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 ***Bounty-Gate*** 
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Post ***Bounty-Gate***
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PFT wrote:
NFL finds that Saints violated “bounty rule”
Posted by Mike Florio on March 2, 2012, 3:44 PM EST

No NFL team whose city hosts the Super Bowl has ever played in that game. And the Saints will be launching their effort to do so with a very dark cloud hanging over the franchise.

The league announced Friday afternoon that the Saints violated the “bounty rule” in 2009, 2010, and 2011. Specifically, the NFL has concluded that between 22 and 27 defensive players along with at least one assistant coach maintained a “bounty” program. It was funded primarily by players, with $50,000 or more available during the 2009 playoffs.

Commissioner Roger Goodell will impose discipline. To date, the punishment has not been determined.

“The payments here are particularly troubling because they involved not just payments for ‘performance,’ but also for injuring opposing players,” Commissioner Goodell said in a league-issued release. “The bounty rule promotes two key elements of NFL football: player safety and competitive integrity.

“It is our responsibility to protect player safety and the integrity of our game, and this type of conduct will not be tolerated. We have made significant progress in changing the culture with respect to player safety and we are not going to relent. We have more work to do and we will do it.”

The league’s release says that the program was administered by former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, and that it included payments not only for fumbles and interceptions but also for inflicting injuries that resulted in players being carried off the field ($1,000) and/or knocked out of the game ($1,500).

The release also states that coach Sean Payton, while not involved in the program directly, was aware of it and did nothing to stop it.

General Manager Mickey Loomis also has been implicated; though the relevant portion of the release is a bit unclear, it appears that Loomis may have lied to owner Tom Benson about the existence of a bounty program and/or failed to carry out Benson’s directive that it be ended.

The league will work with the NFLPA to determine the appropriate sanction, and the penalties can include fines, suspensions, and/or the forfeiture of draft choices. Benson may decide to take more drastic action, especially if he believes that Loomis either lied or otherwise defied the owner of the team.

We’ll have much more to come on this one. There is plenty of information to digest in the league’s press release, which the NFL wisely dumped on a late Friday afternoon. Though the league deserves credit for not brushing this under the rug, the NFL has been forced to announce to the world that another one of its teams has been caught cheating — and doing so in a way that encouraged injury to opposing players. Thus, even though the Saints look like anything but, these activities also have applied a black eye to the NFL. It’s no surprise that the news is coming in the one portion of the work-week news cycle where embarrassing stories go to die.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... unty-rule/

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March 2nd, 2012, 4:53 pm
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Post Re: NFL finds that Saints violated “bounty rule”
ESPN wrote:
Updated: March 2, 2012, 3:53 PM ET
NFL: Saints defense had 'bounty' fund
By Adam Schefter
ESPN
Archive

Between 22 and 27 defensive players on the New Orleans Saints, as well as defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, maintained a "bounty" program funded primarily by players in violation of NFL rules during the 2009, 2010 and 2011 seasons, the NFL announced Friday.

The investigation by the league's security department determined that an improper "pay for performance" program included "bounty" payments to players for inflicting injuries on opposing players that would result in them being removed from a game.

In some cases, the amounts pledged were both significant and directed against a specific opposing player, according to the league's investigation.

Saints general manager Mickey Loomis failed to stop the bounty program when directed to do so by Saints owner Tom Benson, while coach Sean Payton was aware of the allegations but did not pursue them or take steps to stop the "bounty" program, according to the investigation's findings.

The findings, corroborated by multiple independent sources, have been presented to commissioner Roger Goodell, who will determine the appropriate discipline.

"It is our responsibility to protect player safety and the integrity of our game, and this type of conduct will not be tolerated," Goodell said in a statement.

"We have made significant progress in changing the culture with respect to player safety and we are not going to relent. We have more work to do and we will do it."

Goodell has advised the Saints that he will hold proceedings to determine potential discipline against the team and the individuals involved, and confer with the players' union regarding the approriate punishment. That discipline could include fines, suspensions and the forfeiture of draft choices.

"I have been made aware of the NFL's findings relative to the 'Bounty Rule' and how it relates to our club. I have offered and the NFL has received our full cooperation in their investigation," Benson said in a statement. "While the findings may be troubling, we look forward to putting this behind us and winning more championships in the future for our fans."

Williams did not immediately return calls from ESPN seeking comment.

According to the investigation, the players regularly contributed cash into a pool and received improper cash payments of two kinds from the pool, based on their play in the previous week's game.

Williams adminstered the program with the knowledge of other defensive coaches and occasionally contributed funds, according to the league investigation.

Payments were made for plays such as interceptions and fumble recoveries. But the program also included "bounty" payments for "cart-offs," meaning that the opposing player was carried off the field, and "knockouts," meaning that the opposing player was not able to return.

The investigation showed that the total amount of funds in the pool may have reached $50,000 or more at its height during the 2009 playoffs. The program paid players $1,500 for a "knockout" and $1,000 for a "cart-off," with payouts doubling or tripling during the playoffs.

"The payments here are particularly troubling because they involved not just payments for 'performance,' but also for injuring opposing players," Goodell said. "The bounty rule promotes two key elements of NFL football: player safety and competitive integrity."

The NFL has a longstanding rule prohibiting "non-contract bonuses," and they violate both the league constitution and bylaws and the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the players' union.

Clubs are advised every year of this rule in a memo from the commissioner. Citing Sections 9.1(C)(8), and 9.3(F) and (G) of the Constitution and By-Laws, the memo for the 2011 season stated:

"No bonus or award may directly or indirectly be offered, promised, announced, or paid to a player for his or his team's performance against a particular team or opposing player or a particular group thereof. No bonuses or awards may be offered or paid for on field misconduct (for example, personal fouls to or injuries inflicted on opposing players)."

According to the NFL, Benson was not initially aware of the bounty program and directed Loomis to make sure it was discontinued immediately. "The evidence showed that Mr. Loomis did not carry out Mr. Benson's directions," according to the league's investigation.

"Similarly, when the initial allegations were discussed with Mr. Loomis in 2010, he denied any knowledge of a bounty program and pledged that he would ensure that no such program was in place. There is no evidence that Mr. Loomis took any effective action to stop these practices," according to the investigation.

Adam Schefter is an ESPN NFL Insider.

http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/76386 ... m-nfl-says

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March 2nd, 2012, 4:55 pm
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Post Re: NFL finds that Saints violated “bounty rule”
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NFL says Saints created 'bounty' program from 2009-2011
NFL.com
Published: March 2, 2012 at 03:17 p.m.
Updated: March 2, 2012 at 03:47 p.m

After a lengthy investigation conducted by the NFL's security department, the league announced Friday that 22 to 27 defensive players on the New Orleans Saints maintained a "pay for performance" program that included "bounty" payments administered by then-defensive coordinator Gregg Williams during the 2009, 2010 and 2011 seasons.

The program runs in violation of league rules, and the investigation showed that Saints players received $1,500 for a “knockout” hit and $1,000 for a “cart-off” hit with payouts doubling or tripling during the team's three playoff appearances. The program also entailed payments for interceptions and fumble recoveries, which also violates league rules against non-contract bonuses. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will determine the appropriate discipline based on the investigation, the league said in a statement.

"The payments here are particularly troubling because they involved not just payments for ‘performance,’ but also for injuring opposing players,” Goodell said in a statement released by the league. “The bounty rule promotes two key elements of NFL football: player safety and competitive integrity.

“It is our responsibility to protect player safety and the integrity of our game, and this type of conduct will not be tolerated. We have made significant progress in changing the culture with respect to player safety and we are not going to relent. We have more work to do and we will do it.”

Goodell said the investigation began in 2010 after allegations were made that the Saints defenders had targeted Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner and Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre during their 2009 run to the Super Bowl.

"Our security department interviewed numerous players and other individuals," Goodell said. "At the time, those interviewed denied that any such program existed and the player that made the allegation retracted his earlier assertions. As a result, the allegations could not be proven. We recently received significant and credible new information and the investigation was re-opened during the latter part of the 2011 season.”

The investigation found the program was funded primarily by players and at one time might have reached $50,000. The league also said that other defensive coaches in addition to Williams, now the St. Louis Rams defensive coordinator, were aware of the program.

The report found that Saints head coach Sean Payton was aware of the allegations and did not make any inquires and failed to stop the program. The league also said that general manager Mickey Loomis at one time was directed to end the program when team owner Tom Benson was made aware of the league's findings, and he did not carry out Benson's directions.

"I have been made aware of the NFL’s findings relative to the 'Bounty Rule' and how it relates to our club," Benson said in a statement. "I have offered and the NFL has received our full cooperation in their investigation. While the findings may be troubling, we look forward to putting this behind us and winning more championships in the future for our fans."

The Saints have gained a reputation in league circles as a dirty team in recent years, and Vikings running back Adrian Peterson said this past season that the Saints targeted his high left ankle sprain.

"I felt like it kind of got overboard," Peterson said at the time. "I got up and kind of got in his face. Thank God I was able to keep my composure."

The Saints denied Peterson's claims.

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d8 ... m-20092011

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March 2nd, 2012, 4:58 pm
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Post Re: NFL finds that Saints violated “bounty rule”
It will interesting to see how this plays out. IMO if Goodell remains consistent, the Saints could see coaches, front office personnel as well as players all suspended; Not too mention fines being levied and the loss of draft picks. Me thinks this is just the beginning; this story could, and prolly will, last until training camp.

Thoughts?

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March 2nd, 2012, 5:00 pm
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Post Re: NFL finds that Saints violated “bounty rule”
TheRealWags wrote:
It will interesting to see how this plays out. IMO if Goodell remains consistent, the Saints could see coaches, front office personnel as well as players all suspended; Not too mention fines being levied and the loss of draft picks. Me thinks this is just the beginning; this story could, and prolly will, last until training camp.

Thoughts?


And the Saints vs. Lions was seen as Good vs. Evil? Heck, at last we don't need no incentive to stomp on your head! :roll:

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March 2nd, 2012, 5:07 pm
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Post Re: NFL finds that Saints violated “bounty rule”
Pablo wrote:
TheRealWags wrote:
It will interesting to see how this plays out. IMO if Goodell remains consistent, the Saints could see coaches, front office personnel as well as players all suspended; Not too mention fines being levied and the loss of draft picks. Me thinks this is just the beginning; this story could, and prolly will, last until training camp.

Thoughts?


And the Saints vs. Lions was seen as Good vs. Evil? Heck, at last we don't need no incentive to stomp on your head! :roll:


That was the Denver game (Tebow), but still, around the time of that first Saints game, everybody was saying how dirty we were. Some major irony there!

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March 2nd, 2012, 5:12 pm
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Post Re: NFL finds that Saints violated “bounty rule”
They need to come down hard on them. That is a black eye on the league. F*** the saints

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March 2nd, 2012, 7:30 pm
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Post Re: NFL finds that Saints violated “bounty rule”
Killwill25 wrote:
They need to come down hard on them. That is a black eye on the league. F*** the saints


Agree. I hope Sean Peyton has something to do with this even though it hasnt been reported yet. Never could stand the guy.

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March 2nd, 2012, 8:26 pm
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Post Re: NFL finds that Saints violated “bounty rule”
kdsberman wrote:
Killwill25 wrote:
They need to come down hard on them. That is a black eye on the league. F*** the saints


Agree. I hope Sean Peyton has something to do with this even though it hasnt been reported yet. Never could stand the guy.


Its already been reported that he knew about it and did nothing to stop it. The owner knew about it, told the GM to stop it and he did nothing. And the fact it went on 3 years, the penalty will be harsher than spygate. The saints 1st rounder belongs to the pats this year though so the highest penalty will have to come in later years.


March 2nd, 2012, 8:58 pm
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Post Re: NFL finds that Saints violated “bounty rule”
njroar wrote:
kdsberman wrote:
Killwill25 wrote:
They need to come down hard on them. That is a black eye on the league. F*** the saints


Agree. I hope Sean Peyton has something to do with this even though it hasnt been reported yet. Never could stand the guy.


Its already been reported that he knew about it and did nothing to stop it. The owner knew about it, told the GM to stop it and he did nothing. And the fact it went on 3 years, the penalty will be harsher than spygate. The saints 1st rounder belongs to the pats this year though so the highest penalty will have to come in later years.



GOOD.

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March 2nd, 2012, 9:37 pm
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Post Re: NFL finds that Saints violated “bounty rule”
I personally think the media has blown this clear out of proportion. This kind of thing has been happening since the beginning of football. Now the big question becomes whether or not the "bonuses" were for illegal plays?

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March 2nd, 2012, 9:41 pm
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Post Re: NFL finds that Saints violated “bounty rule”
So if the Saints are forced to forfeit their wins from last season, do we have our first playoff win since 1991 on our hands? :lol:

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March 2nd, 2012, 9:46 pm
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Post Re: NFL finds that Saints violated “bounty rule”
thelomasbrowns wrote:
So if the Saints are forced to forfeit their wins from last season, do we have our first playoff win since 1991 on our hands? :lol:



Lol that would be a crappy way to win.

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March 2nd, 2012, 10:07 pm
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Post Re: NFL finds that Saints violated “bounty rule”
CMWSR wrote:
I personally think the media has blown this clear out of proportion. This kind of thing has been happening since the beginning of football. Now the big question becomes whether or not the "bonuses" were for illegal plays?

But now there as big an emphasis on safety than ever before. The leauge investegated them for about 3 years, it sounds like they already know exactly what the bonuses were for.I hope after they punished by the NFL, they are also punished on the field and get screwed on more calls than we do.

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March 2nd, 2012, 10:25 pm
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Post Re: NFL finds that Saints violated “bounty rule”
I'm sure they are not the only team.

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March 2nd, 2012, 11:22 pm
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