The NFL is considering severe, sweeping disciplinary measures in the New Orleans Saints’ bounty case that could include lengthy suspensions of Coach Sean Payton, General Manager Mickey Loomis, former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and player leaders of the scheme, a person familiar with the deliberations said Sunday.
The person, speaking on the condition of anonymity because NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has not made final decisions on penalties, said some of the sanctions could be “unprecedented.” Payton and Loomis face discipline for failing to halt the practice of paying players for big hits on opponents. The bounty system was administered by Williams and involved 22 to 27 players, according to an NFL investigation revealed Friday.
Of course, there are direct implications for the Colts. Not only did Williams defense lead them to a Super Bowl but according to Tony Dungy it may have been responsible for the hit that endangered Peyton Manning's career.
It is my opinion that Williams not only should be banned from the NFL for life, he should be turned over to a grand jury for prosecution. There is precedence, figure skater Tonya Harding's husband paid to have her rival Kerrigan injured. He was convicted and spend time in prison. Whether you are a football player or a thug, its still a crime to accept money for the purpose of causing injury to someone.
Payton and Loomis should be suspended for at least 1 season. In effect, this would be akin to banning for life as no team would likely hire them. As far as players, it would have to be determined which ones actually caused an injury and how much they were compensated for it. If it was permanent injury, I would imagine they would be subject to multi-million dollar law suit in civil court. I am hoping for the benefit of NFL, that no player accepted money and also caused a career changing injury. Ironically if there was one, I would submit the infamous 2007 hit on Manning (the clothesline). I have no doubt that was a deliberate attempt to force Manning out of the game.
I don't think a player is directly thinking "hey, Im going to injure this guy because it will get me some extra cash" in the middle of a game. What it DOES do is give them the mindset that there will be no consequences for their actions. They will be praised for taking it potentially too far. In my mind it would just cause me to loosen up and play more aggressive, more fierce, which I think it the point of the whole bounty thing. Play loose, play aggressive, don't worry about dumb plays because you won't be getting in trouble from the coaches.
Cheating? Yeah probably. All the NFL guys that are saying we are naïve for overreacting to this are dead wrong about why we are reacting so harshly. Just because you operate in a 'private' league doesn't change the fact that getting paid to hurt someone, whether its a clean hit or not is inhumane and makes no sense.
You can call me and other fans naïve all you want if that means that I find something wrong with hurting and injuring people for money.
I feel bad for Drew Brees. I always thought he was a good guy, a stand-up guy. After this it's going to be, "Great guy, shame his team had to cheat to win him a ring."
Unless he knew about this shit and said nothing, in which case screw him.