Blog Entry

Report: Williams to face fine but not suspension

Posted on: March 3, 2012 12:17 pm
Edited on: March 3, 2012 12:21 pm
Williams and Payton are in a heap of trouble. How much, exactly, will be up to Goodell. (Eye on Football Illustration/Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

It's been a busy few days for the New Orleans Saints and for all the wrong reasons. Barely two months removed from quarterback Drew Brees setting the NFL record for passing yards in season, now the organization is faced with trying to re-sign Brees and on Friday, and NFL investigation revealed that former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was complicit in creating a "pay for performance" bounty system that rewarded Saints players for injuring opponents.

Williams, now with the Rams, apologized Friday night saying, in part that, "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.”

New Orleans' forgettable offseason
Except that New Orleans wasn't an isolated incident. At least four former Redskins players said Williams had a similar system in Washington when he was the defensive coordinator under Joe Gibbs. (On Saturday, Gibbs said he had no knowledge of it.)

The NFL, meanwhile, concluded that while current Saints head coach Sean Payton wasn't a direct participant in Williams' bounty program, he "did not make any detailed inquiry or otherwise seek to learn the facts, and failed to stop the bounty program."

So now what?

In reading through the comments, many fans want Williams suspended, some going so far as to suggest a lifetime ban. That seems extreme, but then again, "pay for performance" rewarded players for injuries. That's among the worst charges you can level against a coach or a player -- that they intentionally tried to injure opponents.  Even Steelers linebacker James Harrison, Public Enemy No. 1 when it comes to NFL violence, said in October 2010 that "I don't want to injure anybody. There's a big difference between being hurt and being injured. You get hurt, you shake it off and come back the next series or the next game. I try to hurt people."

In that sense, Williams is worse than Harrison, right? Wherever he lies on the spectrum of dirty tactics, early indications are that Williams won't be forced to miss any games. Details via Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

"One league source said Williams might be in line for a large fine but didn't think a suspension would be forthcoming. Then again, the source said, 'This is two strikes against him,' referring to controversial comments Williams made before Super Bowl XLIV (at the end of the 2009 season) about knocking Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning out of the game."

Thomas added: "Another source said the expectations was that Williams' fine would be in six figures — perhaps as much as $250,000 — but that head coach Sean Payton and general manager Mickey Loomis would be penalized more heavily."

Will the sanctions have any lasting effects on the Saints? Who knows. In the wake of Spygate in 2007, the Patriots were fined $250,000, head coach Bill Belichick was fined anther $500,000 and the team lost their 2008 first-round draft pick. They went undefeated during the 2007 regular season but didn't win a playoff game from 2008-2010, and haven't won a Super Bowl since 2005.

While we wait for NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to drop the hammer, take a moment to enjoy the mock-up of the movie poster for the inevitable made-for-TV spectacle that's sure to follow. (Yes, it has to be science fiction. And, yes, in case it's not blindingly obvious: this is a joke.)

Early cast list includes Williams as Vader (the hands-on leader), Vilma a Boba Fett (the enforcer), Favre as Jar Jar Binks (because who didn't want to knock Jar Jar out?) and Payton as Jabba (in charge but less interested in details as results). Also, in case you missed it the first time: THIS IS A JOKE. (Eye on Football Illustration)

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Since: Mar 4, 2012
Posted on: March 4, 2012 3:26 pm

Report: Williams to face fine but not suspension

How about stripping New Orleans of their title?  I think so.

Since: Mar 4, 2012
Posted on: March 4, 2012 3:24 pm

Report: Williams to face fine but not suspension

Bill Belichick and N.E. are feeling good right now.  Spygate is nothing in comparison to what this 'bounty' problem is going to become.  Civil charges are coming at the Saints' organization and Roger Goodell needs to initiate damage control by coming down hard on the Saints.  Stripping New Orleans of their title would make a strong statement.

Since: Jun 29, 2008
Posted on: March 4, 2012 2:23 pm

Report: Williams to face fine but not suspension

Cheap shot artist Harrison should be in jail, not in the NFL.

Since: Sep 19, 2011
Posted on: March 4, 2012 2:23 pm

Report: Williams to face fine but not suspension

Sean payton should be suspended for a year.  Williams should have to forfeit this years salary, AND the salary he made that year 09'
There a good chance that Payton would be suspended,  but it's not going to be for a year. NFL want to punish Payton and best way to do that is his salary, so I expect heavy fines.

Rewarding player for Injuries is not something new, it been going on for years but Saints is the first team to get caught. So I would not be surprise if an few more team have reward system like the Saints

Since: Mar 4, 2012
Posted on: March 4, 2012 2:15 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Mar 22, 2008
Posted on: March 4, 2012 2:12 pm

Report: Williams to face fine but not suspension

just fined?  goodell has a LOT of explaining to do if all that happens is a fine. if thats not a wrist slapper i dont know what is. i think goodell will hear outrage from everybody including the players if thats all that happens.  

goodell needs to be ousted if thats all thats going to happen. this isnt a one year thing....this is his career doings

anything less than a ban for that thug williams is not enough 

Since: Aug 9, 2011
Posted on: March 4, 2012 1:46 pm

Report: Williams to face fine but not suspension

Sean payton should be suspended for a year.  Williams should have to forfeit this years salary, AND the salary he made that year ( 09' ). The Saint's   players involved - ( and I use this term VERY losely ) MALIGNENT GROWTHS OF SOCIETY ))  should lose the same.

 I also think that the Saints should be made to forfeit their superbowl rings and trophy.

I BELIEVE both THE VIKINGS  &  THE COLTS, would have beaten these Aint's  if the referees would have acted on these games as they should have, and pulled that little yellow flag out of back pockets like they SHOULD have during these games.

People will have many derogatory  comments , I am sure, about my opinion andthat is fine.
But all you really need to know is that, they finally came clean and admitted they are scumb, and also, just look at the game tapes.

That is ALL you need know and do.


Since: Jul 21, 2007
Posted on: March 4, 2012 1:30 pm

Report: Williams to face fine but not suspension

I'd like to see Bretty Favre and Kurt Warner sue Williams. This is bullshit if Wiliams gets off with a fine: "I knew it was wrong when we were doing it, I'm SORRY (insert puppy dog eyes).

I don't give a rip if you were sorry, nor should any of the opposing players who had the bull's-eye on their chests. Williams needs to be suspended indefinitely. As for the players; sit them all for at least two years. Players miss a year due to injuries and come back; make them sit at least two to see if their skills corrode. Let them feel what it is like to face a career threatening separation from the game.

Since: Nov 8, 2006
Posted on: March 4, 2012 12:49 pm

NFL needs to send a message!

Anyone that watched the game between the Vikings and the Saints knew what was happening. The fact that it finnaly comes out as a bounty is unforgivable! The NFL needs to send the rest of the league a message in capitol letters by hitting the Saints with every possible punishment they can. Draft picks, fines, and suspensions should all be used.

The NFL has been claiming to protect players from cheap shots or violent hits by fining players and suspendind players (Suh), and claiming they are taking a stand to stop the intentional hits. Well it's time for the NFL to step up and prove they are not just talking, but are reacting to this scandle. They went after Farve with the obviouse intention of hurting him, and were paying the players to do so. This is not a violation of the rules, but a crime. If I paid someone to breake someones leg I am sure that I and the person doing the crime would be arrested. This breaks every example of sportsmanship there are, and the Saints need to pay for what they did, or it will not be the last time we see this happening. 

The Saints would never had won the super bowl if they had not commited this crime, and as the NCAA has done in the past they need to strip the Saints of the championship. To harsh you say?? Well ask Tonya Harding what happened to her when she intentionally hurt a fellow skater!

Since: Dec 6, 2010
Posted on: March 4, 2012 12:43 pm

Report: Williams to face fine but not suspension

First of all its a contact sport.  Someone is going to get hurt even if the "other guys" aren't even trying.  If you are going to reward players with "game ending", "career ending" hits its best to keep it a little better secret than telling everyone on the team.  Second the players and the NFLPA are a bunch of self serving chicken shits.  Third, if you are trying to "hurt", "injure" or " intimidate" remember the other team can just call open season on your stars as well.  Not a good way to play any kind of game or set examples for young impressionable minds.  No one takes responsibility for their behavior especially when a "bad story" breaks ..everyone runs for cover.  The Commissioner can bust as many hinies as he wants here.  I'm tired of the "thugism" in the NFL as well as our socierty as a whole.  I hope Goodell makes a strong statement.  As for the Hitler and Bonaparte analogies, you could have chosen better examples.  Mao was responsible for 60 million deaths and Stalin 30 million.  No charge for the history lesson.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or