Bye Bye Brees

By Cooper Allen
March 02, 2012 5:46 pm
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It is official – after two years of investigation the NFL announced today that the New Orleans Saints' defensive players had a “pay for performance” program with former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who offered them “bounty payments” between 2009 and 2011.


It is said that the players received $1,000 for carting a player off of the field and $1,500 to knock a player out. These payments doubled, tripled and more during the postseason.

There were also payments for fumble recoveries and interceptions, violating league rules against bonuses unrelated to a player’s contract.

All of this began after the likes of Kurt Warner and Brett Favre were knocked out of consecutive playoff games, which led to the Saints' Super Bowl win in 2009.

During the investigation it was found that players may have received up to $50,000 in bonuses and that this was not just something that went on between Williams and the players. Coach Sean Payton, GM Mickey Loomis and owner Tom Benson all were aware of this, but Loomis was the only one who tried to prevent.

Top Victims

Retired quarterbacks Kurt Warner and Brett Favre and injured Vikings running back Adrian Peterson.

What This Means

The Saints will be the center of attention for the majority of the offseason.

Players like Drew Brees, Marques Colston and Carl Nicks will likely choose to leave.

Very few – if any, players will be added during the course of the offseason.

What Should Happen

Ex-Saints' defensive coordinator and current St. Louis Rams' defensive coordinator Gregg Williams should not be allowed to coach in the NFL again.

Coach Payton, Loomis, Benson and the organization as a whole should all be fined a MINIMUM of six figures.

New Orleans should have to forfeit their first and second round picks in both 2012 and 2013.

Any players that received money for hits or defensive play should be suspended.


The NFL is a violent game where the objective is to hit the guy to the ground, I understand that – but putting aside football ethics and morals – this is a criminal offense and there should be major consequences. There is no argument for the Saints, this IS wrong and I have lost any and all respect I had for that organization prior to this incident.  

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Previous Comments (17)

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2 years ago
Agreed with the loss of respect. Also, I think the Saints are likely to be stripped of their franchise tag at least, to prevent them from tying down a player that wants to seperate himself from this cough Drew Brees cough.
2 years ago

Ah, yes. That would make sense.
2 years ago
I'd be SHOCKED (all caps to emphasize how shocked I'd be) if Brees doesn't stick with Saints. Despite all of this, he loves New Orleans and this didn't have anything to do with the Saints' offense. That being said, I agree with you that the Saints need to be severely penalized and that Williams shouldn't be allowed to coach in the NFL ever again.
2 years ago

It will be interesting to see how it plays out. Apparently both sides are far apart in contract negotiations.
2 years ago

I'm with Jeff on this one. My jaw will literally drop if he leaves the big easy. I too agree with the sentiment that NO needs to pay out the wazoo for this sh*t, though.
2 years ago
Who's to say Brees didn't know about this?
2 years ago

He could have, but I doubt it.
2 years ago

Brees strikes me as the epitome of a so-called "character player." I sincerely doubt he knew it either. I'm not so sure he'll part ways with the team though, because he seemed so sure that he'd be playing for the Saints again. His relationship with Sean Payton probably lies at the core of his decisive attitude toward staying with the team. Then again, I was dumbfounded when this thing with Manning happened. If Brees DOES leave the team, it will only make this offseason even more insane, at a time when things are already crazy. And Matt Flynn will even be more unlucky, because he'll be taking a backseat to Manning, Brees, Luck and RGIII — in any other year, he'd be the most-pursued QB in the NFL. haha
2 years ago
I don't see how it's fair to assume this will change the culture of the Saints' franchise.

They aren't the only team in the league doing it, they're just the ones being used to make an example.

I don't think it's right, by any means. Punishment should be dealt, but I highly doubt it will change the minds of their potential free agents in staying or going.

The biggest factor in that, is the Saints' lack of cap space. But if they do lose picks, they better retain as many as they can.
2 years ago

There will be a couple of players that don't want to be a part of the whole thing. I wouldn't be surprised if a few players leave.
2 years ago
My major reason in saying Brees is because of how far apart he and the Saints appear to be in negotiations and his reported frustration. There is easily at least 10 teams that would be willing to pay him anything he wants so long as its in their cap room.
2 years ago

If Manning is healthy and Brees is available, how much do you think that impacts the draft ?
2 years ago

It will lower RG III's stock in the draft a little bit, I think. But the Colts will take Luck at 1-1 even if Brees is on the market. They seem dead-set on drafting a young QB (otherwise they just would've kept the man himself, lol)
2 years ago
Breesey is leavin the big easy
2 years ago

Where do you think he will end up?
2 years ago

Dollars-to-donuts it's Washington if it happens.
2 years ago

Brees to Washington would make it interesting.

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