As reported by Jay Glazer of FoxSports.com, New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton was stunned and stated “I’m not OK” in response to his current state. Payton was suspended for the season by the commissioner and ex-defensive coordinator Greg Williams was suspended indefinitely.
Neither coach is sure to take the ruling with a grain of salt. Especially when the “bounty system” has been rumored to have been in existence for quite a long time. After personally speaking with a former NFL player who was active nearly forty years ago, he stated under condition of anonymity, bounties “were nothing new”. Although it may be nothing new, it was not under commissioner Goodell’s watch. Payton and Williams just happen to be the first to get punished for it. The ruling is good for the game, but the question becomes if either coach or players to be named will pull a Jose Canseco?
“Indefinitely” for coach Williams means his long term career is in serious jeopardy. Coach Payton is reportedly going to lose $8 million dollars and Williams is not going to find work which covers his losses. As for the players still yet to be named, long suspensions could equal out to the end of careers depending on their age. If we’ve learned anything about the NFL, it is also a business. All of these individuals are likely to appeal and lose. Once that happens, what will be left is a court battle. This doesn’t include the drum beat already started for a congressional investigation.
If there is credibility to the rumors that this is nothing new and disgruntled coaches or players can validate it, a whole can of worms could ultimately open up. Who knew what, when and why it was never punished before will all come to the forefront. While the potential to find other players or coaches to validate these claims is slim, just the fact it is a possibility could create headaches for the league.
Despite knowing how this could play out, commissioner Roger Goodell did the right thing. He stood up for the integrity of the game despite how it could hurt the league’s image. Much like former baseball commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis during the Black Sox scandal, Goodell has made a hard decision which may define his legacy. It was the right decision, but one which may come with further allegations the league doesn’t need.
FOLLOW MR. DESTINY on TWITTER @FFFdaily