Sean Payton's ban was only the beginning of the punishment.  I expected severe penalties for The New Orleans Saints for paying bounties to hurt players, but this is even more severe than I imagined.  That said, I think they fully deserve it all, especially since they first tried to cover it up before admitting what was going on.  What do you think of the punishment?


New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton was suspended without pay for the 2012 season by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, and former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was banned indefinitely on Wednesday because the team's players were paid bounties for big hits on opponents from 2009-11.

The NFL said it is the first time the league has suspended a head coach. The explanation for Payton's ban indicates he tried to cover up what the Saints were doing.

According to the NFL, Payton ignored instructions from the league and Saints ownership to make sure bounties weren't being paid. The league also chastised him Wednesday for choosing to "falsely deny that the program existed," and for attempting to "encourage the false denials by instructing assistants to `make sure our ducks are in a row."

Handing down sweeping and serious punishment for a system that paid out thousands of dollars for knocking specific players out of games, Goodell also banned Saints general manager Mickey Loomis for the first eight regular-season games next season, and assistant coach Joe Vitt for the first six games.

In addition, Goodell fined the Saints $500,000 and took away their second-round draft picks this year and next.

Goodell called what the Saints did "particularly unusual and egregious" and "totally unacceptable."

via Sean Payton of New Orleans Saints banned one year for bounties - ESPN.