An Unjustified Suspension
Saints' head coach Sean Payton is not a happy camper after learning about his suspension for the 2012 NFL season without pay. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell made the unprecedented announcement earlier today.
The timing is horrible for the team as they are coming off a 2011 campaign where they compiled a 13-3 record, and Drew Brees broke the single season mark for most passing yards with 5,476 yards. Combine this with the fact that the Saints almost defeated the Niners to advance to the NFC championship game, and the news is pretty harsh for one of the elite teams in the NFL.
On top of Sean Payton's suspension, the NFL also suspended former Saints defensive coordinator Greg Williams indefinetly, GM Mickey Loomis has been suspended for 8 games, and assistant coach Joe Vitt was suspended for 6 games.
The league has recently implemented heavy fines and has been carrying out more suspensions in an effort to protect its players. The Sean Payton suspension is taking it to a new level though. It is understandable that the bounty program that he and former defensive coodinator Greg Williams implemented in New Orleans from 2009-2011 was a discraceful and unethical way to manage an NFL team.
However, the punishment does not suite the crime in this case. I understand that the head coach is the one who is responsible for the decisions that are made for every NFL franchise. Payton clearly made a pretty poor decision by allowing the bounty system to occur on his team. The league should have fined him, suspended him for 5 or 6 games, and taken a couple of draft picks away.
The NFL is making an example of Sean Payton and the New Orleans Saints. The whole bounty system has been around for quite some time now, and people just want to bury their heads in the sand and pretend like it never occured. Who knows how many other high profile coaches have been invloved in such distastful behavior. The Saints just got caught.
Let us not forget that this is football, it is an extreamly violent sport that takes its toll on its participants. Sometimes it can be a dirty game, and ethics isn't always the first priority of the 32 teams that make up the NFL. Winning is real important, and some teams even get a kick out of making a game out of hurting other players intentionally. Unfortunatly for Sean Payton and the Saints, getting caught will cost them quite a bit, perhaps even a prosporous future.