Seahawks Insider

Morning links: Will Saints’ scandal change NFL?

Post by Eric Williams on March 22, 2012 at 7:26 am with 34 Comments »
March 22, 2012 7:26 am

Jon Saraceno of USA Today offers an interesting opinion on the New Orleans Saints scandal, which included some of the stiffest penalties handed done in league history.

Saraceno believes that although the suspensions, fines and taking away of draft picks will have far-reaching implications on careers and the lives of some players, overall he believes the NFL will remain a violent game.

Saraceno: Long-term ramifications? The careers and legacies of coaches, administrators and perhaps 20 players are at stake. Will the game lose its violent edge? It’s unlikely. In recent years, even as the NFL has escalated fines and suspended players for vicious hits, the highlight reels are not lacking. The game promises to be as malevolent as ever.

“Short-term fallout? Almost assuredly, the Saints’ 2012 season is in jeopardy without Payton, one of the league’s brightest offensive minds, with one Lombardi Trophy in tow and a potential Hall of Fame candidate. Indeed, Caesars had the odds of the Saints winning the Super Bowl this season at 8-1 before Bountygate and raised them to 10-1 right after. After the NFL announcement Wednesday, they fell to 15-1. Payton, along with quarterback Drew Brees, dramatically helped lift the city’s spirits during its recovery efforts from Hurricane Katrina.”

Mike Freeman of CBS Sports writes that New Orleans fall from grace can be traced to one man – Saints head coach Sean Payton.

Ray Ratto writing for CBS Sports says that Commissioner Goodell may be weakening his job security by penalizing the men who pay his salary – NFL owners. Ratto writes that Goodell has created some enemies in Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Washington Redskinds owner Daniel Snyder and New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson with the penalties he’s recently handed down.

Jason Cole of Yahoo Sports writes that tight end Jeremy Shockey, who played for the Saints, denies a report by former NFL player Warren Sapp that he was the “snitch” who reported to the league New Orleans’ bounty system.

As Mike Triplett of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports the league isn’t done imposing penalties on the Saints, as the players involved have not been dealt with.

Aaron Wilson of is reporting that Tampa Bay free agent running back Kregg Lumpkin will visit Seattle today in a visit that will extend into Friday. The Georgia product was an undrafted rookie free agent with Green Bay in 2008, so there’s a connection to Seahawks general manager John Schneider. He’s a bigger back at 5-11, 228 pounds.

Bill James writing for Grantland discusses the evolutions of fans in sports, saying there’s a connection between fan and inmate behavior. Interesting read.

Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe reports that Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly impressed scouts during his pro day on Wednesday.

You can check out video from Kuechly’s pro day below.

As you know, I’m an Adidas guy and not a big fan of Nike. But I liked what they did with Marshawn Lynch in this commercial for a new product called Nike Pro Combat Hypercool, which I assume is supposed to keep athletes cooler. Check out the video below.

Morning links
Leave a comment Comments → 34
  1. I just watched Flynn’s game against Detroit again ( ) and I can’t help picturing Doug Baldwin as Donald Driver, taking the slant all the way to the end zone. Flynn put the ball right on the money, as he seems to do with a lot of passes. The Seahawks’ YAC will be higher this year, I’m sure. There’s something about Flynn’s confidence that reminds me of Brett Favre.

  2. SeahawkFan12 says:

    It takes big balls and strong leadership to hammer your “bosses” when they are wrong. I like that from Goodell. I do not think this will make the NFL softer; the bullsh!t penalties for ‘unnecessary roughness’ will do that. I’m in favor of a violent league that plays within the boundaries of the rules. Does it mean all players/coaches will play within the rules all the time? No way. That would be like believing that every driver on the road is insured, sober and driving the speed limit. But, Goodell did the right thing by taking this course of action and sending a message that if you impose a bounty system, it will cost you heavily. I do not see this depleting the intensity or violence in the sport.

  3. Dukeshire says:

    Saraceno’s whole premise is off, to me. The penalties weren’t levied to reduce the level of violence in the game. Violence has nothing to do with it. This is about paying players to intentionally injure other players. Laying the wood to a receiver coming over the middle, so he needs a smelling salt to remember his name, is not related in the least to paying players under the table to make sure that player doesn’t see the field again. Violence is inherent to the sport and it’s culture. That will never change. But trying to end careers or seasons intentionally is irresponsible and wrong. I’m not naive enough however to think it wont still go on, on some level.

    Eric, Adidas guy? That’s unfortunate.

  4. chuck_easton says:


    Perhaps Eric forgot where you live and who may or may not be signing your paychecks?

  5. HawkfaninMT says:

    I have a gripe…

    I hate this hunt some people (looking at you Sapp and Torrey Smith) are starting for the “snitch.” These guys are perpetuating the idea that having a little bit of integrity and reporting an unlawful act is a bad thing in someway. “They” are a part of the reason so many children in homes are being abused continually, and people conitnue to get away with crimes because people are afraid to be labelled a “snitch.” I work with the discipling of teens and if more people had the courage to step up and report folks, and if they were praised as they should be, instead of intimidated, the world would be a much better place.

    I, for one, would love if someone would get on their Twitter account and say, “While I was with the Saints they broke the rules. I tried to intervene and they wouldn’t listen. The only logical next step I had was to report them to the authorities.” If this type of self-policing were to be met with applause, instead of being sniped at by talking heads like Warren Sapp, I am willing to bet the behavior would be detered a heck of a lot more than a fine and suspension.

  6. I trust this Front Office. I think we have more talent across the board than quite possibly we’ve ever had. With that being said, I’d like to offer my very unprofessional opinion on the Matt Flynn acquisition.

    From the video that I’ve seen, he is a good game manager. Gets rid of the ball quickly and excels at underneath routes. Seems like a bright kid, has some mobility and appears to be a decent leader.

    IMO however, Tjack has a much stronger arm. When Flynn throws deep, it looks like the ball kind of floats on him allowing for the defenses to recover. The 6 td game he had against the Lions was A LOT of YAC. Jordy Nelson is a superstar. Wish we had him as well. Make no mistake, Flynn is no A. Rodgers.

    Tjack as we well know had trouble sticking it in there, holding on to the ball too long. Whereas we loved Hass for trying to make things happen, his turnovers were big momentum shifts for opposing teams not to mention the field position battle.

    I love that PC and JS brought in Flynnn to compete with Tjack and signed him to a reasonable contract. I think ultimately the reason why Flynn decided to sign here is b/c of the coaching staff, the front office and the overall talent that we’ve accumulated in such a short time. If he’s about winning, he made the right choice and personally, I like that.

    I do still believe that Tjack is still pretty underrated not only on this blog, but league wide. Many times last year, I heard the players speak glowingly of him and gotta believe that they’d know better than any of us hacks.

    Not before BobbyK and Duke get all butt hurt b/c we ALL KNOW that if we don’t agree with you we’re simply wrong but this time, don’t be, the guy you both wanted is here. In the end however, I would not be surprised in the slightest if Tjack beats out Matt come September. Time will tell, but it’s just a gut feeling.


  7. Michael Bush signs with Bears

  8. JazBadAzz says:

    I like what what Goodell did, he was giving the position to make the call and protect the nfl shield no matter who is at fault.

    I never heard anything about that back that’s coming in.

    That hyper cool shirt looks awesome, with the lack of winter we had, I’m sure I’ll need a few of those this summer!

    I saw some clips of RGIII proday and all I got to say is WOW!!! I’m so happy the lambs traded that pick! He could go 1st overall, and I’m sure I’m not the only person thinking that! His foot work was out of this world quick and smooth! Just amazing!

    I still like HIGHTOWER, more than Keuchly. I just feel that some players are translate better than others, we’ll see.

  9. RDPoulsbo says:

    Hey Eric, can you add an autoplay=”false” to the embed source of that 1st video? The ad that can’t be stopped from playing before the the Kuechly is getting annoying everytime I refresh the page. I think that might work.

  10. RDPoulsbo says:

    When the owners are allowing their teams to violate their own rules within the CBA, they can’t just go blame the guy they pay to enforce those same rules. Sorry Snyder, Jones and Benson, but there are consequences for your actions. You agreed to those rules, now it’s time to live by them.

  11. seahawk44 says:

    HawkfaninMT…….right on!

  12. JazBadAzz says:

    Micheal Bush’s 4yr 14mil w/7mil guaranteed was probably more than what the seahawks offered. I can’t see us paying a back up that much with all that talent in the draft. The bears seem to be calling Forte’s bluff on this one, however Tmmays in the building. Lol

  13. chrisj122 says:

    Goodell sent a message not only to New Orleans but the entire NFL.

    If your players, coaches, GM’s won’t enforce moral code he will (although putting bountys on certain players goes beyond morals IMO) and if you or teams actions ultimately get you ivestigated by the NFL, then at that time you had better come clean with everything or expect to face some hard repercussions.

  14. chrisj122 says:

    “I still like HIGHTOWER, more than Keuchly”

    I agree, only because he shares the same name as the big guy from Police Academy. Lol…..

  15. JazBadAzz says:

    @chris- LMAO, nice!

    If Bobby can get his QB, why can’t. I have my LB? Hightower 2012

  16. I wonder if civil suits and criminal charges are in the works? Maybe Chuck can chime in here. Players injured by others paid to inflict injury should be able to file criminal charges against the perpetrators and sue for damages.

  17. Soggybuc says:

    T jack may have the stronger arm but the accuracy is suspect. If Flynn doesnt toss 2 or 3 long bombs a game but instead hits 70% CP on passes 5-25 yards moving the chains and getting Beast mode into the red zone 5 or 6 times a game while eating clock i’ll take it.

  18. Dukeshire says:

    joreb – Why would I get “butt hurt” simply because we have differing view points? An opposing point of view isn’t “wrong” because it’s not mine. We may debate the topic, but isn’t that part of why we’re here?

  19. chuck_easton says:


    That is one of the reasons the league came down so hard.

    Intentional intent to cause injury to another person is called assault and is a criminal offence. That would be hard to prove behond a reasonable doubt.

    Now a civil suite, on the other hand, just requires that the Court determine that on the balance of probabilities (i.e. 50%+1) that the action did occur. If the Court can then attach a monetary loss or penalty to the action the players, team and possibly the league are in danger of civil damages being awarded.

    The league is protecting themselves by showing they do not condone the actions of the Saints management, coaches and players and are, in essence, building their defence for when they are likely named as a party to the action.

    Lawschool 101 is now out of session for the day. You can all wake up again.

  20. seahawk44 says:


    I do believe that Ruskell was fired by the Bears about a month back. Can somebody confirm that, please?

    Also, I like Hightower, but I would rather have Kuechly. If Heater is not brought back, I don’t know if I have confidence in KJ Wright manning the MLB spot. I do think, however, that Kuechly may be drafted before 12.

  21. chrisj122 says:

    I think a lot of the reason that Goodell came down so hard is to try to show that the league is willing to go the extra yard (pun intended) to protect its players, in order to protect themselfes from future lawsuits of retired players with brain trama related issues.

    I really believe this has more with protecting the NFL from future liability than actually protecting the players.

  22. No doubt Duke. Healthy debates are just that. Ultimately, we want our Hawks to win, period. I read the blog everyday and love it. It pretty much is mostly influenced by you and BK and a few others. Quite honestly, I marvel at the time y’all have to write on it every day. I think that the debate on Heater and his knees appeared to be somewhat personal to you. I like the guy, but there must be a reason why they’re not rushing to resign him. I’m also aware of your disdain for Tjack, but just don’t think that guy gets a fair shake. Not that our opinions really influence the FO in any way, shape or form. Maybe I’m wrong (wouldn’t be the first time) about my critiques of you and BK, I’ll try to be more diligent to point out what exactly I’m talking about when they happen the next time.

  23. chrisj122 says:

    We all know that Defense players in the NLF want to knock the snot out of their opponent. They want that reciever or QB to remember them so next time they hear their footsteps they think twice. When a defensive player puts a good, hard, hit on someone it’s celebrated, rewarded and thats how everyone it taught to play (within the rules). The mentalitly of most defensive players is I’m gonna hit you as hard as I can and if you get injured so be it”.

    But the NFL want us to believe that tackling in football is just that nothing more than the means of stoping your opponent from advancing the football.

  24. HawkfaninMT says:

    I respectfully disagree Chris. I think there is a definite line between tackling someone so they remember where you are on the field, and attempting to end that person’s day, career, life, etc…

  25. Dukeshire says:

    joreb – Well, you have me there; Heater has been one of my favorite players so it’s a bit more difficult to be objective.

  26. Look at old footage of how guys like Dick Butkis play – teach guys to tackle like that!!!

    Not only did the guys go down, they went down HARD – and remembered the hit. AND he never launched himself at a player – perfectly legal under todays rules.

    That AND he actually wrapped up!!!!!!!!

  27. chrisj122 says:

    I didn’t say most defensive players are trying to end the careers of other players or even intentionaly hurt them either but I do think they have mind set of I’m going to hit this guy as hard as I can with in the rules and he’s gonna feel it and if he happens to get hurt so be it. We celebrate players with this mentality, we didn’t call Ken Hammlin “the Hammer” because he tackled like Josh Wilson (or at least until he got hit with a stop sign). How many fans at Quest had foam hammers and waived them whenever Hammlin put the wood on someone?

    The hard hits is what makes part of football so entertaining, but the NFL want to act like they frown on hard hits and wants to control them only because they don’t want the liability of future lawsuits.

  28. I remember seeing Lumpkin, and thinking Damn! I bet his teammates nickname him “Fatty” Lumpkin. (Ok, Im an admitted uber-nerd: for those who arent, Fatty Lumpkin was the name of a pony Tom Bombadil lent to the hobbits in the first book in LOTR).

    I agree with the punishment for the NO guys, especially Peyton. He allready got away with being a pill thief, no way he gets away this time. Peyton KNEW what was going on, LIED about it, and condoned it. He was the leader, he SHOULD pay a high price. The fact that he’s “stunned” by the punishment just underscores the fact that he doesnt consider what he did wrong. He will do ANYTHING to win, and that culture, perpetuated by guys like him and Bellicheat, needs to die.

    That said, Goodell is an utter hypocrite. This is more about his embarrassment at being lied to, that and an attempt to cover the NFL’s butt and make them look better as they get sued for the whole head-injury/lieing to players etc thing, than it is an actual attempt to keep players safe.

    Bounties have always existed, but this is the most open and egregious use EVER, and they should pay for what they did.

    And yes, the Saints Super Bowl win is tainted, whether thier in-denial fans want to admit it or not. It allready was, but everyone conveniently “forgot” about how the ref’s had two standards for penalties in the NFC title game that year–one for the Saints (no flags for late qb hits), and one for the Vikes (flags all over the place.). Its one of the things I hate most about Goodell: since he took over, I have seen a growing prevalance of referee’s having two standards for the rules–one for each team in-game; and whoever the big-market team is gets the calls their way, a-la-the NBA.

    If you dont believe me, watch how much handsies GB’s DB’s are allowed to use downfield vs WR’s, then look at Seattle’s DB’s and how often they are flagged for the same thing. Watch the games carefully and you’ll see it, even in-game, the refs have differing standards.

  29. Mike Freeman of CBS sports wrote an interesting article, which Eric linked to above.

    “The problem is, all along, in a somewhat isolated media market, Payton was becoming out of control. I knew Payton when he worked in New York. He was a nerd. The power in New Orleans changed him into something different, and that difference, in my opinion, is what allowed the culture of Bountygate to grow.”

    Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Peyton believed he was above the law, that as long as his team was winning and making the NFL money, he could justify any means with that end. He just found out differently.

    Ever run into a former nerdy classmate that made tons of money–or one that became a cop? Thats Peyton. From nerd to arrogant, out of control jerk. I hope he learns his lesson and comes out of it a better man. He has a family.

  30. nighthawk2 says:

    This whole story is b.s. Come on, guys who make hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars per year are supposed to get worked up over $1000 or $1500 to injury a player and knock him out of a game? That’s what these guys are trying to do every game, and players all around the league have admitted. “We’re not trying to end a career, but if we can take him out of a game, great”. And now this is news, and we’re supposed to believe this b.s. story? Warren Sapp says Jeremy Shockey is the who leaked this. A disgruntled former Saint (who spent the Giants 2007 Super Bowl victory partying with girls in a box suite instead of being on the sidelines with his teammates).

    Roger Goodell is a pimp, a pimp for the owners as any commissioner in any sport is. I never agree with Jamelle Hill at ESPN whom I think is a race-baiting hack, but I did this morning. She said that this isn’t about “player safety” (which the NFL never cared about until it started getting sued by former players, they used to celebrate on NFL Network and tv in general all the “great hits” on players even after Darryl Stingley was put in a wheel chair for the rest of his life by a cheap shot by Jack Tatum). It’s about the NFL engaging in CYA while getting sued by former players. They’ve singled out the Saints after making them the “feel good” story a couple of years ago. Goodell and the NFL owners (who will probably take up a collection to pay Tom Benson’s $500K fine) are a bunch of hypocrites.

  31. Macabrevity says:


    Interesting point. I’ve always wondered why you don’t see assault charges being brought in hockey games in particular. Talk about paid assassins, there are guys who are literally put on the ice for the sole purpose of attacking another player, no other skills to speak of, they’re just out there to get into a fight. It happens so much, intentionally in many cases, it always struck me as odd that some of the finesse players whose knuckles don’t drag on the ice don’t take legal action against the other player, team and even the league. I know fighting is part of the game, but assault is assault, and there are guys out there who are interested in playing a sport and not trading blows.

    Okay, sorry back on topic… I don’t think these Goodell penalties are any threat to the league. The threat to the league in my opinion is over-saturation…. that and the No Fun League stigma that continues to make such a big stink about end zone celebrations and harmless stuff like that.

  32. chrisj122 says:

    I think the pentalties served on N.O. are little over the top (but as a Hawk fan I get some satisfaction out of it because of the negative impact of not only on the Saints but also the Rams).

    The reason I don’t totally agree with the degree of severity of the pentaly is because of the hipocracy of the it all. The reaction by Goodell is no diffrent from the reaction of Bud Silig about steroid use in the MLB. In both cases it had gone on for years and the league profited handsomely off it because of the great high light reels weather it be smashing home runs or a safety smashing a W.R. In both cases the league turned a blind eye to what was happening until it no longer could, then they act all outraged and disgusted. Even the average non fan can see right through the hipocracy.

  33. nighthawk–Dude, the Giants told Shockey he couldnt be on the sidelines with his team. What else was he supposed to do? I’d have been getting wasted too after losing out on the Super Bowl due to injury, then being told I couldnt be part of the team. I love how folks just jump on a guy when he’s down and blame the wrong dude.

    And the bounties were pretty high–up to 10,000 bucks. Most of the players arent making millions of dollars, and the bounties arent to get guys like Jared Allen to mash the player, they are used to maximize the guys with marginal talent and get them to elevate thier game.

    I do, however, agree completely that Goodell has another agenda, that this is butt-covering hypocrisy. BUT, its still the right thing to do, even if he has ulterior motives for it. And the Saints deserve to get hammered, if only for repeatedly lying.

  34. T-Jack is better today than he was after his first couple of starts. I never thought I’d admit it, but he doesn’t truly suck. I never thought it was possible.

    With his experience in the system and well over 30 NFL starts under his belt, I definitely think he’ll challenge a younger guy w/2 NFL starts for the starting gig, but I think common sense will prevail and the Hapster will realize the player with more upside is the one he wants to go with moving forward…

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