ESPN insider Adam Schefter is reporting that the league has been investigating the Saints and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams since 2010 for instituting a bounty program, alleging that the Saints defensive players were being compensated for targeting specific offensive players physically and hurting them.
Per Adam Schefter on Twitter:
NFL security determined between 22 and 27 defensive players on the Saints, as well as at least one asst. coach, maintained a bounty program... Investigation reviewed 18.000 documents totaling more than 50,000 pages. Commissioner Goodell will determine the discipline... NFL determined that former Saints DC Gregg Williams administered the program with knowledge of other defensive coaches... Discipline for the Saints could include fines, suspensions and forfeiture of draft choices... NFL investigation of Saints began in 2010 when allegations were made that Saints targeted QBs such as Brett Favre and Kurt Warner.
As if the Saints don't have enough crap to deal with, now we find out about this. Not good, folks. Not good. I could care less about fines, but having key defensive players suspended or giving up draft choices would be less than ideal.
All of this, however, begs the question: how bad is the Saints defense if they had this extra incentive and yet still sucked?