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: Dec 18, 2006
Posted on: March 4, 2012 10:40 am

Report: Williams to face fine but not suspension

Every player that got hurt in any game that he coached in should call 1-800-411-pain and sue the crap out of him.... maybe that's why JDR got rid of his butt after just one year.

Since: Jun 22, 2009
Posted on: March 4, 2012 10:04 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.

Since: Mar 4, 2012
Posted on: March 4, 2012 10:03 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Jan 4, 2007
Posted on: March 4, 2012 9:58 am

Report: Williams to face fine but not suspension

No team would ever circumvent the salary cap? The Denver Broncos won their 2 super bowls by doing just that.  Know your facts before you post.

Practice what you preach idiot. The Broncos did not win 2 Super Bowls by circumventing the salary cap. John Elway defered some of his salary so that Pat Bowlen, who was strapped for cash at the time, could put some of that money towards building a new stadium.

It took the NFL 5 years to finally decide the Broncos did something wrong and even then they stated that the Broncos gained no competetive advantage on the field.

Know your facts before you post.

Since: Jan 4, 2007
Posted on: March 4, 2012 9:52 am

Report: Williams to face fine but not suspension

They should all be issued pillows at the beginning of the game.  Then it is a free for all pillow fight at the 50 yard line.

Like you could survive even one NFL special teams play let alone a whole season. It's hilarious how many internet Tough Guys act like NFL football is some sort of wimpy sport.  Get out there and do it youself Tough Guy.

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??? I suppose the RB in the Last Boy Scout that scores the TD by pulling out a gun and shooting defenders as he runs down the field was just playing some good tough football???

And don't even try equating this to NHL players fighting. First off, in the NHL there are players that drop gloves and players that don't drop gloves and as a general rule in the NHL fighters don't fight non-fighters. It's that simple. Secondly there is a big difference between 2 guys willingly punching eachother in the face and some QB dropping back to pass and getting his knees blownout because someone is intentionally trying to hurt him.

I swear the way some of you people use "moral equivallency" I could make the case that Hitler was not that bad of a guy because he only killed 6 million people but Stalin killed 20 million. And by further comparison Pol Pot only killed 3 million Cambobians so he's like a damn Saint!!!

Just because 1700 years ago Romans forced people to fight to the death does not make what the Saints did any more acceptable. Even if other teams are doing it. Bounties for clean hits is one thing but bounties for injuries is reprehensible.

If the NFL finds out this is rampant throughout the league....They need to start cleaning house, starting with Greg Williams and any players that participated in this.        

Since: Apr 2, 2010
Posted on: March 4, 2012 9:51 am

Report: Williams to face fine but not suspension

What does Harrison have to do with Williams? Harrison is guilty of hitting players in the head, face to face, not taking a cheap shot on a guys neck or knees when his back is turned. Have you ever heard of or seen Harrison stomp on someone's head or arm or try to end their career by going after their knees?

Since: Sep 20, 2007
Posted on: March 4, 2012 9:45 am

Report: Williams to face fine but not suspension

No team would ever circumvent the salary cap? The Denver Broncos won their 2 super bowls by doing just that.  Know your facts before you post.

Since: Jan 4, 2007
Posted on: March 4, 2012 9:19 am

Report: Williams to face fine but not suspension

Why is this a big deal now? Bounties been going on forever. A "Bounty" left me with a torn PCL and LCL in my knee ...- Shawn Merriman

So a bounty ended your season early and has greatly diminished your impact on the field and you're so dumb you need to ask why it's a big deal??? Are players really this dumb?? 
Football is a violent game n just because someone is hit very hard (on a bounty) doesn't mean it's malicious - Chris Harris

It's malicious when it goes from a bounty for hard hits to a bounty on INJURIES CAUSED to specific players!!!! 

Bounties for hard hits is bad enough but bounties placed on specifc players getting injured?? That's EFFD up and makes the players look like IDIOTS when they claim they need less practice and can't play an 18 game season. Well maybe that's becuase you are intentionally trying to injure each other!!!!!

Did Albert Haynesworth get a bonus for stomping on a players head? Did Suh get one for stomping a players arm?

And if the NFL does nothing more than fine WIlliams who's done this at 2 different teams, then they have no leg to stand on when they fine players for boarderline hits. Heck as a player I'm saying "Wait, I get suspended for 4 games for smoking a joint which hurts nobody but myself and this guy gets suspended ZERO games for running a program to INJURE PLAYERS?!?!?!?"     

Since: Jul 3, 2010
Posted on: March 4, 2012 9:01 am

Report: Williams to face fine but not suspension

The NFL should ban Williams and fine the Saints $5 million dollars those steps should deter the idea of head-hunting from happening in the future.  The NFL needs to do something significant OR face the idea of the lawsuits dragging this into issue with the concussions.  BAN WILLIAMS.

Since: Jan 16, 2010
Posted on: March 4, 2012 8:54 am

Report: Williams to face fine but not suspension

If Greg Williams had a bounty system here with the Redskins there would have been enough money left over to pay off our national debt.

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