The New Orleans Saints were hammered by the NFL for the bounty program they conducted under head coach Sean Payton and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams for the last three seasons. Payton is suspended for a year, GM Mickey Loomis is out for half a season and the organization has been stripped of second round picks in the next two drafts.
Of all the punishments for those involved, Payton's full-year suspension is the most unbelievable one. The suspension starts on April 1 so he'll soon be gone from the Saints facilities for an entire year.
I am speechless. Sean Payton is a great man, coach, and mentor. The best there is. I need to hear an explanation for this punishment
The explanation should be fairly straight-forward: Williams ran a bounty program which paid Saints players if they hurt opposing players and both Payton and Loomis didn't do all they could to stop it. That's the gist of it.
The severity of the punishments is debatable but the NFL is clearly trying to send a "strong and lasting message" to the rest of the league that this sort of thing simply can not happen.