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I just read a disturbing Sporting News story about Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints and his defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. With Payton’s knowledge, Williams instituted a bounty system, paying defensive players to hurt opponents, hopefully to knock them out of a game so they had to get carted off. This is strictly against league rules and to me it constitutes an illegal attack that should be subject to law enforcement. The Saints should fire Payton but of course they won’t. To read the article click here.

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22 Comments

  1. VR

    That explains their garbage against Niners in the pre season game. Karma is a witch. Their RB gets knocked out by the same team.

    I hope league suspends every single person involved in this. This should include the cheater Payton and cheater Williams. The words ‘cheater’ and ‘disty’ should forever be linked to these guys.

    March 2nd, 2012 5:49 pm

  2. Stan

    I did my classic spittake again when I read the league had “absolved” the owner since he wasn’t involved!..Yeah Lowell,he only owns the team,how could anybody think he knows whats going on?

    It also made me flash back to Ronny Lott lecturing the Saints for good moral…right before the went out and whipped the Niners. Ronny ain’t the sharpest tool in the shed.

    And it also reminded me of Larry Kreuger this year hammering at the idea the 49ers should injure Drew Bree’s…”Not a late hit though”…. Take him out of the game early. That sounds like “hurt him” to me Lowell.
    To Harbaughs credit-he doesn’t think at all like Kreuger.

    As far as Peyton,it should end his career..but after Paterno I’m not sure anything done is for the good of all in sports anymore.

    March 2nd, 2012 5:53 pm

  3. Brandon Conway

    They may fire Payton yet, depending on how bad the spiral of the story continues. The Rams also have to be wondering if they should dismiss Williams, and they should be leery of Williams’ prior relationship with Fisher in Tennessee.

    March 2nd, 2012 6:06 pm

  4. mike

    Williams, even though with the Rams now, should be suspended w/o pay at least for the year and maybe longer since he did this with the Redskins, too. Saints should get fined at least $500K; Payton should get hit with a $250K fine; Loomis should be suspended for the year because he not only lied to the league office but also continued to cover it up for 3 years; Saints will probably lose their top draft pick this year. Also, since it has been going on for 3 years, salary cap regulations have been violated, so Benson gets another fine of about $500K for that. Players who participated and received money also violated the salary cap so they all should get fined at least $100K each and sit maybe two or 3 games w/o pay. Saints other defensive coaches who participated should get fined at least $50K each.

    What a shame that a coach would stoop to such a low level of sportsmanship. Just a couple of years ago, you had Payton and the codine pill scandal that somehow disappeared from the front pages, and now this.

    March 2nd, 2012 7:07 pm

  5. Brodie2Washington

    This bounty program is not only unethical, but it likely affected standings and was also a violation of the CBA and perhaps the salary cap too.

    - All players and staff involved should be named and their roles specified.

    - The former Saints defensive coordinator (currently with Arizona) should be suspended from the NFL permanently.

    - Perhaps Payton should face suspension of undetermined length.

    - Players involved should also face suspension of X number of games.

    - The Saints should have to give up first round draft picks.

    - If injuries effected Saints opponents standings/playoffs (like Ginn’s injury), compensatory draft picks should be allotted to victim teams.

    March 2nd, 2012 7:28 pm

  6. Capts

    Apparently Ronnie Lott said it was “commonplace.” I’d imagine stuff like this is pretty widespread.

    March 2nd, 2012 9:15 pm

  7. mendozaline

    If it can be proven that the Saints paid their employees to specifically prevent other players from earning their livelihood, then the NFL penalties may be dwarfed by the legal circus that will follow when players who were injured in games against the Saints sue for damages.
    I remember you, Lowell, saying on the radio that you weren’t afraid of Richard Seymour. If he tried to harm you, you would be set for a financially comfortable retirement.
    http://cohn.blogs.pressdemocrat.com/10799/richard-seymour-gets-angry-at-yours-truly/

    March 2nd, 2012 9:16 pm

  8. Loneraider78

    It’s a bit troubling to hear. Allen was there for two seasons when this was going on, and he didn’t speak up either. Hopefully he wasn’t in the pool. I still think he’s a great prospect, and hope this doesn’t hang over him.

    Relatively speaking, it’s not a lot of money on the table for guys that make multi millions a season, but still dirty.

    I can’t remember too many plays where a Saint player did a deliberate dirt shot and hurt someone though.

    Maybe the Niners knew this going into the game. Maybe Whitner knew it? (Is Thomas awake yet?)

    March 2nd, 2012 9:19 pm

  9. Johnny Christo

    Lowell, not much chance of this happening, but I believe the coaches who sanctioned and condoned this behavior, so long as they “knew it was illegal” at the time, should be banned for life from the NFL. Any lesser consequence actually serves to encourage a belief that laws are meaningless. In free society, if you break the law, and especially if you do so with unlawful intent, you are removed from said society and freedoms are revoked. In a millionaires club, exclusion ought to be immediate and permanent. Therefore, Payton and Williams should both be unemployed tomorrow, with no prospects ever to return to the NFL.

    March 2nd, 2012 11:11 pm

  10. Johnc

    Wow..what a bunch of dirtbags…Peyton should be fired…and there should be a criminal investigation….not leave it to the NFL Commisioner..he will just want to spin damage control….

    March 3rd, 2012 3:08 am

  11. NancyR

    When I saw Kurt Warner take that big hit at the end of his last game I was suspicious. Anytime I see overtly aggressive plays or highly questionable calls I wonder if players and refs are being paid off to favor one team over another or to target a great player that threatens their team winning. Especially in play-off games and the Super Bowl. I’ve always thought payoffs like this happen regularly in the NFL.

    March 3rd, 2012 7:58 am

  12. Rich, San Ramon

    This morning Profootballtalk.com dropped a new name in the scandal…Dennis Allen. From when he was the secondary coach under Gregg Williams in New Orleans.

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/03/03/bounty-dishonesty-could-bring-down-more-than-loomis/

    March 3rd, 2012 9:21 am

  13. Frank in Minnesota

    The league should do the right thing and start giving out suspensions and fines. But i have a lot of suspect for the Commissioner, he’s not a trustworthy person himself. Payton is showing his true colors….he should not go unpunished.

    March 3rd, 2012 1:36 pm

  14. chris

    this Sporting News story stinks…….unless there’s actual cases of players being carted off the field with serious injuries, this is being way overblown. NFL players make huge amounts of money , and to think that a coach paying them is going to give them incentive to play tougher is laughable. And really Lowell, crimnal action because its against the rules…..so Goldstons criminal hit on the Saints running back was ok because it was legal…….gimme a break………I’m sure that hit by Goldston was way more brutal than anything the Saints defenders did in 2011.

    March 3rd, 2012 5:12 pm

  15. CohnZohn

    You know this for sure?

    March 3rd, 2012 5:25 pm

  16. Sean

    The seriousness of this cannot be understated. Trying to intentionally hurt your fellow players to where it could affect their careers and lives. Goodell will likely bring the hammer down. Hard.

    March 3rd, 2012 6:26 pm

  17. Grimbold Romanavolatature

    Chris, you post is so moronic it’s hard to pick out just a few problems, but here goes:

    1 Everybody likes money, no matter how much they have. Just look at the Wall Street thieves

    2. There’s also the prestige incentive: the guys with the most hits certainly go around a little more chest out. Don’t you understand the term “bragging rights”?

    3. NFL rules don’t trump local laws, or any laws actually. Intent to injure is battery, regardless if it’s part of a “sanctioned” event.

    4. Unrelated to chris’ post, surely such a system exists informally on many teams. The Saints’ biggest crime is being stupid enough to create an quasi-official organization.

    March 3rd, 2012 6:32 pm

  18. Neal

    This goes with Spygate and the White sox scandel, they should give back the super bowl title, just like the Olymics. Very sad, ego maniacs.

    March 4th, 2012 8:04 am

  19. Stan

    Your read where Peyton Manning now thinks his neck problems started with one of the “bounty hunters”? He said he remembers a game where either the Skins or Saints(I forget-sorry) had a player who after a tackle tried so hard ot twist Mannings neck that when the ref pulled the guy off, Manning said he looked inside his helmet to see if his head was still in there.
    And Manning has every right to blame..Sean Payton has opened himself wide open for the blame of ending one of the games best ever QB’s career. And when others come out..

    March 4th, 2012 8:32 am

  20. Loneraider78

    Grimbold, you could also add:

    5. It wasn’t “Goldston” aka Dashon Goldson that put Saints RB to sleep. It was Donte Whitner.

    As more info is coming out, it seems clear that this was a scheme instituted by Gregg Williams. However, if Payton and Loomis could face discipline, it doesn’t seem far fetched that Dennis Allen could as well.

    Everything was going so well for the Raiders through this transition. Mark Davis has made all the right moves, McKenzie seems like he has a paln. And now this. Allen being close to–maybe not involved–but close to this ugly scenario. Drats!!!

    March 4th, 2012 9:29 am

  21. chris

    so Lowell, I guess you’re asking do I know for sure that Golstons hit against the Saints RB in the playoffs was worse than anything the Saints defenders did during the season. Of course not because I didn’t watch every Saints game. But when a player commits an illegal hit, it is publicized in the media with the NFL’s fine, etc. I dont remember any blatant fines given to Saints players during the season. I think that needs to be proven before the reckless media goes with this current Saints story. ABC news reported the coaches were paying $1000 for a brutal hit. That is LAUGHABLE to think a player would go head hunting for a measey sum like that when they make alot more from their salaries.

    March 4th, 2012 1:03 pm

  22. chris

    Gimbold………keep the name calling to yourself. Lowell doesnt like it and I’ve learned to agree with him when making a point. I think you’re a bit naive with your points. NFL rules or rules in other games such as boxing have many times in the past trumped public laws. I grew up a Raider fan in the 70′s and the Raider defense commited alot of assault on opposing players. Then Pittsburgh coach Chuck Noll actually refered to George Atkinson as a criminal for his two blows to the head of WR Lynn Swann that both caused concussions. Jack Tatum disabled Patriots WR Daryll Stingley by breakling his neck. So you think someone could do that outside of a football game and not go to jail? Think again.

    March 4th, 2012 1:10 pm

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