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Saints “bounty-gate” allegations and punishments

The New Orleans Saints bounty scandal was an incident in which several defensive players and coaches from the Saints were alleged to have operated a slush fund that paid out bonuses for in-game performance in violation of NFL rules.

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It’s been more than a year since NFL commissioner Roger Goodell suspended defensive coordinator Gregg Williams for his role in the Saints bounty scandal. Now, Williams is facing a lawsuit in the matter.

Former Giants linebacker Barrett Green is suing Williams and the Washington Redskins saying a knee injury during a 2004 game between the Giants and Redskins ended his career. Williams was the assistant coach with the Redskins at the time and Garrett alleges that his injury was a result of a Redskins bounty program.

This could mean the Saints could face a lawsuit … maybe from Brett Favre or some other player who got hurt when Williams was here.

gregg williamsThe Tennessee Titans announced on their website Thursday that former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has been re-instated by the NFL and will be one of the team’s senior assistant coaches.

The NFL announced in a statement, “Commissioner Roger Goodell today notified Gregg Williams and the Tennessee Titans that Williams’ contract with the Titans has been approved and that he has been reinstated.”

“The commissioner cited several reasons for the reinstatement, including Williams’ forthcoming acknowledgment of and acceptance of responsibility for his role in the bounty program at the Saints, his commitment to never again be involved in a pay-for-performance or bounty system, and his pledge to teach safe play and respect for the rules at all levels of the game,” the statement goes on to say. “The commissioner emphasized that Williams must fully conform to league rules and will be subject to periodic monitoring to confirm his compliance.”

Williams was the last person involved in the Saints’ bounty scandal to have his punishment lifted by the NFL. He had been suspended indefinitely in March 2012.

CaptureSheriff’s deputies in Calaveras County, California say 54-year-old Phillip Marshall shot himself after killing his two children and their dog.

A neighbor found the bodies of Marshall, his 17-year-old son Alex, and 14-year-old daughter Macaila on Saturday when she checked on the family after not hearing from them for several days, according to the Stockton Record newspaper.

Marshall, who lived in California but went to Mandeville High School, became known in New Orleans for flying a plane over the city while towing a “Free Payton” banner during the 2012 NFL football season.


Saints fan Joshua Orange had a creative way of encouraging people on Saturday night’s Uptown parades to throw him some beads.

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captureDuring a web chat Monday on the site Reddit, a participant asked NFL commissioner Roger Goodell if the Saints will be allowed to make their 2nd-round draft pick that was forfeited last year because of the team’s punishment for the bounty scandal.

Goodell responded, “No, the penalty will continue to include the 2nd round draft choice in 2013.”

It is the first time the commissioner has spoken publicly on the draft pick since the penalty was imposed.

Sean Payton handled himself perfectly in front of reporters Wednesday in mobile.

Payton used the word “appreciative” over and over as he spoke of various topics, including what he said was a four and half hour meeting Monday with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

Payton struck the right tone: conciliatory toward Goodell, urging New Orleans to treat the NFL commissioner well.

And, speaking glowingly of New Orleans, saying he never considered coaching another team.

Payton also sent a message to his coaches and staff: last year’s 7-9 record is unacceptable.

For Payton, it was a great start to his return.

News with a Twist

Sean Payton is back

The number one leader of this New Orleans Saints team is back.   Sorry Drew Brees, but the heart and soul of this football team is Sean Payton.

Brees may be that once in a lifetime player, but Payton is the glue that hold this team together.   Just look at this past season.

No Sean Payton, no playoffs for the first time since 2008.   As a matter of fact, the 41 games Payton and his Saints won before his suspension was the most by any coach in the NFL over that 3 year period.  He was the most successful coach right up to the bounty gate penalties. That success obviously includes a Super Bowl victory following the 2009 season.

Payton is a hyper-competitor who happens to have one of the most cutting edge offenses in the history of the league, run by one of its greatest players.  He is a talent evaluator extraordinaire who not only knows good talent when he sees it, but more importantly, knows how that talent might or might not fit with this ball club.

He is one of the best game-day coaches in the league.  And now he’s back.   Effective immediately.  Watch out NFL.   Sean Payton is back.  And I’m sure he’s got something to prove.

For the first time since being suspended for his alleged participation in the Saints “bounty-gate” scandal, head coach Sean Payton spoke to reporters from Mobile, AL, before the Senior Bowl game.

(Raw video – 1/23/13)

At the Parkview Tavern in Mid-City, Saints fans were glad to hear Tuesday that Sean Payton was cleared by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to return to the team.

“I think it’s wonderful,” one woman said while sipping what might have been a celebratory beer.

Originally Payton’s return wasn’t to come until after the Super Bowl.  Tuesday’s decision moved-up the schedule by almost two weeks.

Other fans at Parkview were similarly glad to hear Payton would return early, but the two weeks difference really didn’t make too much of an impression on them.  Keep in mind, Parkview Tavern keeps a photo of Goodell stuck to a dartboard.

“Our season is over,” one fan said.

Payton released a written statement on his return to the team.  “I am thankful today Commissioner Goodell has granted me reinstatement,” it reads in part.

Team owner Tom Benson responded similarly with, “We are all thankful that Sean Payton has been reinstated.”

But some Saints fans wonder if Goodell’s decision is more about himself than Payton.  Goodell after all is coming to New Orleans for the Super Bowl.  Nobody would be surprised if Saints fans who might cross his path express their disappointment over the bounty investigation.  So perhaps the commissioner thought fans would be nicer if Payton was free to rejoin the team.

At the Creole Creamery, Goodell is sure to get a cold shoulder.  The business has two locations.  Both have photos of Goodell on the wall with various marks made to add unflattering features.  Below the photo, a message reads, “Do not serve this man.”

Serving up the ice cream, one Saints fan commented on any notion that Goodell is trying to make nice with fans before his visit.

“Oh, they’re going to see right through it.  I don’t think that’s an issue at all,” he said.