I was out and away from forms of news when my cell started going nuts as the Tebow trade and the Saints suspensions were being announced. I soon got in my car and began listening to ESPN radio, while reading PFT on my phone. It became clear that MANY people may think the suspension was too harsh, as the radio show hosts began expressing their surprise, and those that post on PFT expressed their well thought out opinions. No doubt, in the coming weeks, we will be hearing why people think it was way over-board, but let me try to clear things up here, even though most of us, here at CSR, are quite fine with the suspensions. First, lets review the Saints penalties thus far(as player suspensions are expected but not announced).
Saints Organization: Fined $500k, forfeit 2nd round draft selections in 2012 and 2013
Sean Payton: Suspended for 2012 season(begins 4/1/12)
General Manager Mickey Loomis: Suspended for first 8 games
Joe Vitt: Suspended for first 6 games.
Greg Williams: Suspended indefinitely.
Lets compare this to the 2007 Patriots "Spygate" Issue.
We all remember in 2007, when the NE Patriots were penalized for "Spygate" which was described to be video taping coaches signals on the sidelines of a NY Jets game. They were accused of other videos and spying, after the penalties were imposed, but nothing further came of it. Lets see the break down.
Patriots organization: $250K fine and loss of first round draft pick in 2008 *The loss of the draft pick was in lieu of suspending Bill Belichick, as Goodell felt this would be more harmful.
Bill Belichick: $500k fine
We can clearly see that the "Spygate" didn't upset Goodell nearly as much as this new "bountygate" has. This is mainly due to the emphasis on player safety, and the current and repeated lawsuits the NFL is facing from past players who claim their safety was not valued. RG is going to show he values player safety like never before in this day and age.
Now, let me explain why I believe that the penalties were not too harsh. Spygate was based on 1 game. I feel compelled to just end it there, but I know that's not going to be enough for some Saints fans and Goodell haters. Divide the Saints penalties over 3 years, and see if it starts to feel/look a little closer to accurate.
If all bounties, lies, knowledge and intent remained the same, but were limited to only one season, what would the penalties look like? Let's speculate...
Saints Organization: Fined $200k, forfeit 3rd round draft pick in 2012?
Sean Payton: Suspended for first 4-6 games of 2012
General Manager Mickey Loomis: Suspended for 2-4 games of 2012 season?
Joe Vitt: Suspended for first 2 games.
Greg Williams: Suspended 6-8 games?
Does any of that seem too harsh for 1 year of this type of appalling behavior? It doesn't to me, and it seems lighter than if not on par with the Patriots penalties, for what I view to be a much greater crime. I say lighter or on par with, because of the number of Saints leadership that knew of this. Each one needs their own penalty.
I could go on to describe how this was such a greater act of villainy, due to the injury intent, but that horse is now glue, as we've beaten it for the past several weeks.
What do you think, CSR?