With a host of writers returning to their posts on Monday morning, the news and opinion regarding Gregg Williams' past and future came thick and fast early in the day. Here are a few of the more interesting takes. Williams is meeting with the league Monday, and we'll of course have updates on any fallout from that.
-- In his Monday Morning Quarterback column, SI.com's Peter King lays out exactly why Roger Goodell is beholden to open up a can on the current St. Louis Rams and former New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator.
"The league finally got one," a league official told King. "This is one of those stories you always hear about -- teams giving bonuses to knock players out of the game and, really, to circumvent the salary cap with these bounties. Now there's no way any coach with half a brain will allow this to go on in his building ... assuming Roger will be tough enough here.''
Assume that Roger will be tough enough. Just as the 1919 Black Sox took the hit for decades of gambling and fixes among baseball players, and Alex Karras and Paul Hornung took the fall for a host of NFL players making interesting side bets in the early 1960s, Gregg Williams will be made to pay for his crimes, and for the crimes of others, in the interest of a paradigm shift. [SI.com]
-- Yahoo! Sports' Mike Silver brings a different slant to the issue, pointing out the arbitration clause that the Saints used to essentially make the once-publicized Vicodin case go away. Silver also details ways in which the Saints' organization misled the investigating bodies, as league security was trying to find out just what Williams was doing from 2009 through 2011 under Williams' watch.
According to si.com, the investigation report concluded that Loomis lied to league security officials about the existence of the bounty program and essentially did the same to owner Tom Benson by promising to dismantle such a program if he were to learn of its existence.
Ask Michael Vick how much the Commish likes being lied to, multiply that by the Saints' obvious violations of Goodell's player safety concerns (no matter how authentic they may be), and you start to get a sense of just how completely hosed the Saints are as a franchise right now. [Yahoo! Sports]
-- Here's an interesting profile of Saints "associate" Mike Ornstein, a longtime NFL employee who later became famous as "Sports Marketer A" in the Reggie Bush/USC scandal. Ornstein allegedly pledged serious money to the bounty program several different times, which raises all sorts of interesting legal, financial and ethical issues. It's yet another reason that when this is all over, the ramifications will have made SpyGate look very much like a jaywalking citation.
Bonus "Big Stupid" points for Ornstein: On one occasion, he pledged money for the bounty fund to Payton via email. Why not just send up a flare, genius? [Deadspin]
-- As for Williams' new job with the Rams? Suspended or not, don't expect that to last too long.
Current Rams Executive Vice President of Football Operations and Chief Operating Officer Kevin Demoff went on local radio station KMOX and put the Rams' position on bounties right out there.
"It's a situation that is disheartening to learn about, something the NFL doesn't stand for and certainly the Rams don't stand for.
"Until the league determines the punishment, there's not a lot we can do as a club. We'll be supportive of the league."
Which seems to mean that the NFL has asked the Rams to hold off on any punishment until it's done meting out its own "awards" for Williams' history. Basically, the Rams can fire whatever's left of him. [Turf Show Times]
- Gregg Williams
- Roger Goodell