3 Takes: “NFL Too Tough on Saints’ Sins?”

Extreme punishment for the Saints?

As described, the punishment for ‘Bounty-gate,’ includes the “suspensions of [Coach Sean] Payton without pay for the 2012 season; Loomis for eight regular-season games; Vitt for six games; and Williams, now the St. Louis Rams defensive coordinator, indefinitely. Goodell also stripped the Saints of their second-round draft picks in 2012 and ’13 and docked the club $500,000.”

We pose the Question: Is the NFL’s punishment too harsh? Our “BGR’ columnists give their take:

Matt Jergensen:

“There’s been criticism over the years lobbed at the NFL due to it’s lack of action on concussions and most of it is deserved. However this action at least shows that they are somewhat serious about player safety. The decision though speaks more to the investigation process and not the act. Sean Payton didn’t just lie about some unwritten code, he lied about an agreement he signed and was expected to live by as a condition of his employment. That carries harsh reprecussions. He’s lucky he’s not out longer if not indefinitely”

 

Jonathan Scruggs: 

“There is no question that the Saints deserved to be punished for these infractions, however I do feel the punishment for Sean Payton was excessive. I think this is a bit of grandstanding on the part of the Commissioner and I think he would be better served to take his ego out of things. Then again it’s quite possible the suspensions were excessive in order for Goodell to reduce the sentence on appeal and still come off looking like the disciplinarian he likes to tell people he is.”

 

Gene Winner:

“First suffering a broken leg during last season and now Coach Payton won’t see the field in 2012? Man, tough break…no pun intended.  This has enormous ripples throughout the Saints organization; day-to-day operations, week to week game planning to on the field-coaching. Is it too harsh? A bit. The problem with the NFL is that is is inconsistent with punishments. For example, the illegal video tapping by Coach Belichick resulted in a fine but no suspension. You can argue that the “bounty” was more serious than cheating, but both hurt the integrity of the game equally.  Of course it is always the ‘cover up’ that gets dealt with the harshest, and that is what has been surfacing in this case.  The NFL is still one of the greatest sports, yet it has its’ flaws, one of them is how they divvy out punishments.”

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