Blog Entry

Gregg Williams: Bounty 'was a terrible mistake'

Posted on: March 2, 2012 6:07 pm
Edited on: March 2, 2012 7:59 pm
We'll let you decide what Vilma and Williams were discussing here. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

Twenty-four hours ago, the biggest problem facing the Saints was that they were roughly $5 million apart per season on a new contract for franchise quarterback Drew Brees. And while that's still a huge issue, it's taken a back seat to the revelations Friday that at least one Saints coach and about two dozen players conspired to intentionally hurt opponents and knock them out of games for money.

New Orleans' forgettable offseason
The coach: former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who served in that capacity under head coach Sean Payton for the 2009-2011 seasons, including New Orleans' Super Bowl title in February 2010. Williams left the Saints for the same job with the Rams in January after St. Louis hired Jeff Fisher (who Williams had worked with in Tennessee).

On Friday, hours after the NFL announced the Saints' "pay for performance" bounty program, Williams spoke on the matter:

“I want to express my sincere regret and apology to the NFL, Mr. Benson, and the New Orleans Saints fans for my participation in the 'pay for performance' program while I was with the Saints," Williams said in a statement released by the Rams.  "It was a terrible mistake, and we knew it was wrong while we were doing it. Instead of getting caught up in it, I should have stopped it. I take full responsibility for my role. I am truly sorry. I have learned a hard lesson and I guarantee that I will never participate in or allow this kind of activity to happen again.”

It's nice to own up to your problems, but this doesn't appear to be an isolated incident. Details via Mark Maske of the Washington Post:

"The Washington Redskins had a bounty system for big hits on opponents under former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams that was similar to the one revealed by an NFL investigation of the New Orleans Saints, four players who played under Williams said Friday," Maske wrote.

"Three of the players described a coach who doled out thousands of dollars to Redskins defenders who measured up to Williams’s scoring system for rugged play, including 'kill shots' that knocked opposing teams’stars out of a game."

“You got compensated more for a kill shot than you did other hits,” one former player said. Compensation ranged from "hundreds to thousands of dollars" with the biggest payout thought to be $8,000."


Now that Williams has apologized, what happens next? More specifically: does owning up to it before the NFL weighs in lessen the punishment he'll face?

The short answer: who knows. We're not being glib but if commissioner Roger Goodell is anything he's unpredictable. The league has been criticized in the past for coming down hard on players but less so on coaches and front-office types. But early indications are that New Orleans' "pay for performance" bounty program is much worse than Spygate, and the sanctions could reflect that -- especially if Williams has a history of this behavior.

But it's one thing to punish the Saints; what happens if the Rams lose their defensive coordinator for any length of time?

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Since: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: March 2, 2012 6:51 pm


Payback is a muffuga......

Since: Nov 10, 2006
Posted on: March 2, 2012 6:43 pm

Gregg Williams: Bounty 'was a terrible mistake'

Little too late for transparent apologies Williams.  With regard to him, he should be suspended for a full year without pay.  The players involved, especially John Abraham should me the Judge, as well.  TO say they were only following order is BS.  Everyone knows right from wrong, but some are too weak to have courage of conviction.  This went on for three years.  No apologies justify trying to end a players career.  Maybe those involved deserve the same form of payment. 

Since: Sep 29, 2009
Posted on: March 2, 2012 6:28 pm

Gregg Williams: Bounty 'was a terrible mistake'

He should and needs to be suspended for the whole year. Payton should get suspended for half the season and they should lose 3 picks this year and next years 1st rounder along with hefty fines

Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: March 2, 2012 6:25 pm

Gregg Williams: Bounty 'was a terrible mistake'

Suspend this piece of crap, morelike let some of his victims take cheapshots at him. Better watch it on the sidelines going forward, thug loser!

Since: Jun 10, 2011
Posted on: March 2, 2012 6:10 pm

Gregg Williams: Bounty 'was a terrible mistake'

Suspend Williams for a year and give the Rams the Saints' second-round pick this year. Everybody wins!

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