According to an NFL investigation, between 22 and 27 Saints players and at least one assistant coach participated in a bounty program which was essentially a pool Saints players put cash into and they were rewarded for injuring opposing players.
The details are stunning at times. "The program paid players $1,500 for a "knockout" and $1,000 for a "cart-off" with payouts doubling or tripling during the playoffs, " the NFL's statement reads.
What's so troubling is that this was going on a Roger Goodell and the league have highlighted concussion treatment and prevention. This is a slap in the face to the safer NFL the Commissioner has said he wants to create. Goodell is quoted in the NFL's statement:
"It is our responsibility to protect player safety and the integrity of our game," Goodell said, "and this type of conduct will not be tolerated. We have made significant progress in changing the culture with respect to player safety and we are not going to relent. We have more work to do and we will do it."
This is a sensitive subject for Goodell himself. He has focused on illegal hits and vicious hits more than any other Commissioner. I wouldn't be surprised to see significant sanctions for the Saints. They could range anywhere from a fine to loss of draft picks, according to the NFL investigation.