Yesterday, the news was dominated with the NFL findings that the New Orleans Saints ran a “bounty” system for the last years and was headed by DC Gregg Williams. To make matters worse, the Washington Post also reported that Williams ran a similar system while he was with the Redskins back in 2006.
Williams left the Saints shortly after their loss to the San Francisco 49ers in the division round of the playoffs to join his friend Jeff Fisher in St Louis.
The recent revaluations have been so damning that there’s no telling just how far the NFL will go set a stern precedent for this type of activity.
“The payments here are particularly troubling because they involved not just payments for ‘performance,’ but also for injuring opposing players,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said, via the St Louis Post-Dispatch. “The bounty rule promotes two key elements of NFL football: player safety and competitive integrity.”
The Dispatch adds that Williams could face a fine and/or suspension for his actions but it’s hard to say just how far Goodell will go at this point.
Williams did issue a statement in response to the leagues’ finding.
“I want to express my sincere regret and apology to the NFL, Mr. (Tom) Benson, and the New Orleans Saints fans for my participation in the ‘pay for performance’ program while I was with the Saints. It was a terrible mistake, and we knew it was wrong while we were doing it.”
“Instead of getting caught up in it, I should have stopped it. I take full responsibility for my role. I am truly sorry. I have learned a hard lesson and I guarantee that I will never participate in or allow this kind of activity to happen again.”
This is purely speculative in nature but very interesting non-the-less. Pro Football Talk mentioned that Tony Dungy told them that Williams had a bounty on Peyton Manning in years past and believes that the hit Phillip Daniels administered to Manning during a game in 2006 caused his neck problems. Here’s a link if you want to see the hit.