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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Comments

Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: March 4, 2012 12:26 pm
 

Report: Williams to face fine but not suspension

That's how things like gladiator games and holocausts happen.
Don't you dare equate a game with the extermination of millions of people based on race or religion and the whims of a madman.  Nobody is making moral excuses and you need a serious reality check if you think football games lead to atrocities committed against humanity.  Only a moron would make such a connection.

It's just a damn game.  If you're worried about what happens on a football field leading to a revisitation of the ugliest days in humanity then you should be asking yourself why football is the most popular game in the United States.  What does that say about the people who watch the game with absolute fanaticism?



Since: Nov 10, 2006
Posted on: March 4, 2012 12:08 pm
 

Report: Williams to face fine but not suspension

I find it hard to believe this article is truly indicative of what will happen.  I also cannot believe the negative comments against Roger Goodell.  This si the first guy who has tried to clean up the National Felon League.  I applaud the job he has done, despite the strength of the Players Union.  Suspensions and maximum fines, as well as draft picks lost should come out fo this, or as others have said, it will be open field on injuring players if a strong message isn't sent.  Now it is being reported that Williams ran the same bounty campaign in Buffalo when he was Head Coach.  The man sleeps at night, has no morals, and apologizes.  Come on, that is like Hitler, Bonaparte or other tyrants commiting atrocities, then asking for forgiveness.  The apology has no merit.  Time to level the boom on this entire organization, including the players involved, suspensions for those, like Abraham, who sweetened the pot.



Since: Jan 4, 2007
Posted on: March 4, 2012 11:39 am
 

Report: Williams to face fine but not suspension

If all Goodell does is throw some heavy fines at these guys, then all of his preaching about player safety is going to become a joke.If Goodell doesn't want to continue to be the laughing stock of sports, he should suspend Greg Williams INDEFINITELY. Just like Greg Williams wanted to "send a message" by having opposing players carted off, send a message by banning Williams from ever participating in the NFL again. Then fine and suspend Payton - $250,000 and a 5 game suspension, fine the organization or at least the GM Loomis $500,000, and fine anyone who put money into the bounty pool (boosters of the team, players, etc.) $10 for each dollar they put in.

THEN you send a message to the NFL about player safety.

You forgot to add the loss of multiple draft picks. 



Since: Mar 29, 2007
Posted on: March 4, 2012 11:31 am
 

Report: Williams to face fine but not suspension

If all Goodell does is throw some heavy fines at these guys, then all of his preaching about player safety is going to become a joke.If Goodell doesn't want to continue to be the laughing stock of sports, he should suspend Greg Williams INDEFINITELY. Just like Greg Williams wanted to "send a message" by having opposing players carted off, send a message by banning Williams from ever participating in the NFL again. Then fine and suspend Payton - $250,000 and a 5 game suspension, fine the organization or at least the GM Loomis $500,000, and fine anyone who put money into the bounty pool (boosters of the team, players, etc.) $10 for each dollar they put in.

THEN you send a message to the NFL about player safety.




Since: Jan 4, 2007
Posted on: March 4, 2012 11:27 am
 

Report: Williams to face fine but not suspension

DBOWMAN, you can take your moral excuses and shove them. That's how things like gladiator games and holocausts happen. People making excuses for obviously immoral actions. There is a big difference between trying to hit a guy hard and trying to injure him to earn a bountry. Just because you can argue away your lack of morals doesn't make it right.



Since: Jan 11, 2007
Posted on: March 4, 2012 11:26 am
 

Report: Williams to face fine but not suspension

This is preposterous to think there is no suspension coming out of this.  The league fines players for even marginal hits.  Repeat offenders get game+ suspensions.  But we have a coach who, FOR YEARS, ran a system designed to flagrantly injure opposing players and all he's going to get is a fine?  That is laughable, and the league offices should be ashamed of their lack of action if this ends up being true.
Does Ray Lewis put a big hit on a player and hope he goes out of the game?  Sure, it does happen.  But a big hit is NOT an intentional violation of every written and unwriitten rule the league has.  Grabbing a QB's helmet and twisting/ripping it off?  Repeatedly diving into knees/ankles?  Complete BS.  
The number of times you hear defensive linemen/LBs complaining about how their careers are jeopardized by questionable blocks tells you all you need to know.  They don't like it one bit.  And yet Williams coached his guys to turn around and directly threaten the careers of opposing players?  This has NO PLACE in the league.  So sorry to the Rams, who would get screwed by a suspension, but the track record speaks for itself.  Make an example of him and GET RID OF HIM IMMEDIATELY.  Anything less and you simply invite another deep pocketed DC to smirk and do the exact same thing. 



Since: Jan 4, 2007
Posted on: March 4, 2012 11:22 am
 

Report: Williams to face fine but not suspension

As a Rams fan, and to play devil's advocate, I hope a fine for Williams is enough.  It would not be fair to the Rams to suspend him now.  Let's be honest about this.  Williams was obviously the key cog in all of this, but it's ludicrous to suggest that the head coach, hence the organization, didn't know.  The punishment needs to be confined to the team that committed the infractions, if anyone is to lose actual time playing or coaching over this.

And I'm sure if you were a Saints fan you'd be saying that Greg Williams is the one that needs to be punished for running it and not the Saints. If this guy was the Broncos new DC I'd have some morals, some balls, and be calling for his head. The Broncos have a new DC and if Del Rio has been doing this then he should be fired and banned for life as well.

This wasn't paying for big hits. It was paying for injuries. The fact that so many people are defending Williams, the Saints, the players, etc. indicates what a sad freaking world we live in.    



Since: Feb 8, 2008
Posted on: March 4, 2012 11:13 am
 

Report: Williams to face fine but not suspension

Not surprising that they won't suspend him.  The NFL player safey ploicy only has provisions for suspending James Harrison.  All other players/coaches are exempt.  



Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: March 4, 2012 11:12 am
 

Report: Williams to face fine but not suspension

I can't believe there are morons on here acting like there is nothing wrong with this. Players paying players to injure other players is OK and no big deal?
Crispy, let's look at this another way.  If there were no bounties and everyone played on the up-and-up, do you think Ray Lewis hopes he knocks Ben Roethlisberger out of the game when he gets a clean shot at his ribs?  You bet your ass he does -- bounty or no bounty.  Every defensive player is looking to help their team win on every play and if it means an offensive starter is out for even just one play, so be it.  The concerns over this bounty system is hypocritical by any football fans opposed to it.  Every one of us loves a good hit that has an impact on the game.  Football is an inherently brutal sport and injuries happen even when no intent is involved.  We can't act like the rough play from the bounty system is the only reason for men getting hurt on the field and it makes the game distasteful.



Since: Nov 27, 2006
Posted on: March 4, 2012 10:56 am
 

Report: Williams to face fine but not suspension

some how i see this turning into the Patriots fault.  the sky is falling.(_°_)


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