Mutiny of the bounty, Monday edition

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It’s Monday.  Welcome back to work.  Before the boss starts looking over your shoulder, here’s a chance to get caught up on one of the biggest scandals in NFL history, which the league wisely slipped through the late Friday afternoon five hole.

Right after you turned off your computer and headed home for a weekend of not surfing the Internet on your own time.

You’re likely feeling a little inadequate right now, because you don’t know the details as well as you’d like.  That’s why we’re going to take you on a quick tour of the 29 bounty-related stories that have been posted here since Friday.

Yep, while you weren’t working, we were.

Then again, this really ain’t work.

It all started with a bolt-from-the-blue press release.  The league has concluded that the Saints ran from 2009 through 2011 a system of payments to defensive players for, among other things, inflicting injury on opponents.

Coach Sean Payton knew about the program, and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams administered it.

Bounties fueled the Saints’ 2009 playoff run. The Vikings, who lost to the Saints in the 2009 NFC championship after linebacker Jonathan Vilma offered $10,000 to whoever knocks Brett Favre out of the game, aren’t talking, but plenty of you believe the news taints the Saints’ Super Bowl win.

Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner’s final game included being blown up by former Saints defensive end Bobby McCray a week before the Vikings-Saints playoff.  Warner nevertheless thinks bounties have been part of the NFL for a long time.

The NFL insists Saints owner Tom Benson didn’t know about the bounties.  In what likely will be regarded in time as one of the great sports-related understatements, Benson issued a statement calling the findings “troubling.”

Williams has confessed, even though former Saints safety Darren Sharper apparently didn’t get the memo.  In a statement issued through his new employer, the Rams, Williams called it a “terrible mistake,” and he said “we knew it was wrong while we were doing it.”

Which, by definition, means it wasn’t a mistake.

It’s also harder to accept the notion that it was a mistake, given allegations that Williams apparently ran a bounty program when he worked for the Redskins and the Bills.  The league will investigate the situation in Washington.

Former Colts coach Tony Dungy told PFT on Friday night that the Titans had a bounty on Peyton Manning, whose ongoing neck problems possibly trace to a hit he took from the Redskins in 2006, under Williams.

The league says it’s not aware of bounties in any other cities, and former Redskins coach Joe Gibbs says he didn’t know about any of it in D.C.  This means either that the investigators didn’t ask Williams if he used bounties before his time with the Saints, or that they asked him and he denied it.  Regardless, they’ll be asking Williams about it on Monday.

Speaking of denials, the investigation regarding the Saints nearly died on the vine because everyone involved said it didn’t happen.  Now that the league has found evidence that the bounty program did indeed exist, those who were dishonest to the investigators should face enhanced penalties.

Saints G.M. Mickey Loomis also apparently lied to owner Tom Benson, and Loomis definitely failed to put the practice to an end once Loomis was told to do so by Benson.  The fact that Loomis reportedly won’t be fired for such a flagrant example of insubordination invites speculation that Loomis is simply covering for Benson.

Benson’s own punishment likely will consist of a hefty fine imposed on his team and a forfeiture of draft picks, even though the team traded in 2011 its first-round pick in 2012.  (If the NFL really wants to punish the Saints, the league should take away its franchise tag.)

Lengthy suspensions are expected for Williams, Loomis, and coach Sean Payton, along with multiple players.  The expected absence of key members of the organization as of Week One helps explain the team’s decision to volunteer for the Hall of Fame game, which will give them two extra weeks and one extra preseason game to get ready for the inevitable absence of people like Payton.

A decision on punishment will be made by the March 25 league meetings.  The NFLPA has vowed to review the NFL’s report, but the union has taken no position on the situation, yet.

Some wonder whether a few extra dollars makes a difference to a highly-compensated pro football player.  Apparently, it does.  Which makes cash money the NFL’s equivalent of a helmet sticker.

Of course, helmet stickers don’t constitute taxable income.  Cash money does, and the IRS could start poking around.

Other law-enforcement agencies could get involved as the situation unfolds.  This story is far closer to the beginning than the end, and we’ll be following it every step of the way.

Now, get back to work.

80 responses to “Mutiny of the bounty, Monday edition

  1. Maybe it’s just me, but with news about the Bills, Redskins and now Titans coming out too, I am a little on edge, hoping that my favorite team’s name doesn’t suddenly appear on PFT associated with a bounty program…

  2. 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!

  3. Why isn’t this site covering this story? You are behind on this and need to really get this story out. Not enough coverage and we need more posts……


  4. Here we go again. That Greg Williams had bounties on opposing players is literally one of the WORST kept secrets in all of the NFL. It’s just another excuse by the “Tough Guy” Commissioner and a lazier than ever media horde to descend on a Coach to try and break his career on the Altar of Political Correctness.

    Quick everybody, who can be the MOST SANCTIMONIOUS? In a race between the Lawyers (otherwise known as the League) and the Media, I know what will not win… justice.

  5. In this economy, people surfing football sites on company computers on company time – won’t be with the company for very long.

    Unless, of course, you are the boss.

  6. Sorry, but Banks article lacks any real evidence that Loomis lied to anyone. He possibly did tell instruct Gregg Williams to stop any sort of bounty program.

    If Gregg Williams then made sure to keep it hidden from Loomis, then Loomis can claim he did his job.

    How the Saints got caught is this ‘new evidence surfacing late last year’. Clearly there is a snitch involved — former player released from the team?

    He would know a lot more than a bean-counter GM like Loomis. Perhaps that’s why Loomis isn’t fired yet… we need facts, not mere speculation from Don Banks article.

  7. Everyone is getting waaaaaayyyy out of hand with all this BS. Yes I’m a Saints fan and I’m biased but damn it’s not like they were carrying shanks out there and stabbing ppl in the pile up, they were playing ball with a little extra motivation. Get a grip.

  8. Alot of former players are saying thier team did this …how far back does the NFL or fans need to go that it wasnt just the Saints and that many players are openly stated they had performancce money on thier teams for knocking people out ect …?? I am having a hard time saying.. ” It just is with the Saints ” and no other team.

  9. Until someone can directly link a illegal hit that drew a flag and caused a player to leave the game to a “incentive” that was provided by Coach Williams this is just another attempt to discredit a winning organization.

  10. SO…….? Who cares if they have a bounty? Bring back old school football. How is this a story?

  11. So extra cash for legal hits is worse than filming opponents practices, cheating the game?

    Who can say that with a straight face?

    If there have been numerous, potential hall of fame, sources come out and say that bounties are part of the game, why is it okay to stop with the saints in this investigation?

    What motivation is there to make one team the scapegoat? How does that stop other teams with systems currently in place?

    The media’s agenda is pretty clear.

  12. > This makes what the Pats did look like child’s play

    How do you figure? I’m neither a Saints or Pats fan, but the Saints still played within the rules on the field. Spygate gave the Pats an unfair advantage that taints 3 Super Bowl wins.

    The NFL will undoubtedly punish the Saints more severely than the Pats, but that has much more to do with the fact that player safety is the hot topic of the past two years and the fact that they lied about it than the severity of the infraction itself. Let’s face it, this would have been a one day news story even five years ago. In fact, the contrast between the two penalties will make the mere fine given to Belichick and the Pats and evidence disposal even more laughable.

  13. bertilfox:

    Let me see if I understand you. You’d rather no one know about this and the media enter a conspiracy with the NFL to keep it in the closet?

  14. Lots of holier than thou posts here. If you think this is isolated you are kidding yourself. Your team is not directly implicated you want the book thrown at another. If I were Benson I would sue the league if they try to throw the book at them knowing that the practice is widespread and the league failed to thoroughly investigate all teams. This seems like a witch hunt to me.

  15. Comparing this to the cheating scandal of the Patriots is like comparing Rosie O’Donnell to Halle Berry. Williams/Payton/Loomis et al are guilty of being deceitful in hiding this. And maybe players for not reporting wages. But that’s it. I mean, isn’t the NFL about paying defensive players to make big hits?

  16. BTC, I’m a fan of the Rams. I’m concerned, and this guy’s only been with my team a couple months…

  17. I’m agnostic. Taxable income issues aside, “bounty” is just another term for incentive, reward, recognition. But intent & criteria make all the difference. I see nothing wrong with “bounties” that reward big plays so long as they *don’t* reward “killshots”, i.e., the act of injuring players that would cause the medical removal of opponents from the field. OTOH, I think it’s extremely improbable any killshot deterrent would work if punishment included anything *less* than the suspension of franchise tags. Losing draft picks simply means teams lose a few chances to gamble on unsure things. Losing the franchise tag even once could have an immediate impact on franchise value — a threat that would hit owners where it hurts.

  18. @xxwhodatxx……I think that you might want to get a grip. Your analogy of bringing weapons on the field is just a weak attempt to make this seem like no big deal. When players are going out on the field with intent to injure by whatever means necessary for a couple of bucks (by the standards of cash these guys get, it’s literally like a couple of bucks) it borders on criminal. Let’s see how you’d feel if somebody rolls up on Drew Brees’ knees and ends him for a year or two. Is your opinion still the same? Doubtful. Williams is crooked, Payton is crooked and all of the players that went out there with no qualms about potentially ending one of their “brothers” careers are crooked and they should all pay the price….heavily.

  19. I don’t take any issue with aggressive play. I never played professionally, so I can’t speak to that, but when I played football we always wanted to smack the other team’s best player around and make him think twice about being on the field. However, financially incentivizing injury cheapens the integrity of competition.

    Also, as a Vikings fan, the bounty should be punished, but doesn’t taint the superbowl run. If anything, the referees lack of controlling the game was the true issue. They are the ones that allowed Favre to be hit time and time again. If they throw a couple of flags on that sort of thing, the defensive players will start to pull up instead of following through on those late hits. In any sport it becomes the officiating crew’s responsibility to set the tone of the game and nip any extracurricular activities in the bud. The officiating crew for that game did about as good a job as the NBA crew that is responsible for the Artest Melee in Detroit.

    Can we please get some full time, dedicated, competent officiating crews in the NFL? Please?

  20. I think the Skins, Bills, Titans and any other team that confesses to doing it in the past will have small monitary fines, but the Saints will get reemed by Ole Rog’ and be the example for the rest of the league. I see multiple suspensions, hefty monitary fines, and loss of future draft picks (non this year).

  21. no qualms?? legal hits!! they were penalized by the NFL if the hits were illegal. the fine was more than the bounty. dont be naive

  22. How did the bounty system fuel the Saint’s playoff run? Your assertion is impossible to prove and the examples given are less than credible. For example, Vilma offering up $10K was a major driver? Seriously? This all being blown out of proportion on an epic scale as NFL blogs/writers search for stories to report on during these quiet months. If I can make such statements, I’d guess a more accurate one would be that this occurs all over the NFL. Unfortunately, the Saint’s are the one’s that got caught.

  23. “Alot of former players are saying thier team did this.”

    Can you give one example?

  24. OK, I’ll start by saying I am a Saints fan. I believe everyone one reading this is a fan of some NFL team. How many of you can honestly say that you are not cheering when you see a big hit delivered to an opposing player? If you say no, then you’re not being honest with yourself. Greg Williams is a total Jerk, and I’m glad he’s gone form N.O. Players that delivered clean hits are playing football, players that delivered dirty hits, get fined, and or suspended…if a player gets hurt by a hit deemed clean by the refs, that’s pro football, bottom line.

  25. So a hit on Manning from 6 years ago is related to his neck problems today? I’m not defending these bounties in the least, but don’t you think that’s stretching it a little bit?

  26. Here’s a trivia question for you…..

    What do these teams have in common?

    Cardinals, Seahawks, Panthers, Titans, Falcons, Chargers, Eagles, Bengals, Bills, Vikings, Browns, Lions, Texans, Jaguars, and now the Saints….

    Teams that have never won a super bowl!

  27. Demonizing Greg Williams & the Saints for something thats common is silly & a non story. This practice is common from players & coaches & likely practiced by Steelers, Ravens & other hard hitters.
    Dick Lebeau worked w Williams w the Bills, his team, the Patriots were slapped on the wrist & I think this doesn’t even deserve waste of space the news are fillin it with.

    The NFL is Talking Loud & Saying Nothing –

  28. Simply end the careers of Williams, Loomis and Payton. Fine every player involved 500k, and a 6 game suspension. This year they don’t pick until round 5.

    Then when the Taints go 2-14 next year follow up by taking their 1-3rd picks in 2013, 1-2nd in 2014. This will stop all bounty action cold.

    Before you tell us to back to work, shouldn’t you ask us to comment? Your like a 3 foot put that only go 2 foot 11.

  29. I think I’ll invest in a company that make flags for football, kind look like where this game going. I don’t remeber hearing the Raiders giving Jack Tatum money for the hit on stingly. How a coach motivates his player is under fire here, how many time have you heard a coach or player or comuntors say tear that guys head off ring his bell and now Tong Dungy is trying to blame Peyton Manning injury on a bounty. I’ve got a neck injury I think I know when it happen but not really sure. With Peyton as with myself it could been many hits that made it bad enought to have surgery. So what company making flags now days

  30. The Saints probably couldn’t have beaten the vikings without the illegal high/low hit on Favre. To know that the hit was the result of a system that the Saints coaches put in place to give incentive to players for injuring the opposing team’s QB…

    Tainted win. No way around it. This story shouldn’t just blow over. Not claiming taxable income. Coaches knew it was wrong.

    They gotta take the trophy back. No way around it. Peyton has his second SB win.

  31. rgledz … this is nothing close to a criminal case. If it is, then shut down the entire NFL.
    Not sure whose career the Saints ended …. can you enlighted me?
    BTW- Why dont we ask Colt McCoy if James Harrison is his “Brother?”
    YOU need to get a grip on REALITY.

  32. worse than filming opponents practices, cheating the game?

    Who did that?

    You hear the term spygate and start letting your imaginations run wild.

    Either that, or you’re John Thomase in real life.

  33. sinnermike your post may be the most ridiculous one I’ve ever read on this site. That’s saying a lot too. What possible legal basis could Benson have for suing anyone? You do realize the Saints got caught running a bounty program don’t you.
    A witch hunt? Get real.

  34. @rgledz I would be devistated if Brees got hurt, but if the hit was legal I’d say that’s football. Let’s look back at how many careers were ended with illegal hits from the Saints, I’d have to say I can’t remember any. So if you can lets hear em, all the bounty did was put a little extra in the tank if even that. No one took out someone knees or tried to end a career cause if it did happen this would be A LOT bigger story than people make it out to be.

  35. why are people acting like bounties havent been around for generations? butkus, nitschke, ronnie lott, LT, john lynch ray lewis, doesnt matter what era, this has been in the game for years. you want guys to play hard. period.
    who cares what motivation there was, as long as nobody was breaking rules it shouldn’t be an issue. it’s football for god’s sake not golf.

  36. Now that players of ALOT of ddifferent teams are saying this was in place while playing… Now are they going to go after the Head Coaches as well ? Jeff Fisher surely had to know since was common knowledge to all in football circles? I cant figure out why WIlliams is only one getting all of the blame. When all is said and done, will be interesting to see what teams.. players.. coaches all knew about it and how the NFL is going to fine them/ suspend them.

    Woodson from Dallas said had similar system in place when won 3 superbowls.. Ravens openely said had bounty on Mendenhall and Ward… ( knocked out Mendenhall for season and Ward a game. Buffalo..Washington..Oilers/ Titans and more to come…

    While it is fine to condemn something, but fans of those teams should make sure to condemn your own team before someone elses.

  37. rgledz says:Mar 5, 2012 9:32 AM

    @xxwhodatxx……I think that you might want to get a grip. Your analogy of bringing weapons on the field is just a weak attempt to make this seem like no big deal. When players are going out on the field with intent to injure by whatever means necessary for a couple of bucks (by the standards of cash these guys get, it’s literally like a couple of bucks) it borders on criminal. Let’s see how you’d feel if somebody rolls up on Drew Brees’ knees and ends him for a year or two. Is your opinion still the same? Doubtful. Williams is crooked, Payton is crooked and all of the players that went out there with no qualms about potentially ending one of their “brothers” careers are crooked and they should all pay the price….heavily.

    duece5 says:

    Couldn’t agree with you more rgledz!

    If it were Brees getting hit below the knees AFTER he throws, knocking HIM out of the game, then Saints fan wouls be crying foul. I blame the ref., for one of the worst blown calls in NFC Championship history, that ultimately was intercepted. the interception would have come back, and the Vikes would have been driving. TJack would have come in the game, like he did briefly, but momentum would have been with the Vikes. Extra motivation like this is wrong in every way because of salary cap consideration and dirty play.

    Call it what it is—dirty play…..any chump can make a dirty play… it what it is.

    The NFL, commish, needs to send the saints the strongest of messages…….lets see what balls the nfl has!!!

    Yes , saints fans, it is now coming to a head—we will call you ‘taints fans.

  38. Pretty funny how the Patriot fans are jumping all over this one. “This makes what we did look like nothing.” I’ll agree this is worse but your team is still dirty too, nobody is going to forget.

  39. If the league wants to send the correct message…..Williams, Payton, Loomis, should be suspended for the year.

    just heard on the Dan Patrick show that the saints CONTINUED to do this while they were being investigated.

    Talk about an eff you mentality to the league and Goodell.

    Get BALLS GOODELL, no pansy 6 game suspensions. They need to get suspended for the year, and FINED heavily.


    These actions were illegal and cost the Cardinals ( Warner) and Vikes (Favre) their opportunity.

  40. First, it wasnt illegal to film opponents signals prior to 2007. Was it sneaky, deceitful and disgraceful, yes it was. But it didnt violate any rules until 2007. And the Pats were punished when they violated the rules. That is all I will say on that.

    This bounty issue raises many more flags than taping signals. There is the aspect that players werent trying to tackle an opponent, but rather, they were trying to injure him for cash. Then there is the aspect of the salary cap. If the Saints were close to the cap limit, say $1 million under (for example) and they paid out $2 million in bounty payments, they exceeded the cap by $1 million.

    The excuse that “everyone else is doing it, so this is no big deal” didnt work in 2007 for the Pats, it sure as F_ck isnt going to work for the Saints in 2012

  41. If this was really about stopping an established, behind closed doors, procedure that has existed for decades, then I can think of much more effective and PRIVATE ways of handling this.

    I think this is about the league covering their A$$ in the upcoming lawsuits (too little too late, imo) and possibly gaining footing against the players assoc.

    I kinda see it as a stab in the back to the players.

    bad form. boo this man.

  42. Until someone can directly link a illegal hit that drew a flag and caused a player to leave the game to a “incentive” that was provided by Coach Williams this is just another attempt to discredit a winning organization.

    Hello, do you remember the high/low cheap shot against Favre in the NFC Championship Game? That play that nearly broke Favre’s ankle. If Favre doesn’t have a bum ankle he run 3-5 yards after the 12 man in the huddle penalty. Longwell boots a 48 yard field goal and overtime never happens. Cedric Griffin never tears his ACL on the opening kickoff of overtime.

  43. The NFL is/was too afraid of Kraft to do anything severe to them.

    Benson is a joke. They will get the book thrown at them because the NFL can.

  44. This is like all the “controversy” over HGH and steroids. Who cares? It doesn’t affect my enjoyment of the game? Not one bit. To me, it’s a non-issue that the NFL should handle in-house if they want, in any way they choose. Just get it off the front page, please! It’s a non football distraction. Bring on free agency and the draft. That’s about football.

  45. @ Keyser Söze says:

    And maybe players for not reporting wages.


    These aren’t wages? This is like scratch off ticket winnings. They weren’t paid for by the organization per se, but more like a payoff of a bet. There is only so much you can do that won’t be called, and it was the Raiders not the Saints that were the most penalized team in football last year. I don’t believe that it is as bad as everyone thinks or says because if it was:

    A) The Saints would have been penalized more
    B) The game callers or somebody would have pointed it out before now.

    All of the cameras, all of the attention that is placed on every single play in the NFL is so heavily scrutinized that I find it hard to believe that incentive for more than interceptions, sacks, forced fumbles and such was that big because if you want Saints games you don’t see any more injuries than you see at a regular game.

  46. nardointhenati says:Mar 5, 2012 9:13 AM

    Until someone can directly link a illegal hit that drew a flag and caused a player to leave the game to a “incentive” that was provided by Coach Williams this is just another attempt to discredit a winning organization

    duece5 says

    Dude, do you not read? Williams ADMITTED IT!!! He sais he “made a mistake”….blah blah blah……

    Quit calling it a witch hunt when Williams has admitted to the whole scam for years!! It would be different if it was denial……50,000 pages of documented information—MIND BLOWING CHEATIN’!!!!

  47. Re: JC’s comment “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!”

    We, the Washington Redskins hereby vacate all six wins from the 2011 season, leaving us with an overall record of 0-16.

    Mr. Commissioner, being that we are now on the clock, we will have our pick shortly.

    Thank you.

  48. It’s funny hearing people say that it was the bounties that caused Minnesota to lose the NFC Championship game. That game was lost in the exact same manner as when Favre lost the NFC Championship 2 years earlier in GB. Unless the Giants had bounties out… It is part of the game and not at all surprising.

  49. Remember, Roger works for the owners. They won’t let him do anything major that sets a precedent that they may be subject to in the future.

  50. Mar 5, 2012 9:16 AM

    So extra cash for legal hits is worse than filming opponents practices, cheating the game?

    Who can say that with a straight face?

    If there have been numerous, potential hall of fame, sources come out and say that bounties are part of the game, why is it okay to stop with the saints in this investigation?

    What motivation is there to make one team the scapegoat? How does that stop other teams with systems currently in place?

    The media’s agenda is pretty clear.

    There were numerous former coaches that came out during Spygate and said THAT activity had been going on for years as well by many if not all teams. They didn’t start digging under the covers of those organizations

    Remember, NFL is, and always has been a Copy Cat league. It’s only NOT a Copy Cat league when it fits peoples hate-based arguments NOT to be.

    Reality id, no one knows what if any competitive advantage NE got from what they taped from an illegal position on the field, or for how long. Even if we saw the tapes that were “destroyed”, we still wouldn’t know because no one on this site is playing or has played in the NFL.
    Patriot haters just want to hate a team that was successful. Don’t forget Brady broke the records AFTER Spygate, not before or because of tapes that may or may not have helped him.

    Guarantee if Brady looked like Ben Roth’s uglier twin brother and wasn’t married to a Supermodel there would be considerably less Hate toward him and ostensibly the Pats.
    People are so predictably jealous of a guy who has it all- it says more about the haters than it does about anyone else.

  51. Nearly six months after the incident, the Boston Herald reported, citing an unnamed source, that the Patriots had also videotaped the St. Louis Rams’ walkthrough practice prior to Super Bowl XXXVI in February 2002,[8] an allegation denied by Belichick[7] and later retracted by the Herald. Meanwhile, Matt Walsh, a Patriots video assistant in 2001 who was fired after the team’s 2002 season, told the media the same week that he had information and materials regarding the Patriots’ videotaping practices, but demanded an indemnity agreement before speaking with the NFL.[9]
    The NFL reached a deal with Walsh on April 23, 2008 and arranged a meeting between Goodell and Walsh.[10] Prior to the meeting, Walsh sent eight videotapes, containing opponents’ coaches’ signals from the 2000 through 2002 seasons, in accordance with the agreement.[11] Goodell and Walsh met on May 13, 2008, at which time Walsh told Goodell he and other Patriots employees were present at the Rams’ walkthrough to set up video equipment for the game but that there was no tape of the walkthrough made; as a result, Goodell told the media no additional penalties would be brought against the Patriots.[12] Less than 24 hours later, the Herald issued an apology for the article about the alleged walkthrough tape.[13]

    You only believe what you want to believe

  52. 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!
    A a Redskins fan, I would be delighted to have them forfeit the last 20 seasons.

  53. Let’s see how you’d feel if somebody rolls up on Drew Brees’ knees and ends him for a year or two. Is your opinion still the same?
    Brees was hit on his knee in a PRO BOWL and had to have surgery, genius. It’s football, not pinochle.

  54. I think this is alot like “spygate” in that, everyone knows,whether they admit it or not, it DOES happen all over the league. It is very different though, to have an edge in playcalling, and to try and hurt someone for extra $$.
    We’re talking about wining a game vs. ending someones game or even career. for an extra 1-2 G’s. thats almost pathetic.
    the crime is that it happens, the hard truth is, no one would care if they didnt get caught, but they did.
    verdict: this IS worse than spygate

  55. @xxwhodatxx and ncwhodat……if you hillbillies could pay attention to all of the big words in my comment, you would see that I said “borders” on criminal….borders means, it’s almost criminal. Hopefully you can retain that in your whodat brains for next time. Also, I said that players went out “with intent” to injure and possibly end a guys career. I put “brother” in parenthesis as well because I know the Taints payers have no allegiance to anybody on the football field. Read and comprehend before you comment. I know this will take a while to sink into your brains, but just give it a try. Just because they didn’t end anybodies career doesn’t make it okay you idiots, they still gave it a try. The point is….that’s bad enough. Can ya get that?

  56. I’d be stunned if there were a single team that DIDN’T have either formal or informal bounties. The game is all about delivering punishment and intimidation. And these bounties aren’t all that far removed from rewarding guys for big hits which is commonplace all the way down to Pop Warner levels.

    As for it being a big thing…the league is going to act like it is, but most fans won’t care unless they think their team was negatively impacted. Same with steroids–fans have proven they don’t give a darn if guys get caught juicing. And Spygate was quickly forgotten by most. This is no different.

  57. Love the double talk from players. When the lockout is ongoing, they say they stand united as one. When the game is on, let’s take some extra cash to try to injure a fellow player.

    The reason the Saints are in deep is because they made a mockery of the commish’s attempt to increase player safety and probably lied to the commish in the process. Cover up maybe cost them more than the crime.

    I think a lot of this goes on but to say it’s part of the game is ignoring the fact that the commish’s rules the last few years should have told teams it’s not. When are teams and players going to realize, like it or not, that things that, “have always been part of the game” are no longer part of the game.

  58. Wryly, no I am not in favor of sweeping it under the rug. I just believe that the League engenders these Witch Hunts to affect an impression of toughness. It is quickly becoming like the MLB Umpires had become, where they look for trouble, even exacerbating certain situations in order to make themselves look good when in fact, they should be as invisible as possible. They (and by “they”, I mean Roger Goodell) love the way they look on TV! This self interest taints the perception that they’re capable of adjudicating this impartially, IMO.

  59. Mogogo, spygate has been quickly forgotten by most? Read any Patriots related post on this board and you might arrive at a different conclusion.

  60. I said this earlier and I will say it again.

    Spy Gate will look like a speeding ticket compared to Bounty Gate after the penalties are handed down on this one. And rightfully so…

    Spy Gate was more about the new sheriff setting the tone and Bill Belichick’s arrogance than it was about the crime. When the league sent a memo a week before Spy Gate warning all teams to stop this action, only one that we know of actually attempted to call Goodell’s bluff and he got burned badly. The new commissioner made a point to embarrass him/Kraft and establish who’s boss even it meant overstepping on the sentence handed down. If Spy Gate had happened under Tagliabue or Rozelle, we might never had heard of it and the Patriots might have gotten fined or lost a low/mid draft pick at worst (see Broncos systematically circumventing cap in late Elway Super Bowl years as an example – by far worse offense in terms of competitive balance than Spy or Bounty Gates; or not as great an example, the 70’s Steelers holding more organized contact sessions than allowed; finally, we know the Raiders cheated in the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s – it’s a badge of honor for them how they pushed the envelope – see stick em, casts, etc.).

    Like Spy Gate with the signals, I am sure more than 1 team ran this type of bounty program, but only 1 apparently continued the bounty system to this degree after it was told to stop and only 1 lied repeatedly about it and its level of sophistication. The Saints will get whacked hardest ever for 4 primary reasons:

    1) Competitive Balance and Player Safety – it’s a big focus for the league, congress, etc. – they don’t want to risk anti-trust exemption
    2) The level of sophistication and the cover up by the Saints
    3) Who the commissioner is today versus previous administrations – don’t underestimate this. As noted above, there were probably just as many if not more teams looking for edges in the past as there are now. We have a different approach from the Commissioner’s office today. We also have a more aggressive and competitive media element in the age of technology than we had 25-50 years ago, so it’s harder to sweep things under the rug. This is similar to what we see in politics today versus 20 years ago or 50 years ago.
    4) Needs to signal to players that tough discipline can also be handed out to teams, otherwise credibility is lost due to lack of consistency

  61. @bertilfox

    It’s the same handful of guys posting that. Hence my use of the word “most.” The Pats were just in the SB. How many spygate references did you hear from the press? None. It’s been totally buried and forgotten because the NFL doesn’t want bad news. This will be over in short order with a few fines being handed out and some low-level guys will get all the blame.

  62. Any team caught cheating, and any of the players, coaches and/or front office who knew of the cheating, deserve to be heavily fined, and possibly banned from ever playing the game professionally, again.

    Two teams have been caught cheating now, and whether there will be more that surface, or if these two are the only cheaters in the league, (fat chance, since Williams has peddled his cheating methods all over the NFL, everywhere he’s been), the league itself is now, under the worst sports commissioner ever, something to be watched for underhandedness and sleight of hand. In other words, the sanctioning of cheating.

  63. Bar None says:
    Mar 5, 2012 10:53 AM
    It’s funny hearing people say that it was the bounties that caused Minnesota to lose the NFC Championship game. That game was lost in the exact same manner as when Favre lost the NFC Championship 2 years earlier in GB. Unless the Giants had bounties out… It is part of the game and not at all surprising.


    Your forgetting the high/low on Favre. If they cheating Saints don’t play dirty, instead of throwing a pick, Favre easily runs for 3-8 yards, setting up a makeable 45 ish yard field goal by Longwell.

  64. Look at how the NFL is cracking down on dirty hits and fining players responsible. This is big business and when you have Millions of dollars invested in key assets (players) that the fans pay to see play, the idea of compensating players to knock them out of the game for profit incentives outside the rules is not going to fly. Who wants to watch the Colts without Manning for example? Millions in revenue is lost so what…some linebacker can make $1500. Not going to fly. Punishment will be severe.

  65. It amazes me that so many people are so dismissive of this saying “But other teams were doing it, too”. That argument didn’t work for Spygate, and sure as hell shouldn’t in this situation. They were incenting people with the intent to knock them out of the game. They were told to cut out the practice and continued it. For 2 years. Spygate was about taping defensive signals to potentially gain advantages down the road through the study of tendencies. Bountygate is all about gaining advantage in the here and now by blasting key guys. They are apples and oranges. No one was hurt by Spygate. There is no evidence that it led to any wins/losses.

    These bounty thing may have existed around the league, but in the environment we have been in for the past few years with player safety, it is just as egregious and stupid of a violation as Spygate ever was. The Saints and the players involved are going to get hammered by the commish on this one. Frankly, they deserve it. Just as the Pats deserved their punishment (although it was a bit much), the Saints will deserve to have the book thrown at them for this one.

  66. No evidence???

    Tom Brady threw 50 touchdowns. The only guy to do that ever. How much evidence do you need?

    They deserve no more than spygate. You can’t say it’s worse than stealing signals. You can’t.

    If the hits were illegal, they were penalized and fined for more than what the bounties would have been for.

    If the hits were legal, and not egregious, then cry me a river. That’s not cheating the integrity of the game, where people are awarded contracts if they put themselves in position to hit hard.

    Maybe the P of America is winning, America is getting soft…

  67. Do I think that GW should be suspended/fined – yep, he got caught. For those of you acting shocked – grow up! You can’t be so naive to believe that this is not a common practice. It was when I played High School and College Ball.

    What’s really funny is how there have been more articles by p”F”t on this in one weekend than on the Saints during the entire season last year. “F” hates the Saints and loves Favre and the Vikings, he’s still pissed about that playoff game.

    There’s a reason why the NFL released this on a Friday. Goodell knew this is common place in the league and wants to deflect this as much as possible.

  68. Who really cares about this. This is what makes the games worth watching is the hits and the way people get creamed. it’s football and you had better be prepare to be hit. There are so many other thing sin the world going on to care about this. trying to stop this is like trying to give speeding tickets to the lead car of a NASCAR Race.

    don’t get me wring this is a problem and people are getting unnecessarily hurt. my opinion is that if any player or coach is caught dong this they should be banded from the NFL for life including the Hall of Fame. If the only way you can win is by cheating then i don’t want to see you win.

  69. We all knew the Stains weren’t that good. Now we find out how they won games – by playing dirty.
    They should be forced to forfeit their trophy, and half the 2012 season. That should be fair enough, and maybe Payton will stop cheating.

  70. The bigger story this week will undoubtly be the release of Apple’s iPad 3. I’d KO an opposing team’s QB for one of those devices!!

  71. Correct me if I’m wrong, but all teams are required to have a contract with the players specifying all the payments to be made by that player, and that contract must be sent to the league headquarters. The contract can include incentives for X, Y and/or Z. but the requirements for acheiving the incentive, and payment amount (if there are any incentives) MUST be included in the contract.

    Seems that the ‘bounty program’ was not part of any contract sent to the league HQ. And if any players got paid any bounty, that payment would be considered to be money collected outside the contract. The NFL has rules that specify ALL monies to be paid by a team to a player are to be in the contract.

    If the players made money and didn’t report it to the IRS, that would be considered breaking the law, and the IRS frowns on that. One of the ways (but definitely NOT the only way) the IRS uses to check if the taxpayers are reporting what they get paid is to check with the employer.

    Remember, Al Capone didn’t go to prison for moonshining or killing people, he went because he violated the IRS regulations (law) on reporting income.

  72. Here we go. Another 50 pages in the rule book. thankfully I gave up my overpriced tickets two years ago.

    Team’s incomes are dropping like stones because everyone is getting fed up with the over regulation . Now anything resembling rough play is banned. Sore grapes from the losers is all this amounts to in the end.

  73. I am Vikings fan but I don’t think this is the reason we lost the title game (or the reason the Saints won the Super Bowl) It was all the turnovers. Without them we win easily. I’ll admit I was bitter with the Saints because it was obvious they were trying to hurt Favre. I am just as bitter with the refs for allowing the Saints to get away with some illegal hits that should have been flagged. That allowed them to keep doing it. I believe some players were fined for plays that weren’t penalized during the game . I think what the Saints did is bad sportsmanship and they do deserve to be punished, starting with the coach but wrong or not they still won the Super Bowl.

  74. @whatigot8:

    appears you need a history lesson: Brady threw for 50 TD’s AFTER spygate.
    Over the past 4 seasons that Brady has played SINCE spygate (07, 09, 10 and 11) NE has a record of 53-11.
    It’s obvious to anyone paying attention that NE did not need spygate to be successful in this league.
    I know well the chorus from the haters about not having won a SB since, but honestly, you gotta win in reg seasons to get the playoffs/SB.
    They been more effective than anyone other than the NYG in getting to the SB post spygate.

    Get the facts straight before you post, son.

  75. @whatigot8:

    also, by your flawed logic, Peyton Manning, who threw for 49 TD’s must’ve cheated as well.
    Having Reggie Wayne, Marvin Harrison and Dallas Clark probably had nothing to do with it, right?>

    Randy Moss paired with TB had EVERYTHING to do with Brady getting to 50 TD’s.
    Such ridiculous posts by people BLINDED by HATE they cannot see reality

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