Blog Entry

Now, when will Saints, Williams be penalized?

Posted on: March 6, 2012 6:16 pm
 
OK, now that New Orleans coach Sean Payton and GM Mickey Loomis have taken "full responsibility" for Bounty Gate, it's time for the NFL to swing the hammer and penalize them, former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and the Saints organization.

I know that commissioner Roger Goodell wants to get this right because, essentially, what the Saints and Williams, Payton and Loomis fostered was a program that flies in the face of the player-safety push that Goodell has made a mantra of his last three years.

But it's more than that, of course. It's outright disrespect for Goodell, his office, the league's constitution and by-laws and, frankly, common sense. So look for Goodell to drop the hammer on everyone.

The only question is: When?

Sources tell me it could be anywhere before or after the league's March 25-28 owners' meetings in Florida, but they also tell me it absoultely, positively will not happen there. Nor should it.

I would expect Goodell to weigh in on this sooner rather than later to put the ugly episode behind everyone. People tell me he's deliberating to give all parties a chance to say something, to evaluate all information and to make sure he's covered all bases before he makes a decision.

But we have Williams admitting his guilt, and now we have Payton and Loomis admitting their guilt. I don't know what more we need. I don't care how widespread this was. I just want it stopped from this point forward.

And so does Goodell.

That's why most persons expect a harsh penalty that sends a message to others that this cannot and will not be tolerated. Goodell will weigh his options, but none of them are good for the Saints or Williams. Nor should they be.
 






Category: NFL
Comments
rtsfantasy
Since: Mar 6, 2012
Posted on: March 7, 2012 12:33 pm
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Since: Feb 5, 2012
Posted on: March 7, 2012 12:22 pm
 

Now, when will Saints, Williams be penalized?

Ok, DP, simple response, and we'll leave it at this.  If you honestly believe the entire team should be punished in the way you have repeatedly suggested, I'd like you to contact Drew Brees, Darren Sproles, et al that they are playing next season with no chance at a Super Bowl even though THEY did nothing wrong.  Then explain to them that the entire coaching staff is being removed from football permanently and that they will not be able to add any of their needed players through early round draft picks.  Please remind them at this point that this is not their fault.  Then start a clock and time how long it takes for the player's association to file some sort of action over eliminating players' opportunities to perform, fulfill their contracts, etc.  A lot of contracts have playoff incentives.  You're suggesting those are now not payable (since those players can't go to the playoffs) for those players because of the actions of other parts of the team?  It just doesn't make sense to punish everyone.  I'll let you chew on that, I'm done discussing this for now.



Since: Feb 10, 2012
Posted on: March 7, 2012 12:17 pm
 

Now, when will Saints, Williams be penalized?

It's funny , I thought about Rose too, though the Black Sox is a good example, too and thought that what Rose did was so incomprehensible.
I tend to agree with you on all points. Cut and dry. Get rid of them. There are no doubt others more than willing and capable to do this with integrity and honor. 
 
Yes to this in particular.

 To hell with the CBA and the Union if the players really want protection then they should also  up and say no more we (The Union) will not protect or standby any player who was part of this. 




Since: Feb 10, 2012
Posted on: March 7, 2012 12:09 pm
 

Now, when will Saints, Williams be penalized?

Ok. you seem like a reasonable person. However allow me the liberty of some clarification for you, taking hockey first. Travel hockey ( at the Midget level DOES involve High School aged players, ages 14-16 aka 16-U). The players don't necessarily discuss it, BUT I have heard them " threaten" other players on the ice. This is a game misconduct offencse. Additionally, I have heard youth hockey coaches say ON the bench, from the scoring, clock table that an oppositon player is 'targeted". While the game is different at the Pro and college levels, USAHOCKEY does govern the rules of play through Juniors AND College, which the NCAA is OBLIGATED BY law to oblige. That law was passed in 1932 BTW.

They made a mistake in allowing that system to happen but they did not sit down in 2009 and say "Ok, five year plan, let's bring in some monsters and hurt some stars.  Agreed?  Good!  Now, let's put together our pricing list for player incentives."  As I've said, the punishment will be equal to the crime.  Unless the league has evidence that the team gave up on the idea of playing football, winning games, etc. and simply wanted to injure people, I'm still going to think your suggested punishment is WAY too harsh.  I'll gladly eat crow if Goodell agrees with you.
No, I don't agree with your canned premise. That's probably not what they said. What they did was tantamount to that, however. And for the reasons stated below the punishment MUST be severe, painful, unforgettable and serve as a warning to others to NOT follow their example.
I don't want to disrespect you by saying that if Goodell rules closer to what I say as opposed to your view point that you should eat crow or vice versa. Rather, it's preferrable that you to grasp the VERY serious nature of this as I posted the NFL rules below for the perusal of everyone to view. Again, I suggest that you read them and then try and equate the rules with what these coaches intentionally did. 

The bottom line is this. If they HAD to admit that they were wrong,and WE know that they did, AND that they KNOW that they placed bounties on opposition players and in the case of one team and coaches, went on for THREE years, the supposition can be made that this was premeditated, organized and planned. It certainly at this basic level is a violation of NFL Rules of play. It might even have an impact on players  in the CBA governing player contracts and teams rights to release players without legal liability. remember, they are recidivists as well. They were warned. They were fined and STILL the behavior continued. It leaves NO doubt that this was premeditated.

The practice of what the Saints, Williams, Payton, Mickey What's ~His~Face and the players did  in this incident  is BAD FOR BUSINESS and concurrently BAD FOR PLAYER and TEAM REPS andf THEREBY the GAME and THE LEAGUE. The sanctions MUST be painful and unfogettable.

Are you REALLY trying to tell us that these coaches and the Saints transcend the game and the league ? If you answer in the affirmative, you support everything that is wrong with what these men did and support POOR sportsmanship, disrespect the game , the players and ALL who work hard to make this sport what it is and it's relevance. These men displayed EXTREMELY bad judgement.

And in the end, the game doesn't need nor should it tolerate this. This why there are rules and this is why the Commissioner has great lattitude.




Since: Feb 5, 2012
Posted on: March 7, 2012 11:36 am
 

Now, when will Saints, Williams be penalized?

Ok. This is EXACTLY what they were doing. IMO it was orchestrated by at least Williams because he did this elsewhere AND there was payment for it. I think that it would be impossible to injure someone to the point of knocking them out of a game as opposed to career ending injuries. Bounties imply intent as being malicious. Repeating this , against the NFL rule book makes it so aggregious as to warrant what I've suggested. And while, the GM and Payton tacitly "agreed" to this and looked the other way is STILL agreement. And thereby are equally guilty for NOT stopping it.
This all sounds a lot like a really poor lawyering.  You're stretching to tie things together through loose definitions (because they didn't stop this, they approved and sanctioned it, etc.).  Ultimately, the team's owners did not build a team with the deliberate intent of hurting players.  They built a team to win football games and a coach suggested a system AFTER that team was built that would give them an edge.  They made a mistake in allowing that system to happen but they did not sit down in 2009 and say "Ok, five year plan, let's bring in some monsters and hurt some stars.  Agreed?  Good!  Now, let's put together our pricing list for player incentives."  As I've said, the punishment will be equal to the crime.  Unless the league has evidence that the team gave up on the idea of playing football, winning games, etc. and simply wanted to injure people, I'm still going to think your suggested punishment is WAY too harsh.  I'll gladly eat crow if Goodell agrees with you.

As for hockey, the game changes quite a bit from kids hockey to pro, college, etc.  I'm not saying this discredits your remarks but I can't really think of an instance of players legitimately discussing getting a player out of a game until high school.  It's a common practice, even if it's not taken overly seriously.  Before big games, everyone knows the star is the target.  Before any NFL game announcers say things like "The key is to hit Brady hard and often."  I get it that with the Saints there was intent to injure which takes this farther but the basic elements are already an accepted part of any contact sport. When a linebacker lines up a quarterback, his thought process is "hit this guy hard enough that he doesn't burn you anymore."  Same with a receiver.  Same with a runningback.  Injuries are going to come with that.  Williams just fanned the flames.  Again, it's not acceptable, but he also didn't bastardize the sport.



Since: Jun 19, 2011
Posted on: March 7, 2012 11:33 am
 

Now, when will Saints, Williams be penalized?

What should happen very simple they (Players and Coachs involved) should get what MLB did to the Black Sox and Pete Rose there should be no discussion. Also the NFL should strip the Saints of their Super Bowl and strip them of draft picks for the next 5 years.

To hell with the CBA and the Union if the players really want protection then they should also step up and say no more we (The Union) will not protect or standby any player who was part of this.



Since: Jan 17, 2008
Posted on: March 7, 2012 11:11 am
 

Now, when will Saints, Williams be penalized?

One thing that I have barely if at all seen mentioned regarding the "bounties"  or as Williams referred to them "performance payments" that will effect the punishment the Saints receive is that the extra contractual monies paid can be ruled a violation of the salary cap. I am sure many owners don't want their team's and their coaching staffs investigated for paying bounties but they want salary cap violations even less.


I am curious to see when Goodell hands down his punishments to the team and indiviuals involved if there is a mention of the cap implications.  



Since: Sep 19, 2006
Posted on: March 7, 2012 11:02 am
 

Now, when will Saints, Williams be penalized?

"Sources tell me it could be anywhere before or after the league's March 25-28 owners' meetings in Florida."

So, before OR after March 25-28?  Thanks for narrowing it down.



Since: Feb 10, 2012
Posted on: March 7, 2012 10:39 am
 

Now, when will Saints, Williams be penalized?

Then we'll give them incentive bonuses for doing so! We want to see players careers ended!" then MAYBE your punishment is appropriate.  The fact of the matter is, a large part of this already happens in sports.  The punishment is being handed down because the man behind the curtain was pulling all the levers.  There will be punishments and knowing Goodell's stance on player safety, it will be severe.  He won't essentially shut down a franchise, though.  Fines, suspensions, maybe a lost draft pick or two, but not all with eternal bans for all coaches involved.
Ok. This is EXACTLY what they were doing. IMO it was orchestrated by at least Williams because he did this elsewhere AND there was payment for it. I think that it would be impossible to injure someone to the point of knocking them out of a game as opposed to career ending injuries. Bounties imply intent as being malicious. Repeating this , against the NFL rule book makes it so aggregious as to warrant what I've suggested. And while, the GM and Payton tacitly "agreed" to this and looked the other way is STILL agreement. And thereby are equally guilty for NOT stopping it.
NOw, I might agree with your assessment of penalties EXCEPT that this is repeated behavior. They were fined. Warned. Told to stop. And by placing bounties ( aka getting paid extemporaneously for violating THE RULES) the penalties should be SO severe as to be on the borderline of making the Saints fully understand the consequences of their actions to the extent that NO ONE would dare consider this again. The acts were premediatated by the Coaches OWN ADMISSION.

As for your hockey comments, in my kids youth league, targeting of players is definitely AGAINST the rules in the USAHockey rule book, which governs individual league rules as well throughout the United States. Concussions are regarded as such a serious matter that players are now receiving game misconducts, ejections and SEVERE suspension penalties dependng on the nature of the contact and ESPECIALLY if  head contact is involved.  As far goalie concussions I do concur as my sons starting goalie was out two games for a concussion as the result of close~in net play and actual striking of his helmet by an opposing player. That player was suspended for four games. The Coach was suspended for two, by the league. So, I know how brutal the sport is and I recognize that sanctions are necessary.  For first time offenses , I can see your point of view. For malicious premeditated intent for repeated vio;ations? I have to respectfully disagree with you.


This applies doubly for PROFESSIONALS. Why? Because they get paid to play and as such need to respect the game, opponents, fans, their organizations and MOSTLY themselves.

I'd come down so hard on these coaches they'd never, ever forget. Lifetime suspension for Williams. 3 year suspension for Payton and the GM and massive fines, loss of 1,2 and 3 round draft picks for one year, no suplemntal draft picks for one year, no trades for one year and a 20 million fine on the Sants organization.

The players in question ? Lifetime ban. They didn't have to participate in order to do their jobs well.




Since: Feb 5, 2012
Posted on: March 7, 2012 9:50 am
 

Now, when will Saints, Williams be penalized?

Obviously, none of you has played a contact sport like hockey or football.
Ok, let me start by putting this one down.  I've been playing hockey the majority of my life, tending net for teams at many different skill and competition levels.  I personally have had concussions, I do understand how bad they are, I missed important games because of them.  I don't see what that has to do with this conversation.  Yes, that is one way players may be taken out of the game but the goal was not to concuss players, it was to get them off the field.  Broken bones, high ankle sprains, etc. will all do that as well.

Having played the game of hockey, I know that (again on every level) guys talk in the locker room the same way they do in football.  They know there are targets on each team.  You hear stuff before a big game (or even just a game with a hot opponent) about how bad they want to crush this guy or knock this guy out of the game.  There are times that guys make bets or give each other incentives to do just that.  It's not malicious, it's players getting pumped for a game.  They don't leave their position to do so but if that guy is skating through center ice with his head down or working along the boards, you'd better believe they're gonna crush him rather than play the puck, like I said in my first post.  This is happening in sports.  Perhaps that's the "unspoken demon" in professional sports these days.

 That being said, this is a slightly different beast because it was team-organized.  That ups the crime and will up the penalty but the absolute gutting of the Saints franchise is complete nonsense.  If you can prove that the team sat down, owner included, and said "Let's build our team around guys who can injure important players.  Then we'll give them incentive bonuses for doing so! We want to see players careers ended!" then MAYBE your punishment is appropriate.  The fact of the matter is, a large part of this already happens in sports.  The punishment is being handed down because the man behind the curtain was pulling all the levers.  There will be punishments and knowing Goodell's stance on player safety, it will be severe.  He won't essentially shut down a franchise, though.  Fines, suspensions, maybe a lost draft pick or two, but not all with eternal bans for all coaches involved.


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