Perhaps at some point this week, NFL boss Roger Goodell will deliver some form of punishment to Gregg Williams and the Saints for their role in a bounty program.
Here are five things I’d do if placed in Uncle Roger’s Bostonians:
1. Fine Sean Payton $500,000 and suspend him for four games – Bill Belichick was fined $500,000 (the individual maximum by NFL rule) for his hand in the 2007 Spygate scandal. Payton deserves that amount and then some. Based off reports, he had knowledge of the Williams-led program and didn’t take a significant measure to stop it. To me, he is the most culpable (outside of Williams) since had knowledge of it. Thus, I’d ban him from games and team activities for four weeks.
2. Suspend Gregg Williams for two years – Here’s the thing about Williams. Since Goodell took over as commissioner in 2006, we’ve heard his concerns regarding player safety and concussions in particular. Essentially, Williams gave a collective middle finger to the notion that player safety is important from his theory that offering bonuses for “kill shots” to opposing players is a worthwhile venture.
Not helping matters is Tony Dungy’s assertion that a bounty system in place while Williams was Washington’s defensive coordinator may have led to Peyton Manning’s current neck woes. Plus, this bounty system traces back to 2003 when Williams was the head coach of the Buffalo Bills.
Why should Williams ever be allowed to coach again in the NFL? Better yet, could you trust he wouldn’t try to pull this off again? It’s too risky to have him around in a coaching capacity in the immediate future. Sorry Jeff Fisher. The Rams will need to look for a new defensive coordinator.
3. Suspend franchise tag usage for three seasons – If I were a Cardinals or Vikings fan, can’t I make the case that this behavior altered the outcome of the 2009 season? Kurt Warner retired after the playoff loss to New Orleans due to the Bobby McCray hit (yes, I know it was a clean hit) and Brett Favre was never the same after the ’09 NFC title game.
Since the Saints tried their damnedest to retire quarterbacks and alter the future of franchises through injury, I’d remove the franchise tag from Drew Brees or any other Saint over the next three seasons.
This idea, the brainchild of PFT’s Mike Florio, is a great suggestion. If the Saints want to put guys into retirement, then allow the shield to dangle their most prized possessions in full-blown free agency. In the case of Brees, New Orleans would need to break the bank to keep Brees or he’d potentially end up in another uniform.
4. Take away their second-round pick in 2012 and first-round and second-round draft picks in 2013 and 2014 – New Orleans gave away its 2012 first rounder to the Patriots. It was a dead heat between this option and forfeiture of their entire 2012 draft. I side with taking away high-end draft picks instead because it decreases the likelihood New Orleans can bring in productive players through the draft over a longer period.
5. Fine New Orleans $2 million – New England gave up $250,000 for Spygate. This is far worse in part because of numerous people in the organization having knowledge of it and doing zero to stop it.
Is New Orleans the first team to offer bounties? Of course not. However, they were the first to get caught to this degree. Throw the book at them.
Categories: New Orleans Saints