May 2nd, 2012 at 1:26 PM ^

What I read is that the league concluded that Vilma was partially in charge of the bounties with Williams, so that's why he got a full year


May 2nd, 2012 at 1:29 PM ^

Do NFL suspensions include loss of pay for games the player is suspended for? If so, and if they can prove these players involvements, which seemed like an issue in the article, good for the NFL.

These guys need to take some time and reevaluate why they play football in the first place, along with the anyone else involved in bounty payments.


May 2nd, 2012 at 2:43 PM ^

disagree that this has not been commonplace since the league began. Remember that it was only a few short years ago that when a guy got a concussion he only "had his bell rung." I believe that defensive players have tried to injure players since the league began, and if you read a few stories of the "old days" in the league you may agree as well. I'm not defending it or saying that the NFL shouldn't stop this, just that this isn't an isolated occurrence, and that there have been many times where bounties were not even necessary to encourage guys to knock a QB out of the game as a specific goal.


May 2nd, 2012 at 2:48 PM ^

I have no doubt it's been around forever, and hearing some former QB/RB types talk about their days in the 1960's, everyone knew it was going on. The sport has changed though, and bounties need to be a part of the past, not the future.

Also, usually when people say "knock him into next week", or whatever other general statements they want to make, it's not meant to be taken literally, it's meant to encourage tough play. Telling someone that Smith needs to take a helmet to the chin is a very different story, as is offering money for legal hits that result in injury.


May 2nd, 2012 at 2:00 PM ^

According to the ESPN article it says without pay.

Each new detail I hear about the bounties makes me more disgusted.  So many players were involved, and the staff- I don't get how people put up with it?  Maybe there were people who were against it and it was too tough to say so in the clubhouse or to the media- but its sad to think soemthing so reprehensible went on for as long as it did.  I am fine with all of the suspensions and fines- and to be honest wouldn't have mined tougher ones- this whole mess has been embarassing and disgusting.


May 2nd, 2012 at 2:15 PM ^

As of a few months ago, you could still buy "The NFL's Hardest Hits" online.  The League continues to have its cake and eat it too.  It thrives on the testosterone fueled battles while #ThugLifeHugs Goodell continues to try to act like they are concerned about player safety.  Hines Ward made some good comments a few months ago,

"The league doesn't care about us anyway. [...] They don't care about the safety of the game. If the league was so concerned about the safety, why are you adding two more games on? You talk about you don't want players to drink ... and all you see is beer commercials. You don't want us to gamble, but then there are [NFL-endorsed lottery scratch-off games...]"


May 2nd, 2012 at 4:49 PM ^

Eh, the league probably doesn't care if players have a few beers or buy a scratch off lotto ticket once in a while. They likely just discourage excessive drinking and gambling to try and minimize the possibility of instansces involving players that would reflect poorly upon the league...things like alcohol related altercations, DUIs, and blowing all their money. 

The prospect of adding two games though was asinine and in no way took into consideration the safety of players. 


May 2nd, 2012 at 1:37 PM ^

and yeah Vilma is heavily penalized for both running it, and also for lying when asked about it. Love how the NFLPA is going to bat for these guys, meanwhile not seeing to care that they are in trouble for seeking to injure the other team. Also, I believe that the other players were also suspended for not being forthright when the NFL came asking. 

BOX House

May 2nd, 2012 at 1:54 PM ^

I'd imagine there will be a big appeal coming from the NFLPA.

So I know Payton could only appeal to the Commissioner (which is essentially useless), but are the players entitled to an arbitrator upon appeal? There is a big difference there if so.


May 2nd, 2012 at 1:53 PM ^

vilma put 10k on the heads of both kurt warner and brett favre. favre doesn't seem like the type to sue, but i wonder if warner will. i could also see criminal conspiracy charges. vilma and co. stand to lose a lot more than one season's pay.


May 2nd, 2012 at 1:54 PM ^

I think the NFL had no choice but to take the stand they took in view of the suits  which have already been filed and will be filed in the future. The problem is at what point do you start changing the game to a point where fans start losing interest?  The new kickoff rules, from my perspective, really suck and change a major component of the game.

NCAA football will be next.


May 2nd, 2012 at 2:18 PM ^

when Heisman introduced the forward pass? That also was done as a response to a series of serious injuries (and in that case deaths).

I'm inclined to give the rule changes a little time, and some tinkering. I don't watch the game to see concussions and spinal injuries, that's for sure.

Edward Khil

May 2nd, 2012 at 2:11 PM ^

There were many suggestions that the Saints weren't the only team to have a so-called bounty system, and that, maybe, their's only varies by its degree of viciousness.

It's remarkable that the entire pool of money being doled out was far less than $100,000, and that the highest potential "award" was $10,000 for KO'ing Kurt Warner.  That's not far above chump change for guys making millions.

In CFB, where star players need to scratch together $10 somehow in order to get some pizza, it just seems that some sort of pool like this might be far more enticing than in the NFL.

I'm just saying, William Gholston.


May 2nd, 2012 at 2:15 PM ^

The other interesting part is that some of the guys are on different teams now.  I wonder if their contracts with those teams had some kind of provision that further penalizes them if something like this happens (e.g. getting disciplined/suspended for whatever reason).  More penalized than just having their pay suspended, I mean.



May 2nd, 2012 at 2:18 PM ^

A few years back, when the Saints were starting to become a good team after being horrible for so long, I was really happy for them.  Now, not so much.  I'm so disgusted with this bounty program and think that the suspensions were absolutely justified.  I wouldn't have been upset if they had been longer.  I honestly hope that Drew Brees jumps ship after this season and that the Saints suck for many years to come. 


May 2nd, 2012 at 2:39 PM ^

They were such a feel good team.  It was hard not to like them.  After years of futility they win post-Katrina.  Breese seems like a class-act and is a great face of the franchise (and yes I now root for him to leave too).

Now they seem like a hard team to like.  This will hamper attendance potentially and merchandise sales I would imagine.  Plus, more importantly, it's just sad to watch a seemingly feel-good story turn into burning pile of dog poo...


May 2nd, 2012 at 2:30 PM ^

This topic has bothered me for a while.  I'm guessing Vilma got the whole season for lying to Goodell and not the bounty system.   If he was suspended for running the bounty program my defense would be this.   How many times was I fined for illegal hits?  If it was zero I'd tell Rog to blow me my lawyer's coming in to blow this whole thing up.

The people really upset about the bounty system have probably never played.  I highly doubt players were making tackling decisions based on $1,000 rewards when the fines for doing reckless shit is way more than they could "earn". 

I understand why the league is cracking down and the Saints coaches and players should be hit hard for lying to Rog, but the media hand wringing is out of control.   Macho talk and brash statements are part of the culture.  Rarely do you see the actions follow the words.  

2 things I would like to see and maybe I would retract and eat my words.   Last 3 seasons of data. 

Which teams have accrued the most fines in the NFL?

Which teams have accrued the most 15yd  late hit/personal foul penalties?

If New Orleans doesn't lead these categories by a wide margin what proof is there that these guys did anything other than talk shit?

Whose more dangerous?   Vilma or Harrison for the Steelers.    Brian Dawkins and Rodney Harison or Anthony Hargrove?.

Talk is cheap or should be in this situation, but for Vilma it is not.






May 2nd, 2012 at 2:42 PM ^

The people really upset about the bounty system have probably never played.

This is a really, really ignorant take on the whole topic, and it's just bad logic (the NFL seems pretty upset, and you're claiming nobody in the NFL played football?). If you can't see what is morally reprehensible about those Gregg Williams tapes, I'm not sure I know what to tell you. If you think trying to purposefully aggravate concussion symptoms, encouraging new concussions or doing your best to tear someone's ACL is just part of football, I hope you're nowhere near the game.

You realize this program they ran could pretty easily end in criminal charges, right?


May 2nd, 2012 at 3:55 PM ^

The NFL is upset because they don't want to lose millions of dollars to lawsuits not because they are upset about it.   Most of the players have reacted with a "Meh" or they have said nothing or they have followed the company line. 

Every coach has said "rip their heads off", "knock his ass out"  etc..   The whole sport is built around a glorified gladiator mentality.   Remember the Titans is a Disney movie.   The parts people love the most about the movie are the tough talk that would be a fine in the NFL.  

What Robinson said was over the line.  I have zero tolerance for people trying to intentionally hurt people.  My question is did they actually do i?.   How many teams, players and coaches have talked about going after a qb to "get him out of his comfort zone"?   All?  Most?    Football is a serious nasty game.   

I'm not in favor of hurting guys I just ask that the people that do illegal shit to intentionally hurt guys get suspended (Shane Webber Hit on Zetterburg for example or Gholston on Denard) and that they don't punish talkers who don't do anything.   Not saying they didn't but I had never heard of Vilma being a dirty player.   I would think there are several players  that should be suspended longer than Vilma based on their actions on the field.




May 2nd, 2012 at 5:08 PM ^

If you look at this in the criminal law charge of conspiracy context, then Vilma is as guilty as the players that did the actual hitting.  It is enough that Vilma was simply the "mastermind" or the "administrator" of the program.  I'm not sure if the NFL advisors thought about it this same way but I can only assume that there were many, many lawyers involved in this whole process (and still will be).



May 2nd, 2012 at 4:14 PM ^

My thoughts exactly Ziff.  Did they actually injure more players than any other team?  Thats what I want to know.

Also, I wonder what is said in other locker rooms around the league before a game?  I bet Williams isn't alone in telling his guys to mess the other team up.  Its a competitve-ass league and these guys are under a ton of pressure to win.  

Hardware Sushi

May 2nd, 2012 at 2:38 PM ^

I don't really want to type my whole opinion about the Saint's bounties so I'll just say I don't like the Saints and I'm fine with the league suspending as many people as they want.


May 2nd, 2012 at 2:55 PM ^

If anyone was wondering whether Goodell was too harsh, Junior Seau ha your answer. That is the consequence of this shit and until I see lifetime bans and fortified titles I'm not impressed.


May 2nd, 2012 at 3:06 PM ^

It is pretty sad how this all played out. They were the feel good team since Katrina and now all this happens.  This will put a permanent stain on the franchise and their accomplishments during this span. With that said, this was rediculous. We haven't heard the evidence against the players yet but it was obviously subtancial for these suspensions. I don't understand how you could do that to other players when you make so much money. 10,000 is less than these people get in a game and yet they are willing to take someone out for it? That is just wrong. NFL and Goodell should have come down harder.


May 2nd, 2012 at 3:10 PM ^

Although this sentiment doesn't seem to be very prevalent on the board, in case anyone seems to think that the punishments were too harsh I suggest you head over to Grantland and read the fantastic piece that Charles Pierce wrote on the Metta World Peace elbowing incident and the role of violence in sports today:

It's definitely something worth thinking long and hard about, and if you don't already read Pierce's pieces, I would highly recommend it. He's a fantastic writer with some incredible perspective and he's willing to speak up on some of the more controversial issues.


May 2nd, 2012 at 3:37 PM ^

I wonder what the players at MSU think of this and if they are concerned about the bountys placed on Michigan players last year. I wonder when it will come out and how it will be dealt with.