Saints’ Tom Johnson: Sean Payton is our leader, this is not right


Saints defensive tackle Tom Johnson is angry at NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for suspending coach Sean Payton for the entire 2012 season, and unlike Drew Brees, Johnson isn’t speechless: Johnson had plenty to say.

This is not right,” Johnson told the Sun Herald. “We knew there would be some type [of punishment], but not this. We didn’t think anything like this because of the type of man he is. He is our leader and the man we respect. It is going to be hard to move forward without Sean Payton for any amount of time, especially a year.”

Payton was reportedly bracing for a four-game suspension and was stunned when he found out he had been suspended for a year, and Johnson said the Saints’ players were stunned as well.

“Man, he got a whole year. That is hard to believe. I am shocked and no one on the team was expecting it to be so harsh,” Johnson said. “We don’t know what direction the team will be going in, but we have to rally around each other and support each other. We will make this work until he comes back.”

Johnson said he thinks that when the team gets together, they’ll be motivated to play for Payton.

“That will be a situation where the players will say what’s on the minds and hearts, I know he will be in our hearts because he is our leader,” Johnson said. “He is the one who motivates us before games and the one who supports us in the highs and the lows. He is the ‘it’ factor for this team.”

But Payton won’t be the “it” factor for the Saints again until 2013.

177 responses to “Saints’ Tom Johnson: Sean Payton is our leader, this is not right

  1. Yeah, he is your “leader” – that’s exactly why he got this punishment. Someone didn’t get the point here…

  2. what an idiot. that’s the reason why he got a year-because he’s the leader. it might seem harsh but it’s his responsibility to know what’s going on with his team. and then he lied to the NFL about it.

  3. remember how the Patriots went on their F-U run after spygate and nearly went undefeated. destroying teams each week.

    I kind of think it happens again.

    I’m not a saints fan, but dont be surprised if the Saints just start waxing the floor with teams to make a statement.

    if not this year, then definitely when Payton comes back.

  4. “He is the one who motivates us before games”…. Exactly what got him/you into this mess dummy. Somebody should show these idiots on the aints the NFL report. #lightbulb

  5. Fifty years ago the league made a statement by suspending Hornung and Karras for a year that you don’t bet on games and lie to the league.

    This year the league made a statement that you don’t run an injury bounty program and lie to the league. Teams that did not understand before will understand now.

  6. these guys still live in a fantasy land of nonaccountability. i want to hear a saint say: “well, we had a bounty program that celebrated injuring other players and that was against the rules. the nfl told us to stop and we didn’t. then we lied about it to the commish and that was bound to backfire… but a year, that’s too much!”

  7. I can understand Johnson’s angry as some in our society believes if it feels good it ought to be legal. Those that participated in the “bounty” believe it is going over board to suspend their coach for a season but many that feel what Goodell dealt out is about dead on.

  8. You know what else 8s not fair? Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, early onset Alzheimer’s, ALS, and multiple other organic disorders… I am not an idiot who “blames the Saints for all that is wrong,” but this is the exact type of punishment I was expecting, if not worse. Don’t turn this into “The world is against us;” you did it to yourselves. its sad this happened to a great city, but the team deserves to go into oblivion.

  9. Your “leader” is a lying scum bag who should never be allowed to coach again there Tommy… deal with it.

  10. I wouldn’t be surprised if he were fired after his suspension. He did lie to the team’s owner about the bounty payments too, didn’t he?

  11. Hard to have an “us against the world” attitude on this one. They were partaking in a classless and selfish system that tried injuring other players in the NFL. It boggles my mind how they dont understand its not okay to deliberately try to take someones knees out and potentially end their career under the direction of their coaching staff.

  12. Yeah, the Commish just it all over Payton, like his team it on everybody else. Stop whining already and feel lucky he didn’t take away your Lombardi Trophy.

  13. You can’t seriously run a team, company, or government (oh wait, scratch that last one) against the rules/laws and feign shock when the powers that be come down hard on your “leader”.

  14. Let me explain it in plain English for the Saints players that are ‘Stunned’.

    Sean Payton is the leader of a regime that intentionally engaged in behavior over three years to try and injure opponents. When asked by the NFL (his ultimate authority) he lied about it three separate times.

    I will repeat that. When the head coach of the Saints was questioned by representatives of the NFL, Sean Payton lied on three separate occasions.

    Payton is very lucky that he did not receive a lifetime ban.

    The Saints engaged in reprehensible behavior and practices and when they were found out, they lied and kept doing it.

    Somewhere Jim Finks is hanging his head in disapproval.

  15. The old saying if you’re gonna dance… you have to pay the fiddler applies. Payton knew and he lied about it.. Oh.. by the way…who dat?

  16. For those who think this punishment is too severe, there are a few things to consider:

    1) This HAD to happen for the players. Week in and week out, they are fined/suspended/flagged for some deserved and some not so deserved hits on players all in the name of player safety. So, considering many prominent figures of an organization were caught creating a bounty system, the hammer needed to come down hard to stay consistent. Players are in the midst of a game when they are fined/penalized/suspended and can get caught up in the moment, whereas the Saints system was setup off the field and in the locker room with pre-meditation.

    2) The Saints blatantly lied about this when investigated by the NFL previously, and on more than one occasion. They then issued pretty forced apologies only after getting caught, but even admitted in the apology that they knew it was wrong when they were doing it after being caught (how messed up is that?). Yet, they continued to do it brazenly after the investigation started a few years ago. Saints fans SHOULD be upset with that instead of the blind loyalty I have seen on message boards. Your organization failed you due to complete arrogance.

    3) This ensures this never happens again, which is the ultimate goal and why this is the ultimately the right punishment.

    When Jeff Fisher, who just lost his DC for, perhaps ever, said this is a fair ruling, then Saints fans and players should accept this as justice.

    Lastly, I saw some comments about Payton losing his $8MM being too harsh, well what the heck is the point of suspending him with pay? Payton is MUCH more upset about losing $8 MM – lesson learned.

  17. gb4mn0 says:
    Mar 20, 2012 8:57 PM
    8. Loser: Vikings.

    Good teams can afford to sit on the sidelines in the early days of free agency. The Vikings are not a good team.


    Getting the day started off on a high note.

  18. How arrogant are these guys? They repeatedly broke the rules. They got caught, lied about stopping, and kept doing it. Then they got caught again, and lied saying they weren’t doing it. Did you really think the commissioner who is on a constant power trip wouldn’t be as harsh as possible? Frankly, I don’t like Payton, he annoys me, and I love the punishment.

  19. Payton lead his team, the people of Louisiana who support the team, the players, staff and all those who championed the Saints into disgrace. To see that there are people like Tom Johnson who think in such a way, act as apologists and whine – shows that this organization has a long way to go. Sadly, even as a life long New Orleans Saints fan, I feel the penalties should have been harsher.

    The question that must be asked: Will the Saints continue to have a relationship with Mike Ornstein? I remain skeptical that this organization has suddenly learned it’s lessons. Only time will tell.

  20. They still don’t get just how terribly wrong their behavior was, inclusive of both the bounties and the utter disregard for the league’s warnings. Penalties apparently should have been even stiffer to drive that point home. Sounds like they were essentially expecting a slap on the wrist. Odd.

  21. ….”supports us in the “highs” and lows.” Do those highs include poppin’ some pills?

  22. What else is he supposed to say? This is a man their players revere and respect so of course members of the Saints organization are going to defend him. It’s an unfortunate situation for the fans but Payton should not have lied during the investigation. Belichick got off because he fully cooperated and gave all of his tapes to the NFL for destruction, Payton dragged the NFL on a goose chase for 3+ years. Under Taglibue, he probably would have just gotten a fine but coaches and players need to get the memo that they are dealing with Goddell here.

  23. I guess these players dont get it.

    You intentionally try to injure other players or take them out of the game, and you get punished. What part dont you get?

    And as an individual player, who the hell do these guys think they are? The NFL owes Drew Brees no explanation. The NFL does not have to answer to Tom Johnson. These guys are running a multi-billion dollar company. If you think theyre going to hold up their business to placate you, they are going to tell you to shove it. And rightfully so

  24. I know the bounty gate was wrong, but I think Sean Peyton’s suspension is too long. I know it isn’t right that a coach allows such an action but can someone please explain to me why Bill Bellichick wasn’t suspended for Spygate?

  25. The Sean Payton year-long suspension probably broke down like this: 1) 4-games for not doing anything about “Bountygate”. 2) 4-games for lying about “Bountygate”. 3) 4-games for associating with convicted felon Mike Ornstein. 4) 4-games for being an arrogant pill-poppin’ jerk. Seems like Goodell got it perfectly right.

  26. It’s pretty obvious that not a single player on the Saints understand Payton’s year long suspension has more to do with him lying to the NFL than allowing the bounties to take place. If Payton, Williams, Loomis, etc. were honest about the existence of the bounty program, their punishments more than likely wouldn’t have been so severe.

  27. Tom Benson is probably doing a secret happy dance all the way to the bank. The Saints were fined 500k but Payton’s $8 mil is money they get to keep now. That should ease a bunch of the sting!

  28. Now in a real town the police would start to look into this.

    This went from being a game to a hit squad
    Criminal charges should follow.

    Shawn as the leader of the gang should get some jail time

    But not to worry when he got out there would be a place for him in Philly

  29. mikea311 says:
    Mar 22, 2012 7:27 AM
    remember how the Patriots went on their F-U run after spygate and nearly went undefeated. destroying teams each week.

    I kind of think it happens again.

    I’m not a saints fan, but dont be surprised if the Saints just start waxing the floor with teams to make a statement.

    if not this year, then definitely when Payton comes back.

    Here is the difference between the Patriots when they did there thing and the Saints.

    The Patriots knew they did something wrong and took the punishment. The Saints are running around asking for explanations and pouting about the whole thing. Not to mention the Saints punishment is greater because their act was greater and went on for longer.

  30. It’s going to be hellish for visiting teams this year. Big hits on the house.

    You ladies need to come down off your high horses.

  31. Maybe they should just set up a bounty reward for knocking Goodell out of the NFL.

    I didn’t expect the punishment to be this harsh either, but it wouldn’t have been if they had come clean when first investigated instead of lying and trying to cover it up (and then continuing it).


  32. “We didn’t think anything like this because of the type of man he is.”

    Well Tom, I guess the NFL’s view on the ‘type of man he is’ might differ from yours and unfortunately, you don’t get a vote.

  33. Maybe not for Sean Payton, since he is losing 8 million dollars, but for all other Saints fans, it was worth it.

    Super Bowl champs! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. We don’t want any of you to like us and we’re glad you’re happy with the unreasonable punishment. Whatever.

    I still take this team over anyone in the Dome. Better hope we don’t get home field cause we’ll win Goodell’s trophy and break it.

  34. I will be the first one to admit that punishment is both justified and intended to sting. This is to encourage coaches and players to avoid crossing this line again. Payton had has a duty as a leader to lead by example. He obviously failed. With that being said, I don’t see a one year suspension as an adequate punishment for his crimes. Greg Williams, absolutely should receive the ban. He was the one who initiated the “Bounty”, but the General Manager got off to easy in comparison to Payton.

    Payton is a head coach and a leader, but he is still a leader of MEN. Grown men to be exact. Men who know the difference between right and wrong. Men who make enough money (The starters) that an extra grand or two shouldn’t override their sense of value. To sit back and say that Payton deserves the brunt for the action of grown men is a little far fetched. A college coach, a high school coach, or even a little league coach, I get that. But not a head coach of grown adult men. If Payton “Deserves” a year long suspension for not stepping in, then the players who chose the intent of hurting a fellow professional over their moral and values, should be banned for life as well. How about making an example of the players ACTUALLY involved in the “Bounty” system. They are the truly guilty ones in all of this.

    Finally, their is so much inconsistency in how the NFL hands on punishments it is sickening. You give Belichick a slap on the wrist when Spygate came out. Players who purposefully take steroids to cheat are suspended for a year (THE SECOND TIME THEY ARE CAUGHT). Even players who intentionally deliver helmet to helmet hits are only suspended a couple games AT MOST. Yet Payton receives a suspension for a year for not stopping a system he did not even initiate. Then their is the refs. Aren’t the refs there to protect the players. Yet how many late hits on Favre were excused in the Saints-Vikings Championship game. Players can only make those kind of hits when refs allow them to. AND PLEASE spare me the fact the NFL could only find proof for on the Saints. Players who played under Williams on other teams have admitted to their misdeeds. Why are those teams (or former coaches of those teams) not receiving punishment? It is not like Williams thought of this great and wonderful Bounty system when he landed in New Orleans. I am not saying Payton is not guilty. He obviously should have stepped up and prevented this from taking place. But when you consider the big picture, his punishment should be much lighter than the actual players who went through with this. If the players receive a much larger punishment than Payton, then I am fine with his year long suspension. But if Goodell doesn’t lay the hammer on those actually involved, then he truly is missing the big picture.

  35. He’s the man we respect? Perhaps you would have had MORE respect for him had he put a stop to the bounty program. Someone could have had their career ended or worse…ended up crippled for life. Yeah Mr. Johnson… missed the point here.

  36. Players, ex-players and fans constantly criticize the league and say Goodell doesn’t care about player safety. Now he sends a very strong message that trying to injure players will not be tolerated and these same hypocrites call out Goodell for being too harsh.

    Someone above made a great point. The difference between this and Spygate is that the Patriots cooperated with the league. The Saints didn’t. You may not like, or believe, what Belichick said and did, but the Saints (Payton) LIED….3 seperate times at least, about it.

    As someone else said, Payton should thank his lucky stars he’s not banned for life, and Gregg Williams might not be so lucky. The only reason the league hasn’t banned Williams for life yet, is because if they do he will clam up and not cooperate. There would be no reason to. The mere possibility that he may be allowed to coach again is what’s going to turn Williams into a VERY cooperative witness going forward.

  37. What’s actually not right (1) Three years of bounties on fellow players aimed at hurting them, which could have ended their careers (2) Lying about it for three years.

    What is right? Getting nailed for it.

  38. truthfactory says: Mar 22, 2012 7:32 AM

    Hard to have an “us against the world” attitude on this one. They were partaking in a classless and selfish system that tried injuring other players in the NFL. It boggles my mind how they dont understand its not okay to deliberately try to take someones knees out and potentially end their career under the direction of their coaching staff.

    When did this happen? I do remember Jared Allen hitting Matt Schaub in the knees. Twice. In one game. And I do remember Brett Favre’s illegal crack back block into Eugene Wilson’s knees… in preseason.

    But I don’t remember the Saints intentionally going after anyone’s knees. Refresh my memory.

  39. …”We don’t know what direction the team will be going in “…… if there is any real justice, it will be DOWN.

  40. What a buffoon. Anybody in their right mind would not purposely hurt someone for money. It’s a sport, not war.

  41. So it’s ok for you to try & cripple opponents for a few extra bucks but it’s not ok to suffer the consequences? Is that your argument?

  42. Yeah this was bad, every team does it they just didn’t get caught. Look at Detroit and how Suh plays, bet he gets money for those sacks. Goodell is power hungry and thinks he can do whatever he wants. Hope he gets fired ASAP

  43. Shouldn’t these players that are whining about the sanctions dropped on Peyton be worried about the imminent suspensions that “they” will soon be facing?!

    Keep talking shhh about the man who holds your fate in his hands…he’s just getting started.

  44. To those that say what the Saints did is outrageous, I bet you have your Ray Lewis, Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs, James Harrison jerseys in a glass case. Those guys admittedly go out and try to maim. Philadelphia did the same thing under Buddy Ryan. You are the same ones that laugh throughout “The Longest Yard” as the prisoners hurt the guards. Yeah, its a movie and yeah, its supposed to be for laughs, but you should have the same shock at those players and actors as you have toward the Saints. Why don’t you scream for banishment on every flagrant facemask call? Isn’t it the same thing?

  45. A whole year? For what? Getting caught doing what’s been going on in this league since the beginning.
    It still amazes me that Goddell gets away with his crap.

  46. The Saints got exactly what they deserved. In fact, they might have gotten off a little easy. My inclination would have been to suspend the whole team for the entire year. Sends a VERY clear message to the rest of the league. Unfortunately, the Players Union would prevent that from happening. Serve your time, pay your fine, and then get back to playing true football.

  47. Just wait till the player fines and suspensions are handed out they will really be crying then. Playing the game hard with legal hits can take a player out,but when you add the extra incentive of money to the picture it becomes a rules violation and if you end a players career over a few thousand dollars do you feel good about it? Football is a brotherhood and your taking his lively hood from his family because of your ILLEGAL BOUNTY PROGRAM…Meet me in an alley or on the streets and if I take out yours knees and end your career you’ll sue me, whats the difference in what the Saints Players and Coaches did they are all legally responsible in my opinion.

  48. This just in: Peyton is putting his bounty experience to work and joining the cast of Swamp People; an exctited Sean proclaimed on his first hit “Woo hee J Paul dat ones a monsta!”

  49. For all the whiney Vikings fans,

    If your O-Line did their job, they could have all the bounties they wanted on Farve and it wouldn’t have made a difference.

    I’m not a Saints fan at all, but the bottom line is Brett took the hits he did because the O-line didn’t do their job. Everyone on that offense has a job to do and they didn’t do thiers and let their QB get creamed. That is the stone cold reality. Get over yourselves.

  50. Because they lied over and over to the NFL I would suspend all coaches involved that lied indefinitely. People are surprised by the players reaction ? Look at the leadership and morals there coaches where showing them to play& live by. Any player that is speaking out is a clueless and arrogant a** just like the coaches and GM. They should also take there 1st rd pick next year and any player that put up the bounty money should have a 8 game suspension.

    W e
    H ave
    O ur

    D efensive
    A ss’s in
    T rouble

  51. They were warned about cleaning this thing up, and they didn’t do it. They have got exactly what they deserved for the lying. That’s the main reason “lying”. Now wait for the players responsible for this. Their punishment is coming next. Can’t wait to see what the commissioner does with them. Enjoy the vacation everyone. You obviously didn’t “get it”.
    How much did the owner know about this I wonder??

  52. See how your “rally” goes, when half your defense is suspended…no one subscribes to ACCOUNTABILITY anymore…sad state.

  53. Sean Peyton is the “one who motivates us before a game. Obviously he does with all the bounty money. Not any more, wait for your punishment Tom Johnson. More surprises to come!!

  54. Forget about the bounties. I don’t wanna hear any saints or saints fans whining about the severity of the penalties simply because all reports say that the entire organization was warned and chose to blatantly disregard the warnings. Its not like this is the first time they heard about this and all of the sudden got slammed. I can’t stand Rodger Goodell but I have to stand and applaud this decision. And to the saints: what the heII were you guys thinking after recieving several reported warnings. You got what you deserved.

  55. No arguing that Payton deserved a penalty, but are we to believe that Roger Goodell is so naive to believe it doesn’t happen on other teams?

    I watch alot of football, and there are dirtier teams in the league then the Saints.

    In essence, it’s okay to rape women, kill another human being and get only light sentences, but if you tell players to go out and hurt other players, playing a violent sport, where getting hurt is part of the game, we will give you a year off.

    I am not even a Saints fan and I find this decision disturbing and offensive.

    This is all about Roger Goodell stamping his name in history books.

  56. Give up your Lombardi Trophy and Super Bowl rings and you can have him back.

    What’s that? No way?

    I thought so. This punishment is a slap on the wrist, they can pretend to be shocked and offended, but I’m not buying it for a second. They stole a Super Bowl… a one year suspension is nothing.

  57. It’s embarrassing the he doesn’t even see how he explains exactly why Peyton got hammered.

    “He is the one who motivates us before games …”

    Peyton =Motivation
    Motivation = Bounty

    Peyton = Bounty

    Dots connected.

  58. When it comes out how much individual players received over a 3 year period will the IRS be coming in?

    How about Racketeering also?

    Who Dat? Dat be the US Government coming in to get a piece of that bounty pie!!!!

  59. This is right. How was Payton prepping for a 4 game suspension when, it was all over the news at least half a season if not more. He was the head coach. It happened on his watch. You want the big pay check, that gets you the big responsibility. As for losers like Tom Johnson, you knew this was happening and did nothing. Drew Brees? HAve a hard time believing he knew nothing. Drew also is not under contract so he certainly is not owed an explanation…which BTW was included when the punishment was annoucned you knucklehead.

  60. If I was Kurt Warner,Brett Favre,Cam Newton or Aaron Rogers I would be considering all my options legally and for Warner and Favre who are no longer playing I would be looking into a law suit to send even a stronger message to the league and the players and coaches. My suggestion to Roger Goodell would be this: New Rule; All fines can be adjusted to be be equal to the head coaches salary in the event of a rules violation and a suspension is handed out to to the haed coach or any coaching staff or executive staff.Ex. Payton’s salary 8 million plus the combined salaries of Asst Head Coach Joe Vitt 6 games and Loomis 8 games and Williams the former DC add the total salaries together and that total is what the NFL could fine the TEAM…500K to an NFL owner isn’t much to pay when the make hundreds of millions each year. A fine of over 10 million or more in this case would get their attention and send a loud and clear message. One more penalty would be a salary cap Penalty say 5 million per year or in this case 15 million that would take effect over 2012,2013 & 2014 these are the things i would do so they can be thankful Goodell is the Commish. Maybe i will draft my ideas and forward them to the league office in New York.

  61. I agree with the punishment. I am a Saints fan. I know people who don’t like this team are reveling in this. I expect nothing less.
    But the truth is, this team will bounce back. Our biggest problem isn’t the bounty program, it re-signing Brees.

  62. And if you are a saints fan or player you should be mad at sean payton and gregg williams because they are the ones that failed you, not rodger goodell

  63. @bdawk20
    I don’t think there is a single chance in BLEEP that Fisher didn’t know Williams was dirty. It was wise of Mr. Competition Committee to “accept” the ruling publicly or perhaps his own role in condoning Williams’ behavior would be scrutinized. As it is Fisher called what Williams did “a mistake” which is laughable. IMO Fisher’s not firing Williams right when Williams admitted he did this was the indicator that Fisher knew exactly what he was dealing with. You find out a trusted staff member does this and you want to plead ignorance later? You should fire them when they admit wrongdoing of that nature. And Fisher claimed that had he known about this he wouldn’t have hired Williams. IF that’s true, he still should have fired Williams the minute he admitted to what he did because that means Williams failed to disclose to Fisher that he was under investigation by the NFL for 3 years. I think that’s a pretty big thing to hide from your employer. So yeah..not buying Fisher’s “innocent me” act.

  64. I would also like to add to all the sniveling Viqueen fans out there… Not only are you not getting our Lombardi, but our record will be better than yours this year. While you love this big mess the Saints got themselves into, your program has been dysfunctional for years. Basking in all our bad press doesn’t change your bad team.

  65. The team can void Payton’s contract and not pay him a dime. They could even wait a year to do it. He deserves less.

    I hope also that Favre sues the Saints, Williams and Payton for his “bounty” paid injuries in NFC Championship game. There was no doubt that they were trying to injure him. Now, easily provable, and worth millions in damages. This Aints over.

  66. No penatlies should be handed down until every single team has been investigated. Its been brought to light that it does happen and players for other organizations admitted it too. After the dust clears and all players and coaches have been suspended, Tom Benson should tell Goodell to go to hell and tell him he will not allow his team to take the field. What would the NFL do then?
    They did deserve punsihment for the lying and denial, im not arguing that.

    The NFL is getting ridiculous. I have been a fan since a youngster but after the past few years I started looking at it differently. The NFL is getting as corrupt as the government. How in the heck does one man become judge , jury and executioner? How do appeals to any fines just go straight back to the desk of the same man who instituted them? There needs to be a board for appeals. No one person should have that much power. Roger Godell is a tyrannical leader, dictator, so to speak. He rules with an iron fist. As a fan, I am fed up with the money grab this sport has become. The fans money is what makes this league what it is and it needs to stop. The players , coaches, organizations and especially Goodell need to be reminded of it. Wouldnt it be sweet if every NFL city would protest themselves this year? If we banded together and didnt attend the games ( still buy the tickets so you dont lose your season tix) , dont watch the games and dont buy any merchandise with an NFL logo it would be a huge monetary reminder who actually runs this league. We do!

  67. Oh my, one the scumbag dirty players is upset they are being punished for being utter and total cheats and scumbags.

    You people are lucky you aren’t facing criminal prosecution and I hope once players are identified you eventually will. If I paid another poster on PFT to harm a 3rd poster I didn’t like, myself and poster #2 would go to jail if we were caught.


  68. Sean Payton is a liar. This is right. Tom Johnson – just another d-bag that doesn’t get it.

  69. The best punishment yet will be when the officials actually start making the calls on late hits that they overlooked the last 3 seasons.

  70. The punishment fits the crime. Cry some more Aints players. Cry some more Aints fans. You all should get the brown paper bags out again and wear them proudly. For you should be extremely embarrassed for your teams actions. While the Vikings build themselves back up to relevancy enjoy the slide into the NFC basement Aints!

  71. Mikea33–I don’t see the Saints even being in the same league as the Pats.

    1. Belicheck was allowed to continue coaching. Pete Carmichael or Steve Spagnoulo are no Belicheck.

    2. Drew Brees might have a SB ring, but last time I looked, Tom Brady never allowed his team to lose to a team with a losing record in a playoff game.

    3. The Saints’ players haven’t had their punishment meted out yet. Guarantee that those players who participated in this that are still with them will be suspended a minimum of 4 games–except for Vilma–I bet he gets whole year as well. They won’t serve their suspensions all at once–but it will affect them.

    I for one, couldn’t stand Payton anyway–and that goes back to when he first started coaching in New Orleans. He fancied himself as another Parcells without, at that time, the pedigree. I’m glad he and his team got their comeuppance. The other thing that makes me ill is that Drew Brees and Scott Fujiita were both talking about how there should be more safeguards in the game, as recently as last year’s lockout, yet they knew this was going on.

  72. This is the first time the NFL has punishhed a team for this type of behavior so the punishment cannot be excessive or unfair, it is now the establised standard!

    It will become unfair if the NFL fails to levy the same punishment on the other teams that have done the same thing ….. and the league knows there are others!!!

    All should be punished!

  73. exactly! he is your leader and has a certain responsibility that he not only ignored, but lied about and he participated in. you play dirty and illegally you get burned. he should have gotten an indefinite suspension but at least he got this. won’t be shocked if he’s one of the players who gets his own suspension….

  74. Stop crying. He got off relatively easy. Because he’s “your leader”. The suspension should have been worse than his subordinate Greg Williams.

    You can’t lie to the commissioner and intentionally try to injure players. I could understand wanting to hurt players and make ’em tap out, but wanting to injure them and have them carted off…no bueno.

    Unless you’re a Raider, of course. Then I’m behind it.

  75. Get over it!!!! The punishment fits the crime!!!! That $7.5 million he’s about to lose is the part that’s really gonna sting him. This scandal has put an ugly scar on the Saints franchise for a longtime to come. NFC SOUTH will be rule by the Atlanta Falcons. GO FALCONS!!!!!!

  76. Its actually worse than missing a season of games.
    His suspension is April 1 to April 1 so he also will miss the free agent market, trades and etc prior to the 2013 season.
    Once he comes back he will be in the thick of the draft and Spring training without preperation. Ouch.

  77. I’m wondering whether or not Payton can ever return to New Orleans. As someone pointed out, Payton completely disregarded a clear directive from the owner, and then lied to him and the league about it. (Purposeful omission of relevant facts is as bad as lying). How can any business owner keep a high level employee on the payroll that was so recklessly insubordinate? Just about anyone I know guilty of this type of behavior would be fired immediately. I’m wondering if Benson is on the phones right now with the likes of Gruden/Cowher, even Parcells, to come in and take over.

  78. This is not right? As opposed to taking payoffs to hitting certain players with the intent to inflict injury and oh, I don’t know…..end a career or two?

    Correct. It’s not fair. What would be fair and right and just is longer suspensions for the Loomis and Payton and a lifetime ban of Gregg Williams.

    Yep, That’d be about “right.”

  79. They accepted responsibility but the consequences don’t match the offense. I’m sure all the haters on here will disagree. The punishment was completely a CYA move by the dictator, he doesnt wanna get sued down the rd by ppl claiming they were hurt by the Saints. That’s our problem it’s a BS move that doesn’t match the offense.

  80. Well cry me a river! Your coach seems more concerned about losing out on a $7.5 million salary than acknowledging and even apologizing for not stopping a bounty program – something he finally fessed up to after leaving a paper trail behind. If you guys are so good like you claim to be, then how about proving it without Payton’s services?

  81. The Saints will be hitting even harder this season. Now thanks to Goodell, their motivation will come from exacting revenge for coach. The Saints will be hitting harder for their pay-checks and pride minus a bounty program. The Saints will host and WIN the SB in New Orleans in Jan 2013! Goodell will have to watch the game in the Booth with Benson dancing around with his umbrella! Geaux Saints!

  82. I’ll tell you what’s “Not Right” The Saints D blasting Brett Favre 2 seconds after he handed the ball off to AP.

  83. Once again I will crawl from underneath my rock and state this: Is it a fair punishment? Well that was for the NFL to decide, for which it did. Did non-contract incentives permiate throughout the NFL? I have no doubt that it did, I don’t think to the extent the Saints implemented it, by targeting certain players for “cart offs or forced from games”, but I’m sure many teams had incentives off the “books”. But 2 reasons I feel that the “Commish” came down “sternly” and I say “sternly” because I haven’t see any “lifetime ban” language, 1) THEY LIED and continue the program after the inital inquiry in 2010. 2) The allegations of “outside monies” being allowed to contribute to these programs. It oozes of influence and improprioties, for which the NFL can never let taint contests. This is one of the main reason I feel RG issued “stern” punishment, to let all know that the NFL will police it’s own, and never become “old century” boxing.

  84. Really? If Mike Vick gets a six game suspension for injury to dogs & his first violation of the personal conduct policy, did Payton really have a hubris to believe that he would get a shorter suspension for tying to injure humans and particularly when there is a specific rule against it, and the team had been warned about it, AND the team lied and tried to cover it up. The LEADER should be dealt with harshly. I agree with Goodell when he said that it is not possible to deal out a punishment too harsh for such violations.

  85. Yeah? So? Brett favre was our leader and YOUR leader conspired to try to end his career, that’s not right. Are all these Aints popping off in the media REALLY that ignorant? Entitlement, arrogance and ignorance. It seems to permiate throught the entire Aints organization.

  86. These guys are incredibly hard headed. Do any of them take responsibility for the fact that what they did was not only wrong it was low-down?? And the constant lying to the league… Oh, and Drew Brees “wants an explanation”… Please. What egos on these guys. They should have seen the handwriting on the wall when all the concussion lawsuits were filed, but obviously some of them STILL don’t get it. Maybe after the player penalties come out they’ll at least understand that the inmates aren’t running the asylum here. Probably not, but maybe.

  87. How about some humility? How about being a REAL MAN and admitting your mistakes? How about thinking about how your actions have affected others?

    ps. Warren Sapp should be fired from the NFL Network.

  88. Hitler and many other people who did wrong had their followers and supporters also. Doesn’t make it right. If he was/is a great leader he would have stopped this at the very beginning, Great leaders do what is right. Period not open for discussion.

  89. i want to see brees kicked out. head of the union. all this bullcrap about players safety and i gaurentee he knew everything about the team

  90. “We didn’t think anything like this because of the type of man he is.”

    Let’s take a look at what type of man Payton is:

    1) Knowingly allowed his team to break league rules – CHECK

    2) Lied to the league when questioned about the breaking of the rules – CHECK

    3) Organized a cover-up to prevent the discovery of the breaking of the rules – CHECK

    4) Brazenly allowed the continuation of the breaking of the league rules – CHECK

    5) Lied again about breaking the rules, even when presented with evidence that proved otherwise – CHECK

    6) Took five days to respond with admittance and apology for breaking the rules after the league announced what transpired – CHECK

    Perhaps some of these Saints players need to find another father figure/role model.

  91. I notice he never denied that the bounty system was real, or that Sean Payton had no idea it was taking place.

    What “ain’t right” is the fact that the league warned your boss, and he ignored them. As if you and your team mates were above the rules.

    Man up and deal with it.

  92. Lets not forget the convicted felon Michael Ornstein that Payton was hanging out with and contributing to the Bounty system. That stinks to high heaven, He should have been banned for life. Far worse that Pete Rose.

  93. Shut up already. All you clowns, who are bashing the Saints, need to realize why the root word of “FAN”, is fanatic. There has been no proof shown that the Saints injured other players. It isn’t on the tapes of the Saints games, and Goodell hasn’t shown anyone any proof, of any kind. Drew Brees nailed it when he stated, “I’d like to see the proof.”
    Bear in mind, Goodell isn’t known for showing proof.
    If he likes you, he destroys the evidence.
    If he likes you, he slaps you on the wrist, lightly.
    If he likes you, he allows you to keep the win where you were caught cheating.
    Goodell is a power hungry Czar who should be banned from the NFL, indefinitely.
    If the other 31 teams don’t come to the defense of this mockery of, “So-Called”, justice, they can expect the same nonsense to come their way.
    Make that 30 teams. The Patriots are obviously excluded, as has already been proven.
    If you are going to claim to have 18,000 pages of proof, then show it.
    If you are going to be the punisher, show proof of the charge.
    Goodell is a joke, and if the NFL doesn’t look into his nonsense, The NFL is doomed.

  94. Guess what Tom, your leader knew about the bounty program and instead of putting a stop to it encouraged it. He didn’t exactly show leadership qualities and broke the rules. Now he has to pay the piper.

  95. The only thing the Saints will be shooting for this year is the J-E-T-S and their “Is there anything else stupid we could say at the wrong moment” title. To me from top to bottom this franchise are a bunch of turds and should be flushed immediately. This is one thing that Goodell is doing right.

  96. Lets look at this from the real world perpective

    You work for a company. They start to look into your wrong doing. You deny it (lie), so they tell you to make sure it doesnt happen again. You continue your wrong doing, and lying about doing it, for 3 full years. The company catches you with documented proof of wrong doing, and proof of lying about it for 3 years.

    I would no longer have a job after that, and that company would never hire me again. So after all that (not to mention being rich and never having to work ever again) does a year suspension really sound that bad?

  97. Wait until Goodell hits the players who still play for the Saints. Its not unfair and they might as well quit complaining because it will be a full 16 game season for them next year.

  98. First of all, these players should just shut up! Second, maybe there should be a new penalty imposed every time they cry about this penalty. And last, ask them if it would be “fair or harsh” if Goodell decided for just this season it was ok for other teams to place bounties on the Saints, and especially Drew Bree’s. Would they maybe start to get it then?

  99. .

    Does anyone know what would happen to you if while working at a Fortune 500 you ;

    a. wilfully violated company policy.

    b. repeatedly lied to your CEO and his/ her management team.

    c. continued to wilfully violate company policy after your actions were questioned.


  100. mikea311 says:
    Mar 22, 2012 7:27 AM
    remember how the Patriots went on their F-U run after spygate and nearly went undefeated. destroying teams each week.

    I kind of think it happens again.


    I also wouldn’t be surprised if the teams targeted by the bounties take out some revenge on the Saints this year. What goes around comes around.

  101. Note to Mr. Johnson and others like him:
    It was supposed to shock you. If it was nothing more than what you had already planned for, then it really wouldn’t be making a point about the seriousness of both the bounty program and the lies and cover ups…as well as the sheer stupidity of continuing the program after the league already told you that you were being investigated.

  102. @ 20bust11

    First, in case you haven’t heard, the coaches admitted to the entire thing. So my guess is they were presented with proof.

    Second, you need to read Don Banks’ article on this for SI. He states there were documented statements about “Cart-offs…” in references to games inwhich players where injured on the play.

    Goodell sent the report to all of the teams and I’ve yet to see anyone come forward and say there’s no proof in there. He doesn’t owe it to you or me or any other fan to show their findings.

  103. Your right Tom Johnson… I fully agree with you… “This isn’t right”….. They should have been banned from the league! Now that would be right! You orchestrate a “bounty” system, and “intentionally” try to take out opposing QB’s, possibly trying to end their season or career, paying money to a defensive player who could do that. Then lie to the Commish about it on several occassions.. Your right Mr Johnson, it isn’t right! Should be lifetime ban!

    What i love about this is… This goes to show, the saints have no problems running up the score on teams that are in a lull in order to pad Brees’ stats… But when they know the deck is stacked against them, well, then offer up a chunk of cash to knock out or attempt to knock out guys like Rodgers, Newton, Favre, and Warner…

    Just like the schoolyard fight… Can’t beat them fair and square, so bring a knife to the fight…

    ‘aints are a bunch of pansy’s!

  104. What I would REALLY like to see is a player purposely injure Johnson so he can no longer play. Then another player, over his writhing body, pay straight cash to the guy who did it. Then look down and tell him “Do you finally understand?”

    Maybe Johnson is sweating bullets thinking of the penalty he will be assessed.

    There is a difference between playing hard and going out with ill intent to injure a fellow employee.

  105. Well deserved! Glad Goodell set an example! I gained a lot of respect for the commissioner for punishing a team that attempted to destroy the integrity of the game! Im surprised the super bowl win was not revoked as well!

  106. Message from NFL to players…your actions have consequences for others as well as yourselves.

    Ironically, this player is in fear of a heavy penalty placed on him as well. Before, he probably figured he and his teammates might get a slap on the wrist. Now they are faced with the harsh reeality that they might miss a year of football…without pay.

  107. If you love your leader, then don’t put him or her at risk by doing wrong things that they will be held accountable for.

    Leaders don’t just protect you, they in turn are protected by you. Or made vulnerable.

  108. By Mr. Johnson’s attitude I can see the entire organization is involved and they should all be banned from the league….for life. So much for that “warm fuzzy feeling”everyone had for the city of New Orleans. Their true colors have come out.

  109. What ever you feel about, we now know he is hardcore lier who did all those bad things including overseeing the $5000 bounty they placed on Aaron’s head. His is cheat & head lier. Aints ante not Saints.

  110. Its hard for me to get mad about FOOTBALL players wanting to hurt other players…looks like Goodell has really changed the culture of the game….but don’t worry saints fans you still have the lombardi, that you deserve and probally will go 11-5 this year.

  111. Payton’s been involved in stealing drugs and now this. Seems like his career was untarnished before going to NOLA. Perhaps NO is a state of mind where people suddenly get infected with whatever that MOJO is they got going on down there. I gar-un-tee.

  112. Saints nobody was injured by them are pure. and as to lie really you want to tell that other teams never say lies? even from Russia it is clear to me

  113. fwippel says:Mar 22, 2012 9:25 AM
    I also wouldn’t be surprised if the teams targeted by the bounties take out some revenge on the Saints this year. What goes around comes around.
    Yeah, I mean, it’s not like Goodell would suspend THEIR coach for a year or anything ….. right?

    Do you people ever THINK, before you write?

  114. I am not a Vikings fan, but I remember that game well and that basically was the end of Favre. I also remember how the Vikings fans cried foul after the game for all those cheap shots on Favre, now we know they weren’t completely wrong in their complaints. I also think the Refs that did that game need to get some of what the Saints are getting for allowing it to go on the whole game. It’s like they were in on it also.

  115. You realize that every team that plays the Saints this year has already circled their calender for that date.

    These guys pissed off a lot of players and more than likely, those players are going to beat the crap out of them on the field. I foresee quite a few scuffles between the whistles for the Saints this season.

  116. Oh Boo Hoo Johnson! Have some cheese with that whine.

    For three years you miserable bastards place bounties on other players .. with the DELIBERATE INTENT to injure them … and your glorious leader never stopped even when told to do so.

    And now you got caught and you don’t like it.

    Captain Cheapshot, the miserable little troll that he is … should feel lucky he was only banned for a year.

    You know the old saying … “If you can’t do the time … then don’t do the crime.”

    The Saints suck.

  117. A super-sized “whaaa”mburger and french “cries” for the Aints. I’ve always liked Sean Peyton, but he screwed the pooch on this one. One thing’s for sure, everyother team in the NFL better make sure they’re clean..

  118. As a Vikings fan allow me to relish in fact that you dwell in sh** this year. If Im Drew Brees I take control of this team and right the ship. Sean Payton is a punk, always has been, always will be. Read up on him sometime, a real class act.

  119. The whole thing makes me feel sad. After reading the entire text of the NFL findings + decision, I felt deeply sad. It hurt …. I had to get away from the PC and go cook a complicated dinner to distract myself and start feeling normal again.

    The NFL is supposed to be fun. My young girls dress up in Packer cheerleaders outfits for the big games and when there’s a decisive play in our favor they hop up and down in front of the TV and have a great time. I’ve taught them to have fun. I’m going to never tell them about the NO bounty system because I don’t want to douse their enthusiasm for the sport.

    Shucks. I’ll get over it ……… but what a profound shame this all is.


  120. crabboil says:Mar 22, 2012 7:58 AM

    It’s going to be hellish for visiting teams this year. Big hits on the house.

    You ladies need to come down off your high horses.


    Actually I think it’s going to go downt he other way. Every Saints opponent knows what these douche bags did and they are going to take their own revenge. Saints are going to get beat to hell this season and rigthfully so.

  121. Does anybody else find it even the slight bit interesting that the NFL has decided not to investigate ANY of the other 31 NFL teams regarding this issue?

    The NFL has decided to brush this issue under the rug and only go after the Saints.

    The Saints should have been punished for lying about the program, but the NFL should also have point blank asked all of the other 31 NFL Teams what type of “bounty” programs they have been running over the last three years……

    This has been going on for years. The Saints just lied about it. The other teams who did it just got away with it.

  122. I have to agree with Johnson here. I’m not a Saints fan or a big Payton fan, but this is going way overboard when you consider this is a year without pay at $7.5M.

    Who has ever been hit with something at that magnitude in any sport, anywhere at any time?
    You haters know the answer to that.

    Hopefully he will have an opportunity to appeal the decision made by the power hungry Commissioner and someone with some common sense will dial this back to something in the range of reasonable. If you think this kind of thing doesn’t go on all over the league, then you have your head buried in the sand.

  123. Had they just stopped this in early 2010 at the leagues request, we would not be having this discussion and maybe the league would have went after the next team that they thought was offering bounties to injure other players. Also, the Saints were investigated by the league at the request of the Minnesota Vikings after the 2010 NFC Championship Game.

  124. Judging some of these comments from Saints fans and players, they would still be complaining if Payton was suspended for only four games during the season. It’s obvious to me they have no shame and believe they are above the law. I would have thought Hurricane Katrina would have humbled them a bit – as it does any storm victim. But then again, it’s the Saints we’re talking about.

  125. Complete disclosure: I’m a packer fan…..For the past few years I have been a “spygate” basher of the pats and BB. After reading the NFL statement on the bounty system in NO, I was disgusted and outraged. I then went back and reviewed the info available on the entire “spygate” fiasco….Altho I do not disagree with Goodells’ punishment of NE, I now have a better grasp of why the punishments were different in thier severity. I will NEVER be a fan of the hoodie, but I do respect the fact that when asked about what he was doing, BB came clean, told the commish that was not his interpretation of that rule, and took his punishment without whining. This conglomeration of whiney little girls that need an explanation or cry because the “leader” of the team is suspended need to just shut the hole under the nose and take what they brought onto themselves. BTW….what does Darren Sharper have to say about this? Still in denial? Sticking with the lies?

  126. Goodell let them keep the trophy they won while cheating. That would seem to me to be more than fair to the cheaters. Awwww, the cheaters aren’t happy with getting caught! Too bad.

  127. Yeah…wait until Sean gets back. If I’m Mr. Benson I don’t wait a year. I find a new coach and move on. You cheat, you lie about cheating and you get burnt. Tough crap. They haven’t even handed out the punishment to the players yet. Keep the crying towels handy.

  128. The new touch football league rides again!

    There is not a player out there that is not trying to hit the other guy hard enough that they get carted off the field…. ON EVERY PLAY!

    Far as I’m concerned the media hyped and fanned the flames to the point that Goodell had no other choice.

    So coaches: learn, shut up, and play on!

  129. You want an asterik on their superbowl run cause they hit a QB or two a few times too hard?

    Then Put a Big Asterik on this entire season, a team gets handcuffed like crazy, this just isn’t right.

  130. Let’s get this clear for all the players who seem to be stunned: Your coach and your leader knew about the bounty and tried to cover it up on 3 different occasions and that’s why he is out for the year.

  131. Remember this sports fans, no one was seriously injured by the Saints and their defense was not particularly effective. Intent though is important and the punishments are just. Nevertheless, there are many admirable things about Payton and the Saints as well. They did the crime. Do the time and then press on. But be careful throwing rocks because your house might have a little glass in it too.

  132. The sportscaster buffoon Chris Myers said he had no respect for the people of New Orleans because they stood on their roofs and blamed the government… well Chris, I guess they have someone new to blame and shake their fists at… along with you, of course.

  133. The headline is correct ” It’s just not right” EVERYONE on this team and any other team , who knew of this and said nothing needs to be banned for life, but Goodell caved in because there is too much revenue at stake. All that will happen now is a tighter secrecy code. You ban em for life, it will NEVER happen again!

  134. I would expect such a silly defense from a cat named “Tom.” Dude, if that was you and a few of your buddies that had orchestrated something like this, then continued doing so after the Commissioner of the league asked you to stop (“in private conversations”) each one of you would be you banned for life! How would you feel if another coach had orchestrated this crap and prematurely ended your career? In the words of Steven A. Smith, “just shut up!”

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!