  17. Harrison is like an annoying little brother crying and whining about how all the other kids were punished. Worry about yourself buddy. If you don’t like the NFL there are plenty of other job opportunities available.

  18. Not only is Harrison eager to see the punishment; so is every fans of their rivals in the NFL South.

    Every Saints fan is waiting on pins and needles. Heck, EVERY NFL fan is keeping their eyes on this one …..

  19. If the Patriots were fined a 1st round pick for shooting video that anyone in the stands could have taken, then the Saints should be penalized much more harshly. A 1st and 2nd, minimum.

  20. I would impose a lifetime ban on Williams because he lied to the NFL when ask about other bounties in the past. Now it seems he has done it in Washington and Tennessee and the Saints.All teams should lose 1st rd picks this year and 2013 plus 5 million fine for the owners and 2.5 million for each Head Coach and 1 million for all other coaches and players. The cost of setting this up must far exceed normal fines to deter it in the future.Any future pools will result in fines and an automatic 1 year suspension for all players and coaches.

  21. The Saints and Redskins should be forced to forfeit the entire 2012 season and Greg Williams should be banned for life exactly like Pete Rose was from MLB. PERIOD!

  22. Harrison is nothing but a petulant child.

    The stuff going on with the Saints is much different (and more serious) than Harrison’s inability to properly tackle a guy.

    If the NFL brings down the harshest punishment in league history against the Saints will Harrison take his next fine like a man or will he do his standard cry-baby routine? Something tells me the cry-baby routine will continue.

  23. I can see players offering up money for int’s, fumble recoveries and sacks – but, getting “paid” for injuring someone? I don’t think so. Ndamukong Suh was suspended for 2 games for a “stomp” that couldn’t break an egg – it was more like a “pro wrestling” stomp. I think the penalties for this are going to be very severe.

  24. Confiscate a few mansions, and sell them.

    Proceeds go to help tornado victims.

  25. If the rumor is true (about Sean Payton’s agent funding part of the bounty pool – mentioned in the NFL memo; per Jason La Canfora’s twitter), the season may be lost for the Saints. Yes, the season.

    Because once you open up the NFL to taking under the table money from 3rd parties, you basically open it up to major betting/gambling conspiracies and whatnot.

  26. Harrison is right, but he is still a whiner and an idiot. First of all, he keeps whining because he feels like the NFL is after him and treats him differently. Secondly, he’s too stupid to realize that the reason the NFL is harder on him is because he shows no remorse or willingness to change the way he plays and so of course the NFL is going to be harder on him. He is also stupid if he actually thinks the NFL won’t reprimand the Saints. And whatever they do probably won’t be enough to satisfy him and he’ll still think that the NFL is just after him. Because he’s too stupid to realize that first offenses are never penalized as harshly and that you do become a target when you continually prove that the previous penalty wasn’t enough to convince you to change your behavior.

  27. Am I the only one that thinks this is getting blown way out of proportion? If these players were carrying out these “bounties” with illegal hits or hits after the whistle they would’ve been fined at least double what they’d get for incentive. Let’s be realistic. It’s being talked about because 10k is a ton of money to most people in this world. I know not every player makes millions in fact I bet most don’t (especially after taxes) but game checks during the season for those players will still be tens of thousands.

  28. As much as I despise Harrison, dude brings up a very good point. I live down here in the heart of Saints country so I hear the whining every day that everybodys doing it… Saints got busted. They have to pay the price. The commish has to lay down the hammer here…

  29. I may be in the minority here, but I say “WHO CARES” Money is all these players care about. If you give them a few extra bucks to try harder, BIG DEAL. Is this soccer or the NFL?

  30. Throw the book at those cheaters, Goodell. As much as I hate the Steelers, Harrison has a great point.

  31. I think is grea the current players are coming out and saying it goes on everyone ….Woodson is now how talking they did same thing at Dallas… Does that tarnish thier SuperBowls as well ?

    A quote came from a former player of Buddy Ryan…
    “Buddy used to put it simple: If you take the other team’s best player out, your chance of winning increases dramatically,”

    The Bears Superbowl tarnished ?

    I understand we are in the new ” stay sucking on your moms nipple generation ” ….. I dont see how you can just punish one person or one team can be punished considering it was common knoweledge that every team tried or tries to give as hard of a hit to another player.

    Is Ray Lewis now tarnished ( as if a murder didnt do the trick) ? Suggs and the Ravens ?? They both openly admitted trying to knock out Mendenhall ( a season) … and Ward ?
    For all people saying the Saints should be penalized for something that is widespread.

    I think fans of every team will find out that players from thier teams or teams in general had this system in place to try to knock out the opponent.

  32. Have to say can’t blame Harrison, he seemed to be the posterchild of hits and fines last two years. Wasn’t he where it started and especially a hefty fine? The team should be punished, this was a head defensive coach and now is known REPEAT offenses. I bet ever player with numerous fines is watching God-del on this one.

  33. He’s right but I think we’re gonna keep haering of more ans more teams running this program. Gregg Williams didn’t invent it and I have to agree with Kurt Warner that all NFL teams are running it.
    While I don’t condone going on the field and seriously hurting a guy, isn’t this just an off the contract incentive program?

  34. Harrison is a great player an I wish he played for my team but enough with his crying about his fines. How many defensive players are playing in NFL? Why is it he is one in all actuality of a few players that seem to get fined more than the rest? Have there been bad calls on him yes but he makes himself a target because he draws attention to himself via his mouth.
    Time to move on James. The rules are set. Even as much as you don’t like them as many fans including myself don’t, its reality. You have a choice work within the rules , retire because you can’t play like they want or play the same and accept the fine. As a fan I have same choice. I can bitch non stop and keep watching or stop watching. I love football so I will watch and realize the game is changing an I have to also accept it. Your to good of a player to keep complaing.

  35. Of course he’s eager to see the punishment. He got fined a lot of money for hitting players. Whether you believe he head-hunted or just couldn’t make a last second adjustment, just was punished because Goodell was trying to make the game “safer.”

    Now we come to find out that there are playes worse than Harrison. Players that prepared week after week to physically harm others. Players that worked together with teammates and coaches to actually get players carted off the field.

    What James did was an “instant” decision during a game. What these guys did was something completely different–and they should be held accountable and severely punished.

  36. Harrison is the dirtest player in the NFL and should have been expelled from the league long ago. He should keep his mouth shut about this situation as no one is more guilty than him!

  37. That’s exactly what I said.

    The whole reason why he was suspended is because his playing style was deemed “unsafe” for the other players.

    So how to you punish a team whose playing style specifically tried to be unsafe for the other players for years?

  38. And in today’s news…..
    The league fined James Harrison $50K for making comments about violence and detrimental to the NFL.

  39. mrslay1

    As if you’ve ever watched a game.

    One penalty all season, and 3 penalties in 2010.

    He has less illegal helmet to helmet hits in his career than Kam Chancellor had in 2011 and less than Ray Lewis had since Harrison entered the league.

    No one says those guys are dirty. I wouldn’t say they were dirty either.

    The key difference is that Harrison knocks people out when he hits their head.

    That’s why everyone knows about his hits and not Chancellor’s, Ray’s, or every defensive back from the Saints. Those guys have LITERALLY been head-hunting and the league never even noticed their illegal hits.

    Do you know why? Because they don’t knock players out.

    If those DBs from the Saints hit as hard as Harrison, they would have knocked 100 guys out last year.

  40. rpiotr01 says:
    Mar 5, 2012 7:23 AM
    Full season ban for Gregg Williams plus $1m fine. Half season ban for Payton and Loomis, $500k each. $2m fine for the organization from Benson’s pocket. $150k from each player who took part. Loss of 2nd round pick this year, loss of 1st and second round picks in 2013.

    You’re either a falcons fan or an idiot and if you are a falcons fan you are, by definition, an idiot. Fine them all you want but all you a-holes with this phony outrage make me want to puke. Teams have been doing this forever but now, because some disgruntled scrub blew the whistle, the Saints have to pay for every teams sins from the past. Take money, suspend people for a couple of games but if you take draft picks you mess with competitive integrity and that’s bs. If this behavior is an “outrage!” then I submit you’re watching the wrong sport, you wuss. Go Tebow somewhere else.

  41. miamimike1

    Good question.

    The Saint have literally been head hunting but none of those players have been suspended.

    What is it that Harrison does differently than the rest of the league, especially if at least one team is TRYING to injure other players?

    Like I said, I think he’s just too strong. The Saints always hit H2H, but they don’t knock people out.

    Everyone thinks Harrison is dirty because he’s had 4 illegal hits. 2 H2H and 2 “late” hits in the last 2 seasons.

    He’s played 4500 defensive snaps in his career but 4 plays have doomed his name.

  42. wiley16350

    They DO treat him differently. The Saints TRY to injure players and the league doesn’t even notice.

    Harrison makes a few borderline tackles and he gets suspended.

    Suh had to actually stomp on someone to get suspended and he was penalized more than Harrison has been in the last 2 years. But they didn’t do anything until he stomped on someone.

  43. If Harrison is so concerned about player safety, why didn’t he change his violent tackling and avoid continuous fines?
    I guess players don’t have to be incented for violent hits on opponents (See Colt McCoy).
    BTW, Harrison, you SHOULD have been kicked out of the NFL.

  44. Of course Harrison wants to see the punishment.

    Any illegal hit made during Williams tenure on any team should result in a fine. If they weren’t illegal hits, then how can you fine them? It doesn’t matter the incentive, if it was legal then it was within the rules.

    The coaches and players that lied to cover it up, should be dealt with harshly.

    I also would love to know who the whistleblowers are. Are they disgruntled former players, are they players that want to come clean, or are they (most probable) former players that have something to gain? You know like the players that are trying to sue the NFL because of their injuries?

    It would be interesting to know. I think that if any of them are party to any of those lawsuits that they should be thrown out because of conflict of interests.

  45. ok so now we have ……


    players who have openly said that they had
    ” bountys” are had the practive of trying to intentially knock players out of games…..
    more to come I am sure as more and more players are saying they had a system in place at one point or another. How do you go back and fine all these teams or tarnish teams records or players reps ?????

    The Saints only team that gets fined because is flavor of the week ? I dont see how they can be only team to get punished or players to be punished which is why I dont see how can do it.

  46. Its pretty funny that the “incentive” to put a player out was $1500 bucks when some of these guys make 20-30 million. $1500 isnt even enough to get Lawrence Taylor high at halftime! $1500 isnt even enough to pay child support for Pac Mans kids. $1500 isnt even enough to pay for Rodney Harrisons HGH. So for the price of one of these guys watches you’re gonna fine a coach, owner, organization millions?
    The NFL and Nike have announced the new “Combat Uniforms” will include flag football belts.

  47. I’m a fan of neither Harrison nor the Saints, but just because he’s the one saying it doesn’t mean it’s not a good point.

  48. Harrison is correct in what he is saying, u can’t punish one for what they call illegal hits but not another, with Harrison u knew he was coming out to hit u, weather a legal it illegal hit he was gonna hit u, but now u gotta worry if every player that is out to hit u is up for an award and is he going for the little money a fumble hit or a career ending hit.

  49. @ziggy26

    Yeah, I doubt the league is that severe, though I think the suspensions and fines are on target. Doubt the players get hit that hard, and doubt they lose that many picks.

    I understand this has gone on in the league for a long time, but it’s a different game now – or at least Goodell, owners and the NFLPA want it to be. And apart from the bounty ring itself, people up and down the organizational ladder lied about this two years ago. NFL may have made the punishment less severe and more discreet had they fessed up. Lie to the commish and that’s when you get an example made out of you. The public flogging is already out in full force.

  50. All players and coaches involved should be banned for life, the Saints should take a 30 million dollar salary cap hit and lose their next 5 first round picks. What sorry organization since Peyton came along.

  51. Harrison is absolutely right. With the direction the NFL appears to be going regarding player safety, the league needs to show consistency in their approach. That said, if they’re incenting LEGAL hits, what’s wrong with the whole bounty thing? It brings back a little old school NFL.

  52. I think he’s trying to compare apples to oranges, but he’s right about wanting to see consistency with how the league deals out punishments for infractions. It’s been such a random grab bag for the past couple of years and I’ve seen no signs of things changing anytime soon.

  53. Harrison was making illegal hits.
    As far as we know the Saints, Bills, Redskins, 49ers, and Titans were all making legal hits and most of the bonus was for int & fumble rec

  54. This is what I wrote on my fans’ website board–

    1. Gegg Williams should be permanently banned from the NFL. Any coach who openly pays for his players to intentionally injure another player should be banned from the game. Now that it’s come out he’d done it in Washington, Buffalo, and probably Tennessee, that would be a just penalty.

    2. Loomis should be suspended a minimum of two years–for lying to NFL invesitgators and covering it up.

    3. Payton should be suspended a year. He failed in his supervisroy capacity as a head coach to control his coaches and players.

    4. Every player that particpated should be suspended for 8 games–Vilma should be suspended for a year.

    The Saints as a team should be fined $1M with the loss of their franchise tag for 2 years, in addition to their 2nd rounder this year and their 1st and 2nd next year.

    Their actions altered the competitive nature of the games they played for 3 years. Let the punishment fit the crime by making it harder for them to compete.

  55. when i watch a game i hope they knock out the best opposing player..and so does every one..if they tell u no there lying

  56. Sincerity. What a word. You can badmouth James Harrison all you want, however, Roger Goddell is at the center of this. Does he truly want to do something about concussions? How many flags have been thrown against teams playing the Steelers for helmet to helmet hits in 2010 and 2011 combined? none. Who gives instructions to the officials? Refer to the name mentioned earlier. Perhaps uniform officiating would be a good start.
    The other point. You can like or dislike Harrison, however, even he has the right to express his point of view. There is an element of our constitution that guarantees it. Surprise.

  57. This is a very tricky situation and I hope the NFL gets it right. Everyone is pointing at the New Orleans Saints as they should, but, lets not forget that Gregg Williams has had the same tactic in place at his other stops. The Saints need to be hit hard but so should Williams, he’s the man running it. It’s like the NCAA penalizing the college programs for errors made by a coach and then the coach leaves and the instiution gets severe penalties. Do the right thing NFL! And, first time I will ever say good job James Harrison.

  58. I can see Harrison’s interest in what punishment is imposed. With 100’s of articles already written, it appears as though the NFL will come down real hard on this scandal. IF Williams has been summoned to ‘security’ today, he’s as good as toast. He admitted to the ‘program’ in NO. Likewise he’s now been outed in TEN, WAS and BUF. I doubt he’ll have a job in the NFL-period. If you call ‘head-hunting’ gambling/cheating it’s illegal for pro sports players to participate. If it’s intentional assault to cause bodily harm, it’s a criminal offense. When players earn huge salaries, why would they NEED more money for motivation? Sure, a friendly wager amongst friends for interceptions, big yardage might be acceptable. But to cause a potential career ending injury is deplorable. I see lots of suspensions and gigantic fines coming + forfeiture of draft picks (done to Patriots for Spygate). The Saints won’t be the only team to get hammered here. Wherever Williams was will be investigated. He can’t survive this. Those who have tried to protect him will be punished too. Lying IS cheating. How about play the game, do your job for the big money you make.

  59. Harrison does not look very good in martyr’s clothes, and he is not intelligent enough to keep his mouth shut. Every time he opens his mouth he lends support to the conclusion that he is not the sharpest tool in the shed. Good football player, but dumber than a box of rocks, IMHO. He better make his money, because I seriously doubt he can do anything other than play football.

  60. Harrison is a buffoon. Only he can turn Bountygate around so it’s about him. Dope.

  61. Harrison plays football the way it was supposed to be played, don’t let the media pussify your judgement on what the responsibility of the defense is (separate the player from theball)

  62. clayton43 says:
    Mar 5, 2012 9:24 AM
    ok so now we have ……



    Easy on Philly there please. Were talking about Buddy Ryan in 1991. That was a different time, when football players were tough guys. Yeah, ok, so Buddy went after a kicker, but so what :p

    All these other teams are doing this crap now. When everyone is under scrutiny for everything, Reggie Bush got stripped, etc.

    Although the bounty bowl was one of my favorite games…along with the bodybag game, lol

  63. wiley16350

    They DO treat him differently. The Saints TRY to injure players and the league doesn’t even notice.

    Harrison makes a few borderline tackles and he gets suspended.

    Suh had to actually stomp on someone to get suspended and he was penalized more than Harrison has been in the last 2 years. But they didn’t do anything until he stomped on someone.
    I agree that the league treats him differently. but its because of how he has responded to his penalties that has forced the league to treat him differently. If you’re not going to heed the penalties and warnings from previous actions then the penalties continue to get bigger, that is common sense. He had repeatedly said that he wasn’t going to change how he plays and had shown that the previous penalties were not strict enough to change his conduct. That is why he was suspended. Not because of any certain hit. It was his continued defiance, disregard of the rules and comments that revealed that he had no respect for the rules or penalties imposed on him. Basically, he refused to learn from the punishment, so the punishment had to get more effective.
    I don’t even know what you’re point is about the league not noticing the Saints actions, because apparently nobody else knew about it either or cared enough to complain. But the fact of the matter is that the league knows about it now and will reprimand the Saints. So its not like they are going to continue to let the Saints proceed with that behavior. So I don’t get your point there. If they continue the actions, they will get harsher penalties and if they act like Harrison they will have to live with even tighter restrictions.
    Suh had received penalties prior to his suspension so I don’t see how the league was unfair. The difference with Suh and Harrison was their responses, comments and attitutudes when receiving the fines. Harrison has brought the target onto himself. He only has himself to blame.

  64. Really people? Football players are rewarded for big hits starting in middle school. This is condoned by coaches, players, & parents. So is it a big surprise that this is happening at the professional level? The real problem is that football is a contact sport. Big hits are going to happen regardless if there is a reward or not. These million dollar athletes forget they get paid to hit and get hit. The league lacks consistency!
    Even Harrison and Pittsburgh haters cant argue that!

  65. This may be better served by league the allowing the Steelers to play true STEELERS football in their next game against the Saints. Allow TP, Harrison, and Clark to headhunt all day long and see how many Aints players they can “knock out”.

    It can be on a rewards system like the Aints had set up.. but each bone crushing hit by a Steelers player allows for a “get out of jail free card” against the other teams during the year for big questionable hits.

    I’d pay good money to see James Harrison with free rein against Brees for an entire game.

  66. James is not a “Loud Mouth” nor a “Trash Talker”. He leads by example and gets it done on the field. He has made a tough transition to the new rules. He does have a valid point here. If it were him, he would be banned from the league. It is obvious that the league has made an example of him over the past several years. The league does not dish out fines and punishment equally. That is a matter of fact. It does make one question their judgement and credability?
    Afterall, it is big business. Big $$$
    Bound to be some rotten apples… Just have to shake the tree a bit…

  67. Help me understand something: If a coach tells the players to do what it takes to win (knowing the D players thrive on taking other players out), telling them to ‘go earn’ their paycheck by being assertive…is he a Bounty Coach or just a Coach? Where is the line being drawn on this…guess I am a bit lost on what the difference is. You can say it one way or another but either way the D players are going out to earn their money and take any key players out they can. And I guarantee you that most players are going after the same 2-3 critical players.

  68. agree totally with harrison, lets see just how serious roger and the rest of his moron buddies on park ave really are about player safety. anything less than an 8gm suspension and 500k fine is BS.

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