Roger Goodell and the NFL have released a statement today regarding an investigation into the New Orleans Saints and allegations of operating a bounty program. Adam Schefter has details in his twitter timeline.
NFL investigation of Saints began in 2010 when allegations were made that Saints targeted QBs such as Brett Favre and Kurt Warner.
Among the highlights:
- Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams, now with the St. Louis Rams, administered the program and other coaches were aware of it;
- The league began the investigation after rumors emerged in 2010 regarding targeting quarterbacks;
- The league reviewed over 18,000 documents;
- Roger Goodell will determine discipline, which could include loss of draft picks, fines and suspensions.
This will be the largest institutional competitive issue since Spygate. Williams certainly had a reputation as a coordinator who liked to blitz and get after the quarterback, but these allegations take it much further. If players were participating in pools or bounties to injure or take out players, expect the league to respond forcefully. Williams may be facing a sizable suspension next year, and we could see players receive discipline in an environment where the league is trying to emphasize player safety.
[UPDATE: According to Bob Glauber, Saints GM Mickey Loomis was told by Owner Tom Benson to stop the Bounty System and failed to do so]
[photo via US Presswire]