I’ve long had a sneaking suspicion that Greg Williams sabotaged the NFC divisional game by, say, not giving it his all, knowing he was headed out the door. Now I learn this maniac was funding a bounty system and was stupid enough to make the payoff conditional on knockouts and cart offs. On the one hand, this is gross – the game is violent, but it’s about tackling and not injuring. On the other hand, I’ve watched myriad defensive players come out over the past few weeks and explain that they had similar systems with a couple of key differences: coaching staff didn’t fund it – it was all players – and it was a pay for performance scheme, not a pay-for-injury scheme. And then it begins to leak out that Williams did this with the Redskins as well.
Among the many penalties set to be imposed sometime next week, supposedly, are (1) loss of draft picks, (2) player and coach suspensions, (3) fines, (4) stuff that pales in comparison to #1 and #2 from a team pain standpoint. Our owner, Tom Benson, ordered that the practice stop, but apparently neither Peyton nor Loomis (GM) took “enough” action to stop it. In other words, they didn’t patrol Williams’ defensive breakouts to ensure that there were not pools in that part of the locker room.
Folks have mentioned in passing that Williams was the [no]brain[er] behind this, and he’s confessed. Yet no one’s talking about what’s to be done to him, only how this could ruin the Saints’ chances at a hometown superbowl. I’m hoping the punishment is taking so long to craft because the NFL has to think about how it can be made remotely proportional to the responsibility that sits squarely on Williams’ shoulders.
In the meantime, our darling QB is in danger of not being a training camp because of a contract dispute neither I nor anyone else in New Orleans could have fathomed. Our all-pro guard followed the cash, but at least we’ve replaced him with a cheaper guard whose smaller but is of arguably comparable talent. And Mr. Colston loves us so much that he took a lower salary to stay, god bless him, even as Megatron was signing for 8 years at $123 million in Detroit. Whatever the bounty program penalty, we really don’t have the cap space to buy veterans if they take our draft picks. We can but hope that Brees comes back to the table and galvanizes the team for another year.
In the meantime, Mr. Williams, you might wanna watch your back. New Orleans’ team name was always a bit ironic, as we have been a city a swashbuckling gangsters and conmen from our inception. And dem be pissed.