It's probably safe to assume there won't be any more bounty programs in the NFL, at least not for a long time. Roger Goodell and the league took their latest steps in disciplining the New Orleans Saints on Wednesday, and it's not good for the players involved.
The league announced the suspensions of four players on Wednesday morning. The biggest ban came down for Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma who was suspended for the entire season. Defensive end Will Smith got four games.
Packers defensive end Anthony Hargrove, who played for the Saints in 2009 and 2010, was suspended eight games, and Browns linebacker Scott Fujita will sit out three games.
The entire scheme, of course, was masterminded by then-defensive coordinator Gregg Williams who has since moved on to join the Rams. Williams was suspended indefinitely for his actions in the Saints' bounty program.
"The investigation concluded that while a captain of the defensive unit Vilma assisted Coach Williams in establishing and funding the program," the NFL said in its release of the discipline. "Multiple independent sources also confirmed that Vilma offered a specific bounty –$10,000 in cash — to any player who knocked Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner out of the 2009 Divisional Playoff Game and later pledged the same amount to anyone who knocked Minnesota quarterback Brett Favre out of the 2009 NFC Championship Game the following week (played on January 24, 2010)."
Saints head coach Sean Payton has already been suspended for the year, while general manager Mickey Loomis was given an eight-game ban.