The league announced its very heavy — although perhaps deserving — penalties against the personnel members involved with the New Orleans Saints’ bounty program. The primary culprit, now-St. Louis Rams defensive coordinator Gregg Williams (pictured above), received the most severe penalty of all involved. Not far behind is head coach Sean Payton. The NFL sent a very clear message to the league, players, and fans with the penalties handed down on Wednesday. That being, violations which result in the bodily harm of the leagues athletes will not be tolerated under any circumstances.
Here are the full details:
Firstly, the New Orleans Saints organization has received a $500,000 fine from the league, and will forfeit a 2nd round draft pick in both 2012 and 2013.
Ex-New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams (2009-2011), has been suspended ‘indefinitely’ by the league, effective immediately, without pay. He will miss at-least the entire 2012 NFL season due to the suspension and will be reviewed by the league office for reinstatement next year.
Saints’ current head coach Sean Payton has been suspended for the entirety of the 2012 NFL season, effective April 1st, without pay, league announced. According to ESPN Insider Adam Schefter, Payton’s one-year suspension will result in the loss of roughly $7 million.
The team’s assistant-head coach Joe Vitt, whom would have become interim-coach in Payton’s absence, has been suspended, without pay, for the first six-games of the 2012 NFL season. In addition, Vitt has also been fined $100,000 by the league for his part in the bounty program.
General manager Mickey Loomis has been suspended for the first eight-games of the 2012 NFL season, without pay. Loomis’ suspension was not listed with an effective date; his suspension will become effective on Week 1 of the 2012 regular season.
Of course, this is a very serious matter, and it should not come as a surprise that the league opted to make an example out of the Saints’ organization in this case. From fans to league officials — obviously nobody would like to see such a situation occur again. This is simply the first wave of sanctions, as player suspensions are still to be handed down. This situation is by no means over, as according to CBSSports.com Insider Mike Freeman, commissioner Roger Goodell has requested union head DeMaurice Smith’s recommendation for player discipline in the matter.
The league office is just getting warmed up.
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