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.
Now, when will Saints, Williams be penalized?
Posted on: March 6, 2012 6:16 pm