The New Orleans Saints have been exposed by the NFL for a bounty program that involved former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and two-dozen New Orleans players with the knowledge of head coach Sean Payton.
"Bounty-gate," as the media has dubbed it, involved paying New Orleans Saints players big bonuses for injuring opposing players and taking stars like Brett Favre and Peyton Manning out of a game. Williams may also have run bounty programs with other teams.
Gregg Williams, now defensive coordinator for the St. Louis Rams and formerly defensive coordinator for the Washington Redskins, has accepted responsibility for his role in "bounty-gate" and apologized, as have Sean Payton and New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is expected to hand out stiff penalties. Goodell has a history of imposing stiff punishments when players are caught stepping out of line, such as the Detroit Lions' Ndamukong Suh for stomping on an opponent and James Harrison of the Pittsburgh Steelers for a flagrant hit on Cleveland Browns quarterback Colt McCoy.