21

March

Saints had Bounty on Packers QB Aaron Rodgers

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers throws a pass against the New Orleans Saints in last season's opening game.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell came down hard on the New Orleans Saints for paying bounties on opposing players. The punishment:

  • Indefinite suspension of former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams
  • One-year suspension of coach Sean Payton
  • Eight-game suspension of general manager Mickey Loomis
  • Six-game suspension of assistant-head coach Joe Vitt
  • A $500,000 franchise fine
  • Forfeiture of second-round draft picks in 2012 and 2013
  • Future discipline of individual players to be determined

The NFL also confirmed that the Saints had a bounty on Vikings QB Brett Favre in the NFC championship game and on Packers QB Aaron Rodgers in the 2011 season opener.

Here’s more on the Rodgers’ bounty:

“Further, prior to the Saints’ opening game in 2011, Coach Payton received an email from a close associate that stated in part, “PS Greg Williams put me down for $5000 on Rogers (sic).” When shown the email during the course of the investigation, Coach Payton stated that it referred to a “bounty” on Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers.”

Thanks to the Saints being docked a second-round pick, the Packers will move up one spot in the second round of this year’s draft, jumping from 60th overall to pick No. 59.

My only concern with the punishment is letting the Saints keep next year’s first-round pick. What if the absence of Payton and a few key injuries cause the Saints to have a season like the Colts just had and they end up with the No. 1 overall pick in 2013? I would’ve docked the Saint’s third- or fourth-round pick this year and taken away their first-rounder next year.

Also, if any Vikings fans whine too loudly about the beating Favre took in the NFC championship game, remind them that a bounty didn’t prevent Rodgers and the Packers from beating New Orleans last season.

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Adam Czech is a freelance reporter and a Packers fan living in the Twin Cities. Follow Adam on Twitter. Read more of Adam's writing on the Packers here.

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18 Responses to “Saints had Bounty on Packers QB Aaron Rodgers”

  1. Mojo says:

    So if you’re a quarterback who’s just won a game and the opposing coach comes over to shake your hand and tells you “good game”, what he’s really thinking is “too f’ing bad we didn’t break his leg”. I’m not naive about competitive sports, but I always hoped for some legitimate sportsmanship. It would be akin to someone wishing the opponents team plane would crash so you could get a forfeit victory. Is that how you want to win games?

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    • Adam Czech says:

      To me it’s about stupidity almost as much as injury risk or sportsmanship. It’s 2012. The NFL take injuries seriously. We live in a very politically correct society.

      How any GM/coach/player thought they could get away with an organized bounty system is beyond baffling.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

      • CSS says:

        Not only that, but if you succeed in knocking out a skill-player (especially a high profile, marketable skill player) that sells tickets, jerseys and drives viewership ratings aren’t you risking overall future NFL revenues?

        Let’s say the hit on Adrian Peterson was intentional and his career is now ended. How is that good for the league and acceleration of league growth?

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  2. Ron LC says:

    So 1 individual ponied up $5k for Rodgers? I guess it wasn’t just a litte fine money. It would be interesting to find out just what the contributors got in exchange.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    • Jim says:

      The guy who contributed the 5k was Mike Ornstein. A convicted felon. He held some NFL exec office but was found trying to extort something like 250k from the NFL. He has also been arrested on a few other random charges, it was unclear if he was in jail or not when he sent Payton the email about Rodgers. He is also the guy responsible for Reggie Bush getting his Heisman taken away…
      But for some reason the NFL hasn’t really mentioned this guy. A known felon that held NO POSITION with Saints named players he wanted taken out and paid for it. WTF

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  3. gman says:

    Interesting to know if Brees really knew about the bounties. I have a hard time believing, with all of the evidence against so many in the organization, that he actually knew nothing. I say b.s. Breez, what does everyone else think?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    • Zack says:

      He probably knew but what was he going to do? Rat on his team? then he would be outcast… it would be a worse move for him then if he had said nothing and gets suspended. Brees would be the one I put the least blame on… unless he was offering up or contributing to the reward.

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    • Jersey Al Jersey Al says:

      Of course he knew.

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  4. [...] Not too surprised at this news, Saints had Bounty on Packers QB Aaron Rodgers. [...]

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  5. Steve Cheez says:

    Probably someone on here knows more about this than I do, but is there the possibility of criminal charges against the people involved? How about tax fraud (I’m sure they didn’t report any of this as income).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  6. Zack says:

    not enough money involved for serious federal tax evasion/ fraud charges Steve.

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  7. Zack says:

    Interesting thought on this subject, Sapp kind of called out Shockey as being the whistle blower as though it were a bad thing… basically calling him a rat. Now shockey of course denied it but it kind of begs the question, why would it be bad that someone called their team in this case? Would you guys have looked down on him if it was Shockey? I respect whoever did call them out especially if it was a current player on that team. They stood up for what they thought was right and I don’t think anyone should have bad feelings toward whoever did it.

    Another thought, I feel like this is an old school custom. Someone in their organization is too old school for 2011. This bounty system has probably existed in some form or another since pro football has existed. If you look accross our society there is a phenomena that is occurring completely cleansing our society of anything politically incorrect or morally questionable but realize that many of the pro football icons that we revere so heavily probably participated in this same type of thing in past decades. I’m not making an excuse for the Saints… Everyone involved got what they deserve. I’m just illustrating that it’s funny how things are changing. For better or worse I guess we’d better all get comfortable with it. I feel like maybe the NFL is going overboard in some cases. this particular instance is one of the good ramifications of the new happy go lucky be nice to each other philosophy of the current generation but in some cases it seems to be taking a lot of the fun out of the game… particularly with defenses getting flagged for so much as sneezing on a QB. I don’t know, what do you guys think?

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    • Thomas Hobbes Thomas Hobbes says:

      It’s mostly an issue of reputation, especially if you are right that a lot of teams have had bounty systems in the past (the Packers included), then no one would want to bring a player who was a known whistleblower. My feeling is Sapp is just making a fuss and has no proof, but neither does Shockey, so at the moment its just some inane cat fight going on. I also feel it was better to go overboard in this case, it’s far better than the league going soft on them and becoming more hypocritical than it already is. But really, I figured as much, the PR and legal nightmare that this brings forced the league to castrate the Saints; nothing against the Saints in particular, just the ones who got caught first.

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      • Zack says:

        I completely agree with the league being harsh in this particular case. Couldn’t agree more. Like I said they got what they deserved.

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  8. Dan says:

    Saints fans can’t be feeling to good right about now. Wow, what a disaster for this franchise , they also got caught illegally working the cap during the lockout and were not awarded any of the penalty money the from Dallas and Washington fines.

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  9. Dan says:

    Is the mob connected to these losers?

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  10. Frank Meert says:

    I really hope that Drew didn’t know.It would take away from the Bart Starr/Aaron Rodgers Cristian man thing that he has going on, and that I believed in. That would be a pity.Aaron admires him , and so do I.

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