Pro Football Talk reports that the NFL will require all 32 teams to certify in writing that they are not using any bounty programs whatsoever.
ESPN’s Jamison Hensley mentions that Browns MLB Scott Fujita could also face a suspension for his part in the Saints previous bounty programs.
Jason La Canfora tweets that MLB Jonathan Vilma can expect to receive a “significant” suspension for his role in the bounty scandal.
Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer was able to speak with Payton just a little while ago and mentioned that he’s stunned by the leagues’ decision.
“I did talk to him and he’s stunned to say the least,” Glazer said. “I think the entire team thought maybe there’d be a four-game suspension, but not a year. I said, ‘Are you OK?’ And he said, ‘No, I’m not OK.’ He is stunned. He’s going to lose about $8 million. He is beside himself here.”
Payton’s suspension will start on April 1st and Gregg Williams’ suspension is effective immediately. GM Mickey Loomis will not begin serving his suspension until the start of the regular season so he’ll be available for what’s left of the teams’ upcoming draft.
Here’s how the Saints punishment breaks down.
- Sean Payton – suspended for an entire year
- Gregg Williams – suspended indefinitely for his role in bounty programs with a number of NFL teams.
- Draft Picks – New Orleans will lose second-round picks in 2012 and 2013
- GM Mickey Loomis – suspended eight games
- Assistant head coach/LB coach Joe Vitt – suspended six games
- NFL is still deciding on discipline for the players involved
There’s no question that the NFL wanted to make examples out of Sean Payton and Gregg Williams, but I have to say that I’m surprised that Payton got a full-year suspension from the league. Rumors mentioned that it was possible but this seemed like the absolute worst case scenario for Payton and the Saints.
It really didn’t matter whether or not the league decided to suspend Williams indefinitely or for just a year, because the negative publicity that would have been generated by a team hiring him would most likely have prevented such a move to begin with. There’s really no way that Williams will be back as a coach in the NFL.
Two second-round picks isn’t the worse thing that could have happened to them but they’re already without their first-round pick this year so I’m sure that this will have some amount of impact on them.
The most interesting aspect of the leagues’ ruling was the decision to suspend Joe Vitt, who the team was already preparing to take over for Payton, should he be suspended. This definitely puts the Saints in a pretty precarious spot now that both the head coach and the assistant head coach will be out for a period of time.
Thankfully, they still have Drew Brees.