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Saints Facing Some Possible Big Fines & Penalties


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As if it wasn't obvious during the Saints/Vikings playoff game that year...



N.F.L. Inquiry Says Saints Set Bounty for Hits

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It may or may not be common practice. The part that burns me up is the fact that it would take anything extra (on top of huge salaries) to get players to hit harder or intercept a ball or even try harder to cause a fumble.


There have always been cheap shot artists.. and when the Saints played the Cardinals and Vikings in the playoffs a couple years ago that was obvious. The hit on Cardinals QB may have been legal... but it still was a cheap shot. As far as the late hits and low hits on Faurve they were plain illegal. Not one of them was called.


Just seems that $1000 - $1500 bounty isn't worth taking a chance that you may be fined more than that for a late or illegal hit. Especially in a playoff game. What happens if a player is caught during a playoff game and suspended for the next game? Just shows how stupid those coaches are to knowingly let this go on.


I hope any penalty isn't just a slap on the wrist like the Pats got for Spygate. It needs to be a serious penalty. They are give suspensions and fines for hits all year where you can tell that a player isn't intentionally trying to injure another player. All players proven involved need at least 2 game suspension and at least 1 or 2 games worth of salary for a fine. Coaches need to be suspended also. As far as a draft pick goes.. losing a 4 or 5 round pick doesn't mean a thing. They need to lose a second round pick and then get dropped to the bottom of the draft order in all rounds.



I really went on there... :2up:

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  • 3 weeks later...

And the hammer swings...





Sean Payton suspended, Saints fined for bounty program




New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton has been suspended for one year, the team will lose its second round pick in 2012 and '13 and pay $500,000 as a result of the NFL's bounty investigation, the league announced Wednesday.


Former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who orchestrated the program, has been suspended from the NFL indefinitely. Saints general manager Mickey Loomis faces an eight-game suspension. Saints assistant head coach Joe Vitt is also suspended without pay for the first six games of the 2012 season.


"The game doesn't need to be played this way," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said on NFL Network. "We think that while it is a strong message, its an important one to send -- that we need to protect our players."



The NFL revealed in early March an investigation which found more than 20 defensive players for the Saints participated in a 'bounty' system from 2009 to '11 which rewarded individuals with cash for harming opposing players.


"We are all accountable and responsible for player health and safety and the integrity of the game," Goodell said Wednesday. "We will not tolerate conduct or a culture that undermines those priorities. No one is above the game or the rules that govern it. Respect for the game and the people who participate in it will not be compromised."



The league found that the cash pool reached $50,000 or more during the 2009 playoffs, and players were paid $1,500 for a "knockout" and $1,000 for a "cart-off" with payouts doubling or tripling during the playoffs. Money was provided primarily by players.


All such payments violate league rules for non-contract bonuses.


Williams administered the program, and the NFL says Payton was not a direct participant, yet was aware of the allegations and "failed to stop the bounty program."



"A combination of elements made this matter particularly unusual and egregious," Goodell continued. "When there is targeting of players for injury and cash rewards over a three-year period, the involvement of the coaching staff, and three years of denials and willful disrespect of the rules, a strong and lasting message must be sent that such conduct is totally unacceptable and has no place in the game."



The Saints issued a statement Wednesday taking "full responsibility" for the infractions.


"It has always been the goal of the New Orleans Saints to create a model franchise and to impact our league in a positive manner," the statement read. "There is no place for bounties in our league and we reiterate our pledge that this will never happen again."


Saints QB Drew Brees said Wednesday he was "speechless" upon learning the extent of the punishment, calling Payton a "great man, coach and mentor." Payton and Loomis took "full responsibility" for the violations in a joint statement issued days after the findings, and later met with Goodell in New York to discuss the issue.



The pair apologized for the "unique hardship" on team owner Tom Benson, recognized the severity of the violations, and promised that they "will never happen again."


Williams, who left the Saints this offseason to become defensive coordinator for the St. Louis Rams, apologized for his program, which he reportedly also implemented in several other NFL cities. Commissioner Goodell will review Williams' status at the conclusion of the 2012 season and consider whether to reinstate him.



"I'd like to again apologize wholeheartedly to the NFL, (Rams) Coach (Jeff) Fisher, the entire Rams organization and all football fans for my actions," Williams said Wednesday. "I will do everything possible to re-earn the respect of my colleagues, the NFL and its players in hopes of returning to coaching in the future."


Once a coach in Jacksonville, Houston/Tennessee, Buffalo and Washington, Williams was reported to have instituted similar programs in other cities, though the NFL did not find enough evidence to punish those teams Wednesday.



Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma became the player face of the program following an SI.com report describing his $10,000 offer to any player who could knock Brett Favre out of the 2009 NFC Championship Game.As late as Wednesday afternoon, Vilma's twitter avatar was the Sports Illustrated magazine cover picturing Vilma and the headline 'BOUNTY CULTURE.'


The league did not hand down punishment for any players involved on Wednesday, but plans to do so soon.


"That's something we're going to continue to pursue. That's next up," said Goodell.

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