There’s good news and bad news for the New Orleans Saints today. The NFL’s hand-picked arbitrator has decided that the four current and former Saints players to be suspended over the bounty system orchestrated by former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams should A) not be suspended and B) not be fined, either. That’s good news for Jonathan Vilma, Will Smith, Scott Fujita, and Anthony Hargrove. However, with that good news comes some bad. The Saints coaches and front office staff responsible for Bountygate will not be absolved. In fact, Paul Tagliabue’s findings on Bountygate make the coaches look worse.
”My affirmation of Commissioner Goodell’s findings could certainly justify the issuance of fines,” read Tagliabue’s findings. ”However, this entire case has been contaminated by the coaches and others in the Saints’ organization.”
So, Sean Payton won’t be getting a reprieve. Neither will GM Mickey Loomis, who has other scandals to handle too. That said, it’s also not completely a supportive decision for Roger Goodell, either. Technically, he was right, but he was also wrong to punish the players as severely as he did (at least that’s what will be implied by Tagliabue’s ruling).
Tags: bountygate, new orleans saints, bountygate players absolved, saints, paul tagliabue, nfl, football, professional football, national football league, suspensions overturned for bountygate players, Jonathan Vilma, Will Smith, Scott Fujita, Anthony Hargrove, sean payton, mickey loomis, gregg williams, roger goodell