My, we're talking about the New Orleans Saints a lot today! With Drew Brees' new contract being a little bit more difficult to negotiate than you'd like, we were already set for a pretty enjoyable weekend of NFC South vibes, but this is just too much. Adam Schefter reported, and the NFL has confirmed, that the league has concluded a years-long investigation into the Saints, finding that former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was running a bounty system for his players.
This is against the rules, of course, especially since "performance" was often interpreted as "injuring people." The NFL's released a lengthy statement on the matter. Roger Goodell:
"The payments here are particularly troubling because they involved not just payments for ‘performance,' but also for injuring opposing players," Commissioner Goodell said. "The bounty rule promotes two key elements of NFL football: player safety and competitive integrity.
It's alleged that Sean Payton knew but did nothing to stop the program, the operation lasted for three years, and as many as 27 players contributed funds to the pool. More from the NFL:
The discipline could include fines and suspensions and, in light of the competitive nature of the violation, forfeiture of draft choices.
That's bad! Pretty bad stuff, Saints! And for those who would raise a complaint that the Atlanta Falcons' offensive line has also been accused of playing dirty, I'd point out that they're at least doing it for the love of the game and not for bounties, if indeed they are doing it. Not agreeing that they are. Never would. Pleased with 2012.
For more on the Saints, visit Canal Street Chronicles.