After a couple of weeks of anticipation, the NFL announced the punishments for some of those involved in overseeing the Saints' bounty system. And oh, boy, the punishments are doozies.
Per ESPN's Adam Schefter, Saints head coach Sean Payton has been suspended for the entire 2012 season, effective April 1. General Manager Mickey Loomis received an eight-game suspension and a $500,000 fine, while the Saints organization was docked another $500,000 and a second-round pick in 2012 and 2013.
And what of the man who oversaw the program at its most immediate level, former Redskins defensive coordinator Gregg Williams? Jason La Canfora of the NFL Network came through with that.
Gregg Williams is suspended indefinitely. Commish will review Williams situation at end of 2012 season and consider reinstatement— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 21, 2012
Wiliams' suspension is effective immediately. The NFL released a statement Wednesday afternoon explaining the punishments.
The NFL’s extensive investigation established the existence of an active bounty program on the Saints during the 2009, 2010, and 2011 seasons in violation of league rules, a deliberate effort to conceal the program’s existence from league investigators, and a clear determination to maintain the program despite express direction from Saints ownership that it stop as well as ongoing inquiries from the league office.
This is a punishment that goes above and beyond anything that the league has previously instituted for any non-gambling rule violations (Paul Hornung and Alex Karras were suspended for one year by then-Commissioner Pete Rozelle in 1963). It even goes beyond the punishment handed to the Patriots for taping opposing teams' signals in 2007.
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