New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson and head coach Sean Payton were meeting with NFL officials in New York Monday, according to the NFL’s web site, but a timetable for imposing penalties in the league’s bounty scandal remained unclear.
The league is contemplating suspensions of Payton, General Manager Mickey Loomis, former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and the players most heavily involved in the bounty scheme. Those suspensions could be, in some instances, a half-season or longer, a person familiar with the case said recently.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will make the final decision about disciplinary measures, which the league has announced also could include fines, suspensions or the forfeiture of draft choices.
A New Orleans television station, WVUE, reported that Payton and Saints owner Tom Benson were in New York over the weekend, and NFL. com said they were meeting with NFL officials Monday. Williams met with members of the league’s security department last week after it was reported that the Washington Redskins and Buffalo Bills had similar bounty programs when he coached with those teams.
Loomis and Payton have issued a joint statement accepting responsibility for the scheme, in which Williams paid players cash bonuses for hits that took opponents off the field. Williams, now the defensive coordinator for the St. Louis Rams, has apologized for his role in a pay-for-performance system with the Saints.
The program was funded primarily by players, according to the league. The NFL investigation concluded that Williams administered the program in New Orleans and cited Payton and Loomis for failing to halt it.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the Rams expect to learn this week what action the league would take against Williams.
The NFL Players Association has announced plans to conduct its own review of the Saints’ bounty case and wants the league to wait until that review is completed to impose any sanctions. People familiar with the case have said it is too soon to know if any action will be taken against the Redskins or Bills.
More on the bounty investigation: