According to NFL.com, Gregg Williams and 22-27 defensive players have been found to have violated the "Bounty Rule".
This news is devastating for Saints fans and the organization itself. It will bring shame to the team and always hang over their championship season.
The NFL report stated that,
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.
Mike Freeman tweeted,
"Total amount in bounty pool may have reached $50,000 or more at height during 2009 playoffs."
According to Pro Football Focus the length of the report was staggering,
"18,000 documents and 50,000 pages? That was one seriously complicated bounty system!!"
Roger Goodell commented that the main reasons that this was troubling was that the payments were not strictly performance based, but were based on injuring opposing players.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out jun the next few weeks, which at some point, should include a ruling from the commissioner himself.
On a day where many expected to find out which players were getting franchised, we instead found out that the New Orleans Saints, are indeed, bounty hunters.