In the span of about a half-hour we’ve now had the craziest day of the NFL offseason. The first post will detail the punishments for the New Orleans Saints, who were found to have implemented a bounty system in which former DC Gregg Williams paid Saints defenders to injure opposing players. Obviously this had minimal success, as they had great trouble stopping Marshawn Lynch and any 49ers offensive player in the last two playoffs. Nonetheless, they needed to be punished if not for the system itself, but for getting caught, as obviously other teams who had Williams on their staff hid this well enough.
Well anyone expecting Roger Goodell to be kind to New Orleans doesn’t know that Roger Goodell likes to use his power stick. The list of bans and penalties include:
- An entire season for head coach Sean Payton.
- An indefinite suspension for bounty hunting mastermind and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. It will be reviewed after 1 year.
- An 8 game suspension for Saints GM Mickey Loomis, effective at the start of the regular season.
- Assistant head coach and linebackers coach Joe Vitt is gonzo for the opening 6 games.
- Forfeiture of their 2nd round picks for the 2012 and 2013 drafts.
- A $500,000 fine.
- Suspensions and fines for certain Saints players who took part in the bounty (whether they’re currently with the team or not) to be determined later.
DAMN! That’s some justice. Evidently the Saints have long been lying to the NFL about their bounty system (something the NFL has been investigating) and that probably is one of the bigger reasons they’re getting such a harsh sentencing. This is an unprecedented move by the league and commissioner Roger Goodell.
There are so many ramifications out of this. New Orleans is the site of the next Super Bowl and the Saints have been one of the best teams in football for several years. This is as damaging a blow they could get. Keep in mind that they only just recently barely kept QB Drew Brees, who was in the last year of his contract before he got franchised. Would he want to bolt given the impending meltdown of this team?
As for Gregg Williams, he should be out of football forever. If not for being an overrated defensive coordinator, it’s this system he’s used everywhere he’s been. You could argue that for multiple teams clearly participating in this that NO’s punishment is too harsh, but someone needed to be the example for the consequences of an organized “injure the other guy!” system like the one that’s been used in New Orleans for the last several years.
There’s no way back for the Saints. I’d be shocked if they made the playoffs this year and wouldn’t be surprised if that organization, which has tried so hard to become relevant contenders in football, fell apart after this scandal. It’s inevitable that the Saints will collapse from within as a result of today’s events.
A simply stunning day in the world of sports and for the NFL. Now it’s a wait and see through the rest of this offseason to figure out what will become of the New Orleans Saints as a football franchise and the rest of the league if there are any other allegations of using a bounty system.