The NFL handed down sweeping and unprecedented punishment Wednesday for bounties paid out on big hits, suspending New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton without pay for next season and indefinitely banning the team’s former defensive coordinator, Gregg Williams, who now works for the St. Louis Rams.
Payton is the first head coach suspended by the league for any reason. He is accused of trying to cover up a system of extra cash payouts that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell called “particularly unusual and egregious” and “totally unacceptable.”
Goodell also banned Saints general manager Mickey Loomis for the first eight regular-season games next season and assistant coach Joe Vitt for the first six games.
In addition, Goodell fined the Saints $500,000 and took away their second-round draft picks this year and next.