New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton and team owner Tom Benson met with the NFL to discuss the league’s investigation into the team’s “bounty” program that it used during the 2009, 2010, and 2011 NFL seasons.
ESPN reports that Roger Goodell agreed to the meeting and met with the Saints over the weekend in New York.
Payton and General Manager Mickey Loomis have already apologized for the program and said that they were responsible since it “happened under our watch.” Payton and Loomis also said that Benson had nothing to do with the program.
The NFL has been investigating the Saints bounty program and found that former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams encouraged his players to injure their opponents. Williams offered big bonuses if his players could put opposing players on the sidelines. Williams has admitted his involvement in the program.
According to NFL, Payton, Benson, and Loomis were not directly involved with the program. When they found out what was going on, however, they didn’t do anything to stop it.
Goodell and the NFL are expected to hand down some severe punishments to the Saints. NOLA.com reports that the league could take away some of their draft picks, as they did to the Patriots in 2007 after “Spygate.” Goodell is reportedly looking at “Spygate” as the floor, not the ceiling, for punishments against the Saints. Goodell is also expected to hand down suspensions and heavy fines.
The exact details of the meeting in New York aren’t known at this time but Benson reportedly organized the meeting to show that the Saints are being as cooperative as possible with the NFL’s investigation.
How do you think the New Orleans Saints should be punished?