The Saints are SINNERS! Only a few years removed from their first Super Bowl Championship, the New Orleans Saints franchise is in hot water. After being warned by the NFL about engaging in illegal activity, the recalcitrant Saints organization continued their abhorrent behavior. According to the NFL’s official report, in 2010, the NFL warned Saints owner Tom Benson of their findings. STOP THIS NONSENSE!
According to the NFL’s clandestine investigation, when Benson directed Loomis earlier this season to ensure that any bounty program be discontinued immediately, Loomis did not follow Benson’s directions. “Similarly, when the initial allegations were discussed with Mr. Loomis in 2010,” the report continued, “he denied any knowledge of a bounty program and pledged 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.”
Subsequently, Benson supposedly gave Saints GM Mickey Loomis a direct command to disband this illegal bounty program. Apparently, at this point, Loomis did not carry out Benson’s order. If this is true, the entire Saints organization which includes Loomis, head coach Sean Payton, and former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams have to be held accountable. Being warned by the NFL to cut out this untoward behavior, then defying the League is plain stupidity. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has no choice. Throw the book at them.
But the NFL has a problem here too. Keep in mind, if Loomis carried out Benson’s order, this bounty scandal does not see the light of day. Buried under the rug by the NFL. This Saints bounty gate gives weight to the numerous lawsuits filed by former players. Former players have filed suit based on the League concealing information about concussions engendering long term neurological damage. Late last month, the Duerson family filed a wrongful death suit against the NFL.
As for the Saints, besides being so damn stupid, the Saints defensive players including former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams circumvented the salary cap. By having an organized bounty program, players received cash payments. These cash payments are illegal. And one can be sure, these “bonuses” were not reported to the IRS.
Speaking about reporting, the media in New Orleans is totally missing the point. The main radio station in New Orleans WWL 870AM had former Saint Darren Sharper on as a guest. Recall, Sharper was a player on the 2009 and 2010 Saints. Instead of being contrite, Sharper called the firestorm a vendetta. Sharper and Saints analyst Bobby Hebert are in denial. They are minimizing the behavior of the Saints organization. Both whined about someone was out to get the Saints. This is total bullbleep. For an objective analysis , LA Times’ Sam Farmer wants Saints head coach Sean Payton to suffer consequences for his lack of leadership. As many analysts in the media, Farmer expects Goodell’s punishment to be severe. Farmer believes Payton could miss up to eight games. On the other hand, I strongly believe Goodell is going to go to the extreme. Because Tom Benson does not have the clout of a Robert Kraft, (remember the Patriots and Bill Belichick were fined and lost a number one draft pick), the Saints could expect Payton and Loomis suspended for an entire year. If this happens, this would fuel speculation on Payton’s controversial purchase of a home in Dallas. Despite signing an extension through 2015, the specifics of his contract were not revealed. Peyton very well could have an opt out clause. Who knows? He could be the Dallas Cowboys coach in 2013.
In the meantime, the NFL will put down the Saints with suspensions and fines. Then, most likely, prop them up with playing the Giants on opening night on September 5. The Super Bowl Champion New York Giants will play the Steve Spagnuolo lead Saints. Go figure. Stay tuned.