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New Orleans Saints Players And Staff Face Penalties For Pay For Play Bounty Program
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New Orleans Saints Players And Staff Face Penalties for Pay for Play Bounty Program

It is one of the darker sides of professional football. All of the teams do it, whether they will openly admit it or not. But, the New Orleans Saints were the team that was being investigated by the league, starting in 2010. It is the Saints that stand accused of paying players for purposely injuring other teams and worse, for doubling or tripling those bounties during playoff games. As many as twenty seven of the Saints defense players are facing punishments including fines, suspensions and more from the revelation that they were chipping in large sums of money to take part of the injury pool. But it doesn't stop with just the players, according to the investigators.

In addition to defense players, Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams is being accused of directing the players to participate and even telling them who they should be targeting. Williams is known league wide for not penalizing especially aggressive play, even if it results in a penalty on the field. Saint's Head Coach Sean Payton and General Manager Mickey Loomis are both accused of knowing about the bounty pool but not doing anything to stop it at the start of the last three seasons. Neither are accused of being directly involved with the plays, however. The investigation has seemingly cleared the name of team owner, Tom Benson who is unlikely to have had any direct knowledge of the scandal as it was unfolding.

The investigators uncovered a system for paying for hits on certain players which included receiving $1500 for knockouts and $1000 if a hit resulted in the opposing player being taken off of the field on a cart. At times, specific players were named for injury inducing hits including Brett Favre and Kurt Warner.

When Gregg Williams was with the Washington Redskins, the same type of system was in place, that according to four players who have come forward. Three refused to speak on the record, however former defensive linemen, Philip Daniels who now serves as the team's director of player development, is defending Williams saying that he did not do anything wrong other than give money back for good, hard hitting football.

It is likely that the investigators will find other teams with similar systems in place. Every year, the league reminds team ownership and coaching staffs that this kind of behavior is not allowed and what they need to do to prevent it from happening. Punishments are going to be handed out in New Orleans, but how much they will impact the team or the practice will remain to be seen.


Street Talk

Good article being an avid sports fan I always follow stuff like this. What do you think the penatlies should and might be? I think fines, suspensions, and loss of draft picks. Some think that Peyton and Loomis shoud be fired which I don't think will happen but I just wanted to get your take on it.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Williams has done this with every team he has been with- the team owners can't claim that they did not know all this time. I think that major fines from the ownership level down is in order.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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