March 4, 2012

NFL to Probe the Washington Redskins Next

By - Kris Fletcher

According to reports, the National Football League will now investigate claims that the Washington Redskin had a bounty program in place when Gregg Williams was the team's defensive coordinator.

Photo by: Getty Images
This after the NFL's security department found that Williams and several New Orleans Saints players had an illegal bounty system from 2009-2011, rewarding guys for big hits, including knockout shots and cart-offs.

Since details of the league's probe were released, five former Redskins and a former coach have said that Williams ran a similar system in Washington.

Joe Gibbs, who was head coach of the Redskins when Williams was there, says he was unaware of a bounty system at the time in question.

Meanwhile, former Bills safety Coy Wire told The Buffalo News that Williams promoted bonuses for injuring opposing players while he was the head coach in Buffalo.

"I'll just put it like this, there was financial compensation," Wire said.

Sources told ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen earlier today that Williams has been called to New York to meet with league security officials on Monday for another round of dialogue pertaining to the alleged violations. However, the specific nature of the visit is not yet known.

According to the NFL, over twenty Saints defensive players were involved in the team's bounty program, which was administered by Williams, with the knowledge of head coach Sean Payton. In several instances, the amounts pledged were directed against specific opposing players, including former quarterbacks Kurt Warner and Brett Favre.

Under the program, knockouts were worth $1,500 and cart-offs $1,000, with payments doubling or even tripling for the playoffs. The NFL said the pool amounts reached their height of $50,000 or more during the 2009 campaign, the season New Orleans won the Super Bowl.

Commissioner Roger Goodell has advised the organization that he will hold proceedings to determine potential discipline against the team and the individuals involved. That discipline could include fines, suspensions, and the forfeiture of draft choices.

The fact of the matter is, as bad as the New England Patriots Spygate scandal was back in 2007, what the Saints have done is much, much worse.

To have a coach promote hits that are intended to take out opponents can not, and will not, be tolerated. Especially when the league is trying to change the culture of the game by eliminating cheap shots and cutting down on concussions.

The sport is violent enough as is. Having an incentive to hurt players is taking it entirely too far. In my opinion, Goodell should make a big example out of New Orleans and Williams so that this type of thing never happens again.


  1. Hope he gets banned from the league. The guys a joke.

  2. I think its safe to say this happens all around the league. I think banning Williams would be a tad bit extreme. If he gets banned, so should Sean Peyton. He knew about it and did nothing, which is the same as encouraging it.

  3. The "it happens all around the league" stuff that I keep hearing people say is ridiculous. Pretty sure coaches all around the league aren't tossing wads of cash on a table and telling players to take out opponents for it. How have the Rams not already gotten rid of him? He needs to be out of the NFL for good, not just given a little smack on the wrist.

  4. I honestly think is getting blown out of proportion.

    Be honest here: do you think James Harrison needs an incentive to rip off an opponents head? You're ignorant if you say yes.

    Do you think James Harrison would play football any meaner than he plays right now? No. And again, you're ignorant if you say yes.

    The point is this: all defensive players try to rip the heads of offensive players off of their bodies. I bet it happens more often that a defender goes low on a player on purpose to get him carted off the field and DOESN'T get an incentive.

    The bottom line is that people now watch the NFL for the big hits, so stop complaining about them. You can't have your cake and eat it too.

    Plus, giving players incentives for hurting opponents has been happening since the Buddy Ryan days and now all of sudden it's "news". Big deal.

  5. The difference being Todd, the league had already told the Saints and Williams to stop doing it, and they continued to do it anyway. I agree this type of thing goes on alot, but I think Goodell is going to make an example out of Williams and every team he's coached on that had bounty systems in place.