When this story broke Friday afternoon, we speculated that Goodell might come down hard on the Saints for the bounty program they ran while Gregg Williams was the defensive coordinator. Then came word that Williams had done something similar in Washington and we were sure that Goodell would make an example out of the Saints. And now comes the first report of just how hard Goodell may come down on those that were involved.
The report comes from the Washington Post and in it, a source close to investigation says that there may be lengthy suspensions for Sean Payton, Gregg Williams, GM Mickey Loomis, and multiple players that were involved.
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.
The suspensions under consideration are a half-season or longer in some cases, the person said. Several other people in the sport said they expect Williams, now the defensive coordinator of the St. Louis Rams, to be punished severely.
People with knowledge of the deliberations cautioned that Goodell has yet to make final determinations in the Saints case and that some matters remained subject to change. Goodell is seeking advice on disciplinary action from the NFL Players Association, players and others, those people said.
Ouch. It’s safe to say that Goodell will make sure that no other team runs a bounty program from this point going forward.