NFL Disciplines Saints For "BountyGate"

Payton shakes hands with Cam Newton, one of four quarterbacks specifically targeted by the bounty program.

Today, the NFL released official penalties for the Saints' management involving the "'Bounty' matter."

The penalties imposed are as follows:

The New Orleans Saints: Fined $500,000; forfeit 2nd round picks in 2012, 2013

Head Coach Sean Payton: Suspended without pay for entire 2012 season

General Manager Mickey Loomis: Suspended without pay for first 8 games of 2012 season

Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams: Suspended from NFL indefinitely

Assistant Head Coach Joe Vitt: Suspended without pay for first 6 games of 2012 season

More on the discipline, including stuff the Cowboys have to do...

Additionally, Roger Goodell has required team owners to meet with Head Coaches for every team in order to be certain there are no more bounty programs in place. If they are found to exist, they must be terminated immediately (there was no implication of punishment for those teams that willingly cancelled such programs in this way). Owners and coaches must submit written certification that bounty programs are not in place no later than March 30th.

The NFL is still investigating punishments for individual players involved (they may be suspended at a later date), which may impact the value of their former defensive players, and severely impact their competitiveness if the suspensions hit a large number of remaining players. Jonathan Vilma was named explicitly in the report as an instigator.

Other interesting notes:

Brett Favre, Cam Newton, Aaron Rodgers, and Kurt Warner were specific targets of the bounties.

Program allegedly began after Payton requested that Williams make the defense "nasty."

From '09-'11, Saints were top 5 each season in roughing the passer penalties.

At least one example shows the program was active in the preseason, as well.

The forfeited picks will be skipped in the Draft. Therefore, the 100th pick becomes the 99th, etc.

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