NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has no doubt New Orleans Saints players "embraced" bounties - NFL News
The National Football League (NFL) continues to evaluate player involvement in the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal as it prepares to announce what could be some severe punishments on players involved in taking money for illegal hits on opponents.
Commissioner, Roger Goodell speaking to Rich Eisen of the NFL Network maintained that he had no doubt that the Saints defensive line players were completely involved in the bounty scandal.
"They enthusiastically embraced it. They put the vast majority of the money into the program and they actually are the ones playing the game. They are on the field so I don't think they are absolved from any responsibility because of that."
The Saints players are alleged to have taken money from a bounty pool that reached to a maximum of $50,000 and also contributed with their own personal money in the pool.
The bounty program was alleged to have run for three years under the aegis of then defensive coordinator, Gregg Williams.
The NFL has already fined the Saints $500,000 and took away its second round draft picks for two years for running the programme while also suspending head coach, Sean Payton, general manager, Mickey Loomis and assistant coach, Joe Vitt for a year, eight
and six games respectively.
Goodell in his interview also said that a decision over the player punishments will be reached soon.
"We have held the executives and the coaches to a higher standard, but the players need to recognize, they need to make sure that this is not happening either, and that was the whole point that I made with the Players Association."
Things will only get worse for the Saints in the coming days.
On Monday it was revealed that general manager, Mickey Loomis had used a listening device to record play calls of the opposition at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
This is likely going to be an offseason to forget for the Saints as they move from one controversy to the other and the franchise may face further fines and suspensions after the latest revelations.
Assistant coach, Joe Vitt will take over the role of head coach for the upcoming season as Payton is not allowed any contact with the franchise but will miss the first six games.