On Wednesday, the league dropped these penalties on the Saints management:
• Saints head coach Sean Payton is suspended without pay for the entire 2012 season.
• Former Saints/current Rams defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is suspended indefinitely. (Goodell will review at end of 2012 season and consider whether to reinstate him.)
• Saints GM Mickey Loomis is suspended without pay for the first eight regular-season games of the 2012 season.
• Saints assistant head coach Joe Vitt is suspended without pay for the first six regular-season games of the 2012 season.
• The Saints are stripped of their 2012 and 2013 second-round draft picks and have been hit with a $500,000 fine.
This series of penalties is a huge warning to anyone employed by the league to scratch the term “bounty” from their vocabulary. But is it too much? I understand Goodells hard line approach, but I fear this will put teams with big defensive hits under the microscope.
Gregg Wiliams is pretty much the guy who should be shouldering the most blame. I think his indefinite suspension is harsh and expect Goodell to change his mind, but what did the Saints really do wrong? They asked their defense to go out and beat the crap out of the opposing team. To hit so hard that guys would not get up. How is this any different than any teams defensive coaches at any level?
Over 20 players are named in the initial report. They will feel the impact of their involvement later as the NFL is delaying the punishment to players because of the sheer volume of people involved and the diversity in sanctions that will be applied. In other words, they want to make sure people are properly punished. Also, the NFLPA asked the NFL to delay discipline toward players until it finishes conducting its own investigation. I feel so bad for these guys. They were just doing their jobs. Now they will be getting fined and possibly suspended.
This is such a waste of time, money and in my opinion good players and coaches. Payton out for a season? Might as well not even watch the Saints. This is football. Grown men who know the risks and can make their own decisions are playing this sport. If they did not want to be involved in the “bounty” they said no.
When the Patriots were caught red handed cheating they got minor penalties. I think that was much worse than this and it all started with their weasel of a head coach. The Saints got into trouble because their DC was tying to motivate the players.
Seems too heavy handed to me.