Thursday, March 22, 2012

Serves ‘em right … Saints get hammered!

The New Orleans Saints paid for their foolish 
bounty program in unprecedented fashion!
If players, GM’s and coaches across the NFL thought that commissioner Roger Goodell was playing around when he said that he was going to protect his league’s players from undue harm – they may want to think again after seeing Goodell lay down the hammer on the suddenly-dysfunctional New Orleans Saints on Wednesday.

Goodell body-slammed the Saints in an unprecedented – and former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams (now with the St. Louis Rams) for their respective participation in a bounty program, that awarded players cash for injuring opposing players.

The league’s investigation showed that the Saints placed monetary bounties on four of the game’s best former and current quarterbacks – Brett Favre, Cam Newton, Aaron Rodgers and Kurt Warner.

Goodell suspended Saints head coach Sean Payton without pay for the entire 2012 season while also banning general manager Mickey Loomis for eight games and assistant coach Joe Vitt for the first six games of the season.

New Orleans also has to pay a whopping $500,000 fine while forfeiting its second-round draft picks in 2012 and 2013.

For his part in basically organizing the entire bounty program, Williams has been suspended indefinitely with Goodell stating that he will reevaluate his standing at the end of the 2012 season.

Williams’ suspension started with the league’s announcement while Payton’s will begin on April 1. Loomis’ suspension will begin following New Orleans’ final preseason game.

“We are all accountable and responsible for player health and safety and the integrity of the game,” Goodell said in a statement. “We will not tolerate conduct or a culture that undermines those priorities. No one is above the game or the rules that govern it. Respect for the game and the people who participate in it will not be compromised.

“A combination of elements made this matter particularly unusual and egregious. When there is targeting of players for injury and cash rewards over a three-year period, the involvement of the coaching staff, and three years of denials and willful disrespect of the rules, a strong and lasting message must be sent that such conduct is totally unacceptable and has no place in the game.”

All I can say Eye On Sports football fanatics is that I’m absolutely ecstatic to see commissioner Goodell lay down the hammer in an effort to clean up a sport that has seen an increase in cheap shots – and concussions – in recent seasons.

The Saints got just what they deserved after implementing the bounty program – and then foolishly allowing it to continue – even after being warned by the league last season.

The NFL also required every other franchise to confirm that they did not have bounty programs in place. 

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