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Mr. Scot

Good reading on "Bountygate"

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Found in these articles from CBS Sports...

Saints took common practice of bounties to new, dangerous level by Mike Freeman

What makes the most recent case involving the Saints so unusual, players say, was the highly sophisticated system was organized by Gregg Williams, the defensive coach who has been linked to bounty systems in New Orleans, Washington and Buffalo, the latter two according to several published reports. Players interviewed said they have never heard or seen anything remotely close to what Williams and Saints are said to have done by NFL investigators.

This is the crux of this story and why the NFL is reacting so strongly. While bounties have long existed -- going back decades, most infamously associated with Buddy Ryan and the Philadelphia Eagles in the 1980s -- what the Saints did was institutionalize them.

One league official familiar with the NFL investigation put it this way: The Saints took a ragtag concept and turned it into a car assembly line. They made it efficient and vicious, with bounty tentacles reaching the head coach and general manager.

"We became extremely concerned that what the Saints were doing," said the official, who is familiar with the NFL's investigation, "would lead to a player or series of players being badly hurt or worse."

Saints, team officials involved in bounty program should pay dearly by Clark Judge

When the NFL announced Friday that it had discovered the New Orleans Saints were guilty of maintaining a "bounty program" for three seasons, it said it could fine or suspend those involved. It also said it could dock the Saints draft picks.

Well, here's a suggestion: Do all three.

This isn't the New England Patriots and Spygate. This is far more serious, with a club rewarding its players for injuring others -- something that's in direct conflict with the NFL's drive for player safety.

So make the Saints pay. No, make them suffer as they made opponents suffer.

Gregg Williams, then the defensive coordinator, ran the program. I would suspend him, and I would fine him. Severely. Coach Sean Payton apparently knew about it and did nothing. The same goes for GM Mickey Loomis. I would fine them and suspend them, too.

Then start subtracting draft picks.

Saints' vile bounties lay big hit on players' cries about Goodell, safety also by Freeman

I'm also told that the Saints' bounty system was common knowledge around the league. How this investigation was kept a secret is a modern miracle. But I do know this: Everyone involved will likely face a stern suspension. No question about that.

This should lead to the firing of Sean Payton and general manager Mickey Loomis, both of whom were identified in Goodell's statement as knowing about the bounty system but turning a blind eye. There are many reasons not to like Payton; this is just another.

"Although head coach Sean Payton was not a direct participant in the funding or administration of the program," the NFL's statement read, "he was aware of the allegations, did not make any detailed inquiry or otherwise seek to learn the facts, and failed to stop the bounty program. He never instructed his assistant coaches or players that a bounty program was improper and could not continue."

Player arrogance. Extreme arrogance from the coach and general manager. How Payton does not get fired is stunning but he won't because he's Teflon in New Orleans.

Most disappointing of all is the player participation. Nowhere in the NFL's report does it say anything about a mass player revolt against the bounty system. Why didn't Saints players tell then defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who administered the program, according to the NFL, to go kick rocks? Why didn't any player put a stop to this?

"Players were willing and enthusiastic participants in the program, contributing regularly and at times pledging large amounts," the statement reads. "Between 22 and 27 defensive players contributed funds to the pool over the course of three NFL seasons. In some cases, the amounts pledged were both significant and directed against a specific opposing player."

Jail, not NFL future, should be No. 1 on Williams' list of worries by Gregg Doyel

Gregg Williams never coaches again in the NFL. That has to be the first consequence of the nauseating bounty system he oversaw in New Orleans -- and apparently with the Bills and Redskins too -- but not the last. Nor should that be the greatest concern today of Williams or his supporters, assuming he has any.

After being barred for life from the NFL -- I mean, don't even let him into the stadium as a fan -- Williams should spend the next several years worrying about criminal charges. Jail? Sure. Until the statute of limitations expires, Williams should spend the next several years worrying about jail.

Because what he did was more than unacceptable, worse than unethical.

What he did was criminal.

Those were crimes his players committed at his behest, and there's no room here for debate. Not according to a retired judge of nearly 15 years who was a criminal defense attorney for more than a decade before that, and a law professor specializing in criminal law for a decade before that.

"No might be about it," the retired judge told me Sunday, when I called him to ask if Gregg Williams' bounty system "might be" criminal. "There's no question, this was criminal. If a player was hurt, and he was hurt by players playing outside the rules -- with intent to injure, and 'intent' is the key word here -- that makes it a battery. No one in the NFL consents to being hit in such a way that is intended to injure them. This was criminal."

Sean Payton book sheds light on bounty scandal (Freeman again)

Sean Payton, coach of the New Orleans Saints and now in the middle of one of the biggest scandals in NFL history, wrote a book several years ago called "Home Team." Nothing special about it. Not all that good. It details Payton's rise in the NFL and how the Saints won the Super Bowl. Now, in light of this scandal, the book has become extremely important.

Mainly because it does three things. One, it shows just how extensive a control freak Payton is. So any type of defense that he didn't know simply won't fly. Payton is one of the most detail-oriented coaches in the sport. Second, several passages of the book demonstrate Payton doesn't really give a damn about NFL rules. Now, that's not unusual for a head coach but again, with the bounty investigation, that notion takes on an entirely new meaning.

Third, and most important, it goes into extensive detail about Payton's relationship with one of the central and most shadowy figures from this scandal and that's felon Mike Ornstein who is a close friend of Payton's and, according to NFL documents, himself contributed cash to the bounty pool.

Bounty? Saints could pay dearly in draft by Rob Rang

With Goodell stumping for player safety, and the Saints coaches and players flying in the face of that platform with their actions and essentially taunting the harsh rules enforcement for illegal hits, hell to pay will most definitely mean the subtraction of assets.

If Goodell really wanted to stir the nest, he'd rescind the Saints ability to use the franchise tag for two seasons (bye, bye, Brees?).

More likely, he'll take away the team's draft picks -- second round, third round and maybe more -- and leave Loomis and Payton to figure out how to fill the roster holes left by players departing in free agency without meaningful draft picks or the scratch to be major players in veteran acquisition.

Freeman's articles on this make for some great reading. And Doyel rips Gregg Williams to shreds in his.

Judge's article is good too, but I disagree strongly with a major premise of his: that being that none of the players should be punished because they were just following orders (the "good Nazi" argument). Freeman points out in the third article linked above that the players easily could have said something about it but did nothing.

One quote from the first article listed will be of particular interest to Panther fans though:

Several players said almost every key offensive player over the past several years has been targeted by bounties by many NFL teams including Aaron Rodgers, Adrian Peterson, Cam Newton, Maurice Jones-Drew, Ben Roethlisberger, Ray Rice, Eli Manning, Peyton Manning, Tony Romo and The Golden Calf of Bristol.

No great shock seeing the Saints are a division rival, but worth noting that the context doesn't definitively state it was the Saints who put a bounty on Newton. And worth noting that the people who supplied this info were players from other teams.

So maybe the Saints (and it's reasonable to assume so)...

...but maybe not :sosp:

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You had to know Newton would have been a target since we played the Saints. But if someone else also had a bounty on Newton, I'd certainly like to know who.

Of course, my guess is any such effort is likely to be about as successful as thos story that opens Freeman's first article:

The bounty was $2,000, and the conditions were simple: Knock the starting quarterback out of the game and the cash was yours.

So it was on. The bounty was kept secret from the coaching staff and some of the team. Mostly, only the bounty hunters themselves -- players on the defensive line -- knew the whole plan. The money was fronted by the participants, and one player held the cash.

The problem was, in the game, no one reached the quarterback, and the bounty went unclaimed. The next week, it was doubled to $4,000. The quarterback survived the game intact. The pot grew to $8,000, and finally the defense had knocked out a quarterback, but there were problems. He was only out a few plays and the player who made the hit wasn't part of the bounty crew.

The players spent the money on exotic dancers instead.

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So injure a man (possibly for life) to get pocket change to throw at strippers.

And what's not barbaric about this at all?

Goodell needs to come down hard on the Saints. And it's good to know that he has the ENTIRE LEAGUE watching his every move.

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So injure a man (possibly for life) to get pocket change to throw at strippers.

And what's not barbaric about this at all?

Goodell needs to come down hard on the Saints. And it's good to know that he has the ENTIRE LEAGUE watching his every move.

Exactly! I keep thinking of Arian Foster. Just they type of player that would have been targeted. An extra twist, a blown ACL & instead of that $43 mil contract he's lucky if he can get the deal he was playing on last year. (Admittedly more than most of us will see but now only he can screw himself up.)

Then I see this...


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I'm a big fan of Easterbrook over at ESPN. He is always championing player safety and the impact the NFL actions in that regard has on college and high school football

His article on this was one of his best I think...

Sinnersgate -- the Saints are no saints -- is worse than Spygate. Penalties must be much more harsh. Spygate was cheating, but caused no one harm. Sinnersgate is about being paid to cause injury, which takes a beautiful sport and makes it a low, filthy thing. Coaches talk endlessly about accountability. Gregg Williams, and any other coach or team official who abetted this deliberate debasement of the game, must be held accountable.

But don't NFL players know they are assuming risk? Of course. So let me tell you the worst part of this latest scandal to afflict football:

"I want someone hurt!" the high school coach was screaming. "I want some kid's mother crying in the stands because her son was carted off the field! Unless someone from that team is taken off injured in the second half, you will do punishment drills at 6 a.m. tomorrow!"

It was a few years ago, and I was standing in a high school football locker room in Montgomery County, Md., where I live. A favored school trailed a perennial loser at halftime, and the coach of the favored team was screaming -- I've deleted the many obscenities -- that he wanted his boys to intimidate the other team by injuring players

The coach got his wish -- two opposition players were helped off in the second half...

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I'm a big fan of Easterbrook over at ESPN. He is always championing player safety and the impact the NFL actions in that regard has on college and high school football

His article on this was one of his best I think...

I absolutely LOVE this quote from the article:

The Vikings-Saints NFC title game two years ago may have been where the Saints' deliberate rule-breaking was worst. Immediately after that game, I wrote, "Saints players came after [brett] Favre so hard -- four times slamming him in ways that invited late-hit or roughing penalties, only two of which were called -- Williams [seems to have] told his charges something along the lines of, 'Pound Favre every time you can; we will take a couple of roughing flags in return for making an old guy worry about the next hit.'"

So did I do a good job by noting two years ago what is suddenly considered obvious? No, I did a terrible job. Yesterday I watched every New Orleans defensive snap of that game and found four, not two, instances in which unnecessary roughness should have been called against the Saints but was not. In retrospect, my column should have led with dirty play by the Saints. The four unnecessary roughness penalties that were not called:

On the game's first snap, Favre handed off, turned away from the play and was hammered with a forearm to the chin by New Orleans linebacker Scott Fujita. Not only should a personal foul have been called -- Fujita should have been ejected on the game's first offensive snap. Instead, no call. Scott, were you paid for behaving like a street thug?

• At 6:14 of the first quarter, after Favre released a pass he was hit with a forearm to the chin by safety Roman Harper. No flag. Roman, were you paid for delivering that cheap shot?

• At 4:15 of the first quarter, Favre released a pass and then Darren Sharper slammed him in the chest with a foreman. No flag. Darren, were you paid for having low standards?

• At 13:29 of the second quarter, Favre released a pass and then was hurled to the ground by Bobby McCray. No flag. Bobby, were you paid for doing something you should be ashamed of?

Reviewing the tape, another aspect of the game jumped out at me that I missed when watching live, and so far as I can tell, all sportscasters and commentators missed, too. Beginning midway through the first quarter, whenever Favre handed off, he immediately ran backward 10 yards -- to get away from New Orleans late hits.

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b-b-b-but thats just football you play to get hit and the NFL is such a high speed game you dont have time to decide whether or not to hit dirty


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Thats great. . . now how bout they watch every single fuggin game tape that we've watched when we played the Inbreds and crtique all the fuggin uncalled late hits in those too. Delhomme was butchered. Good job, "experts", earn that paycheck now and start spinning every story into "ohh we were wrong, its cool, it wasnt our responsibility to report factual news or anything"

Fug All them reporters. They are just as responsible as the the other scumbags involved and even worse, they hyped and hyped and hyped this Aints team into the untouchables that they were.

Fuggin cowards, too scared to call it like it is and now they just get off by saying "Oh, sorry we were wrong, here let me write some other bullshit for you to nom nom."

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Word that Payton and Benson spent the weekend in New York.

Using Saint fan logic, since nothing has happened yet, I guess we can assume the NFL has decided not to punish them and had them in town to apologize for all the hubbub.

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