Potential forfeiture of draft picks very bad news for the New Orleans Saints

New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

Spiraling out of control? Well, not yet, but the New Orleans Saints are definately entering into uncharted territory – not only in dealing with potentially losing marquee players — but now with fines, suspensions, and perhaps forfeiture of draft picks for their involvement in a “bounty” system.

Essentially between the years of 2009 – 2011, under the direction of defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, and with the knowledge of GM Mickey Loomis, defensive players with the Saints were monetarily rewarded for damaging hits on opposing players.

Payments ranged from as little as $1000, awarded the defensive player that caused an opponent to be carted off the field, to a rumored $10,000 payment from linebacker Jonathan Vilma to the man that could knock Brett Favre out of the 2009 NFC Championship game.

Looking back Favre was pummeled, even tweeting a picture of his badly bruised, swollen ankle that required surgery in the off-season.

The penalties for this “program” are likely to be severe,  and even ESPN’s Adam Schefter believes the Saints to be headed towards an unprecedented level of discipline.

A safe prediction: Saints will be disciplined far worse than the Patriots were for Spygate. — Adam Schefter

Gregg Williams, who is no longer with the Saints after joining the Rams, may face suspension and multiple fines.

Sean Payton, Mickey Loomis, and the Saints franchise will likely also be fined heavily fined, and suspensions could be brought down by the league for multiple games.

But for the Saints, a team in some flux already, the harshest penalty could be the forfeiture of draft picks in the 2012 NFL draft, and perhaps even the 2013 NFL draft.

New Orleans currently has no first round pick in this years draft after trading it away to the New England Patriots to draft running back Mark Ingram 28th overall in 2010.

That already leaves them down one pick, and now perhaps two or more depending on what commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFLPA thinks is just punishment.

The Saints aren’t re-building per say, but with a new defensive coordinator and the possibility of losing Marques Colston and Carl Nicks looming large, they could have plenty of holes on the roster that need to be filled before the start of the 2012 season.

Regardless of how it all plays out though this situation is an unprecedented violation at a time when the NFL has become much more safety conscious than ever — thus, the situation may require unprecedented punishment and the Saints could pay dearly.

Topics: 2009 NFC Championship Game, 2012 Nfl Draft, 2013 NFL Draft, Bounty Program, Brett Favre, Darren Sharper, Drew Brees, ESPN, Gregg Williams, Jonathan Vilma, Mark Ingram, Mickey Loomis, New Orleans Saints, NFL Network, NFLPA, Rams, Roger Goodell, Sean Payton, The Saints, Tom Benson

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  • PatriciaHartfield

    I think that if everyone is questioning Williams “bounty system” during his tenure with the Saints then they need to look at ALL of his past coaching tenures…Just sayin’

  • larryjames836

    I don’t think it’s fair for the NFL to say ridculious things about team we you don’t know the truth. This could be false information if you check all NFL teams most likely bet on one another. This help a team better themselves when teammates put money together making the game interesting. This is not what peoples think it is NFL Commissioners talking like the Saints are bounty hunters. Peoples are haters of the New Orleans Saints.

  • PatriciaHartfield

     @larryjames836
     I’m willing to bet you all 32 teams have participated in this but no snitch has ever came forward until now.

  • jeffcondie

    you idiot. Look back at the you tube videos of bounty hits to Kurt Warner and Brette Farve. The Saints should be stripped of the 2009 SUPER BOWL. This will be a stain to forever tarnish the legacy that was the Saints

  • larryjames836

    Patricia Hartfield its not so much of what the NFL commissioners said they found that got me it was timing. Someone is setting the Saints up for a failure I’m from Louisiana the New Orleans Saints has come a long way for the NFL & all the Saints haters. This is not going to stop them from going in the 2013 Super Bowl the old saying said you corner a dog in a corner he going to come out fighting. I believe that they loss a lot of valuable guys this in order to keep the Saints out of the Super Bowl if the fans keep commenting letting the NFL knows how we feel about the way they are treating our New Orleans Saints we are still the best NFL team in the lead.

  • PatriciaHartfield

     @larryjames836
     I agree 100%! I said the same thing that it was ironic that the year we host the Super Bowl in the Dome…this comes out. Why now? It took three years. But we know why. yes this was a set up plain and simple but this will test the Saints resilience and I do believe they will persevere. Our Offense is off the chain and our Defense is just going to get better…no bounties needed! With or witout bounties the Saints would have played hard to the Vikings and go on to win the Super Bowl!