Saints ‘bounty program’ could result in fines, suspensions and loss of draft picks
The New Orleans Saints had a “bounty program” that rewarded players for, among other things, knocking people out of the game. One such occurrence involved Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner, who subsequently retired after a devastating hit by defensive end Bobby McCray.
The NFL has been investigating the issue since 2010 and it appears ready to rule. According to ESPNs Adam Schefter, “discipline could include fines, suspensions and forfeiture of draft choices.”
The knowledge of the bounty program went all the way to the top. Both head coach Sean Payton and owner Tom Benson were aware of it and yet, neither were able to stop it. Benson, to his credit, told GM Mickey Loomis to stop the practice but was rebuffed.
Suffice it to say the league is going to come down hard on the organization. Here’s what Roger Goodell had to say in a statement released by the NFL.
“It is our responsibility to protect player safety and the integrity of our game, and this type of conduct will not be tolerated.”
“We have made significant progress in changing the culture with respect to player safety and we are not going to relent. We have more work to do and we will do it.”
This makes Spygate look like afternoon tea at grandma’s.