News came down a little while ago of the punishment handed out to the New Orleans Saints in the bounty program that was operated under defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who is now with the Rams.

  • Saints Head Coach Sean Payton is suspended for the entire 2012 season without pay.
  • Saints GM Mickey Loomis is suspends for eight games.
  • Saints Assistant Head Coach Joe Vitt is suspended for six games without pay.
  • Gregg Williams is suspended indefinitely, with Roger Goodell re-assessing the situation after the 2012 season.
  • The Saints give up their second round picks this season and next season.
  • The Saints franchise is fined $500,000.

There will also apparently be player discipline coming down at a later time.

This makes the Patriots 2007 punishment look like a slap on the wrist.

(Of course, for some, this will go the other way, and some will claim the Patriots got off too lightly and will call for a retroactive suspension of Bill Belichick.)

Edit…and we have a winner:

[blackbirdpie id=”182553603158970369″]

[blackbirdpie id=”182555696099893248″]


30 thoughts on “Maybe The Media Can Now Move On From SpyGate

  1. I’m not happy that Goodell didn’t dock New Orleans a first rounder. I suspect that had they not traded away their 2012 #1 to the Pats he probably would have docked them for that one, but still, why not take away their 2013 first rounder instead of two #2s?

    Without Payton around that team will not be better than .500 next season (they didn’t play as well last year when he coached a few games from the press box due to his broken leg). Their #1 pick in 2013 could be a lot higher than their #1 pick this year…and imagine where they’ll end up if this decision causes Brees to not sign his franchise tender and he sits out all of 2012 (not likely overall but more likely today than it was yesterday).

    Goodell, when he overpunished the Patriots for a misdemeanor rules violation, made the draft pick penalty contingent upon whether or not the Pats made the playoffs. Had they missed the playoffs, then their #2 and #3 picks in 2008 would have been taken, not their #1.

    Why not at least do that in this case?

    I understand that the penalties against the coaching staff and the organization are harsh, but the lighter draft pick sentence still could leave people with the impression that the overblown nothing that was Spygate was more “serious” in nature.

    Two second rounders seems like a light sentence to me, especially given that the Pats were docked a first rounder for a much, much, much, much lesser offense.


  2. “The Big Show” can’t understand why the penalties are that severe. As if anyone needed more evidence as to EEI’s ratings decline…


  3. I am ridiculously happy about Tebow going to the Jets. How big of d*ckhead does Antonio Cromartie look like right now? Great stuff as always from a man who cannot name all of his children.

    A best case scenario would be Sanchez sputters out of the gate due to Tebow talk. Tebow replaces Sanchez in week 5 and wins 2 games before hurtling back down to earth again. A desperate to save his job Sexy Rexy inserts Sanchez back into the starting lineup and the Jets fail to make the playoffs again falling to 3rd in the division behind the Pats and Buffalo. Mike Tannenbaum, tired of all of Rex’s false bravado, gives in to the NY media’s demands and fires Ryan.

    In a moment of self-deprecation ol’ Rexy actually drives to Foxboro and kissed BB’s rings.


  4. (Of course, for some, this will go the other way, and some will claim the Patriots got off too lightly and will call for a retroactive suspension of Bill Belichick.)

    We should take bets on who’ll write that article first. Borges or Caine?


    1. Easterbrook….he will NEVER let go of Spygate and, as we saw last season, he’s not above lying/rearranging his “facts” to keep his anti-BB mantra alive.


  5. Little Bertie Breer is on the case. People “minimizing” Spygate as taping hand signals. I’m pretty sure Bert doesn’t really know what the rules were or what the Patriots did wrong.


    1. It should have been “minimized” from the get-go, but especially now in light of the fact that SEVERAL of BB’s coaching contemporaries, including Bill Cowher, have publicly admitted to doing the same exact thing the Pats were doing, prior to Goodell going memo-happy in 2006.

      BB’s sin was ignoring the memo, period, and that’s why he was overpunished for committing what amounted to a misdemeanor: the pigskin equivalent of jaywalking.


    1. Seriously.

      I’d take the NFL Network’s coverage over ESPN’s any day of the week and thrice on Sunday. That said, whenever Breer and the ultimate Patriots hater, Marshall Faulk, are on the screen, I either change the channel or hit the mute button.

      I can’t believe a hack like Breer was able to get a gig like that.


      1. With Rap going and covering Breer’s former territory (Texas and that area where Breer was the regional guy), he’s moving on up there at NFLN.


  6. A few thoughts on “the punishment”.

    1) With regards to the picks the Saint’s lost…I don’t think it is going to matter much once we see how many games are also lost to player suspensions.

    2) Drew Brees tweeting he wants an explanation from the league about the suspension to Sean Peyton….priceless. Clearly Brees does not understood what happened in New Orleans. 3 years ago the commissioner went to the Saints and said “Stop it”. The owner told the GM directly “stop it”. The head coach did nothing while the defensive coordinator allowed a known felon to financially contribute to the pot to increase the bounty on GB QB Aaron Rogers.

    3) I still maintain that the Pats were punished for not stopping even though BB’s reading of the rules was a reasonable interpretation. The Saints on the other hand were punished for not only ignoring a rule but actively trying to injure other players. Not only that it was institutionalized

    4) I think the suspension of Peyton was correct. 1 year for the guy who not only ignored what his DC was doing, actively ignored the orders of the owner, knew that a “shady” character was part of the scandal and did nothing to stop his players from deliberately trying to injure other players in the league. COmpare that to what BB did…he allowed the video taping of hand signals from a spot 10 feet away of where he could have done it legally.

    5) Bert Breer is by far and away the most despicable NFL writer. He clearly has a major axe to grind with the Pats that overtly colors all of his reporting. He has no credibility.

    Bonus thought
    6) Only the Jets could screw up a Tebow trade. SOJ.


    1. Brees’ quote: “I need to hear an explanation for this punishment.” Uh, dude…turn on the tv.

      Also, Payton’s punishment was severe because he lied to Goodell’s face about the issue and Goodell had to throw the incriminating emails in his pockmarked face.

      I take alot of glee in this punishment because I believe N.O. has been hiding behind the goodwill of Hurricane Katrina recovery. They’ve blatanly chased individual records and run up the score on more opponents than the Pats ever did…yet nobody said anything because they were “sainted” by the Katrina recovery and super bowl. This punishment might cripple them for a long time.


  7. No suspensions for Spygate. Not one. And the Pats had previously been warned.
    Listen, the bounty system is way worse. Not even close. But not one suspension for openly flaunting the rules AFTER you’d been warned?? That’s all people are saying. Payton should be suspended (I think a year is too much, but that’s not my call), and so should have BB.
    Be reasonable. Consistency is all that’s being asked for. The Pats were never punished enough, just admit it.


    1. The reason BB was not suspended is that the rule being broken was seriously nebulous. Had the NFL tried to suspend BB, Bob Kraft would have made a huge stink about the whole controversy and it might have ended with Goddell looking for a new job. I am pretty convinced they struck a deal so that Goddell could look tough and all it cost the pats was money and a draft pick. There never should have been a suspension because a very good argument can be made that the Pats did not violate the rules…they only violated a dictate by a power hungry ex Jets official.

      What NO did was 100 times worse than that the Pats did. Peyton is lucky he is only getting a year. He allowed his underlings to actively try and hurt opposing players, legally or illegally, for off the books money. Loomis should be fired. He was in a position of power and he knew. he was then directed by the owner to end it and he didn’t. How he still has a job is a mystery to me because he was one of the people in a position of power who lied about it directly for 3 years.

      I think there was plenty of consistency. I still don’t believe a lot of fans understand how minor Spygate really was.


      1. “I still don’t believe a lot of fans understand how minor Spygate really was.”—Thank our lovely local and national sports media for that my friend. They were, and continue to be completely irresponsible in their coverage of that story. For God’s sake, just last week John Clayton implied in an article about the Saints’ situation that filming signals “helped the Patriots win close games.” He offered absolutely no factual evidence to back his claim, of course.


    2. Consistency, anon? The situations with the Saints and Patriots are very different and you admit that what the Saints did was “way worse.” If you use the Patriots punishment as a baseline and then consider that the Saint’s transgressions were much worse, then the punishment is consistent.

      As for NE receiving a warning, I know about the league-wide memo, but I never heard that the league directly contacted the Patriots, told them to stop, received a response from NE that they would stop, and then the Patriots went back to what they were doing.

      That’s what the Saints did, which was not a smart decision, especially considering that they could look at the penalties the Patriots received 5 years ago and know that the commissioner was not fooling around.

      I think people have heard that the camera placement controversy was the worst thing in the history of sports for so long that they can’t accept that something else could be worse.


  8. This morning, the “D” in D&C was Dale again, which seems to do the same to Jerry as removing Felger does to Mazz.

    Right before the 9AM hard break, they sign off NESN, so Dale/Jerry were talking about who would be in because the Bruins are in SJ, starting at 10PM, so it’d be pretty hard for Dale to make the show tomorrow morning. Jerry and Dale announce that Tom Carron and JackieMac will be doing the show tomorrow, which Dale makes the remark, “Wow, you guys have been really upgrading the quality of this show lately.”

    Jackie does have a lot of fans and is widely respected but was that a nice shot at WEEI for their decision to remove Dale and/or keep someone like John Dennis on?


    1. Is this the third or second consecutive week that Dennis has been out? Feels like the third, a bit odd for a radio personality to be off the air that long (especially when it’s not during the summer), unless he’s out for medical-related reasons.

      Is there any possibility when D&C’s contracts are up this fall that EEI keeps Callahan and drops Dennis, or do they have to be signed as a pair? I wouldn’t mind making Dale/Gerry a permanent pairing, but would Dale be willing to take on that schedule now that he’s working 80-odd nights a year at NESN?


      1. Dennis has posted on Twitter that he had two weeks of “use it or lose it” vacation time, and chose to use it.


    1. When trying to find trends, year of year is a better indicator than month to month. Both WEEI and 98.5 slipped after being up the month before.

      Also, check Heslam in the Herald for more info along with Finn.


  9. I didn’t see or hear it this morning, but I’m pretty sure Dale meant that as a compliment. He has long championed Jackie Mac as one of the best Boston sports writers. He and Michael used to have her in for an hour each week.


    1. I saw this as the “What Dale tells management when they called him around 10:05–or, five minutes after his shift was done–today” meaning so he keeps his job. Not the “What I might tell my friends after a few drinks” type remark.


  10. The whole damn thing is overblown. Speaking as someone who knows a thing or two about kicking ass, the idea that pro football players needed a few extra G’s to play hard and try to hurt the opposing QB is about as stupid as thinking that Dan Shaughnessy knows anything about sports. The NFL sells football TV contracts, then pays the teams, which in turn pay the players to go out once a week and crush the other guys. And now the ass-clowns in New York want to say that one team took it too far? STOOOOPPPIIDDD!!


  11. Listening to TSH 2-6 today heard Bertrand not do himself any favors. He was trying to compare the Spy/Bounty situations and it seemed like he was trying to take a Felger-esque approach. He made the statement that Boutygate may be overblown to the point because he doesn’t feel it gave the team a competitive advantage, unlike videotaping signals. Here’s some specific facts that prove a competitive advantage could be gained by what they did:

    Washington Redskins (under Gregg Williams) footage shows a questionable hit on Peyton Manning some years back. Its speculated that hit triggered his neck problems which resulted in him missing an entire season. If they are able to prove that player was paid a bounty for taking out Manning that day resulting in Manning missing a season, isn’t that the meaning of competitive advantage? You have successfully removed the 2-3rd best QB in the league for a season, forcing Indy to ride Collins and the Painter.
    This can obviously be observed any time a Gregg Williams team took the field. Did a player get removed/suffer repercussion from a questionable/unnecessary/illegal hit?

    What is we learn that Bernard Pollard was paid a bounty by KC if he could take Brady out of the game? Competetive advantage? I think SO!!!!


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