|Photo Credit: ESPN.com|
NFL Commissioner Roger Goddell brought the hammer down on the New Orleans Saints for their "bounty system" that Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams headed. This disgusting system was finally brought to light, and we all knew that there were going to be serious consequences. I'll be honest, though, I didn't think they'd be this intense. Head Coach Sean Payton is now suspended for the 2012 season without pay beginning April 1, the team will be fined $500k, they will lose a second round draft pick in 2012 and 2013. Additionally, as expected, Williams is suspended indefinitely, which to me, says he's out for eternity. The Saints' general manager, Mickey Loomis, will also be suspended without pay the first eight games of this year's regular season and assistant head coach Joe Vitt is suspended (again, without pay) for the first six games of the 2012 regular season. For more specific information on the penalties, suspensions and overall picture of the sheer amount of trouble the Saints are in, read Adam Caplan's overview here. As a Falcons fan, this brings me immense amounts of satisfaction, but let's be honest, we always want a strong competition with the Saints. It's sad to see a team have this kind of serious infraction, and even harder to watch the fallout after. What happens to Brees and the rest of the Saints is up in the air. Without Payton, this team will undoubtedly be lost. He's one of the best coaches in the league, and it's really unfortunate to see this happen on his watch. However, there is a price to pay for such egregious acts such as this so-called "bounty system" that Williams had in place, and this is the result. We're still waiting to see if there will be individual player fines and suspensions handed out - my guess is it's just a matter of time. Was Goddell too heavy handed? I don't know, but it sure sends a very clear message.
Moving on to the second piece of serious breaking news...Tim Tebow has officially been traded to the New York Jets for fourth and sixth round draft picks (the Broncos will also receive a seventh round pick). Fourth round?! SIXTH?! That's IT?! Wow. If that ain't a slap in the face. BUT, the Jets may just be a good fit for him, now that I think about it. Either that or (as my friend Jess and I discussed) Rex Ryan is asking to be fired, but whatever. He'll compete with Mark Sanchez (who is having his own set of issues right now) for a starting job that he may just get. I hope Tebow is prepared for New York fans, they're slightly different from the fickle Denver fan. Sanchez, hope you have your big boy pants on...get ready for Tebowmania, part two...this time, with the colorful Jets. Let's hope he has some Jets branded earmuffs for Rex Ryan's meetings, we know Tebows ears aren't prepared for the language he uses.
Days like this make me fall even more in love with football and the NFL (if even possible). This game is full of ups and downs and will throw you for a loop when you're not even remotely prepared for it. It's the business of it, the love for what happens on the field, and the thrilling fact that...well, it's pure entertainment. Keep your eyes glued to ESPN, friends, I'm sure there's more to come (and of course, you know I'll cover it).
Til next time...
**UPDATE** There has been a snag in the Tebow-to-New York Jets trade. Apparently, Tebow has $5 million worth of recapture language...this means the Jets would have to pay back money to Denver. Jets have said they are unwilling to do this. If they can't get through this hang-up, Tebow would be back on the market and the trade would be nullified. Reportedly, the Rams are interested in him and would be willing to be a new trade parter with the Broncos, but if this is true, the terms of the trade change and of course, the question becomes "What of Sam Bradford?" Stay tuned, folks. He may just end up in Jacksonville, after all. Here's the latest from Pro Football Talk.
**UPDATE II** It's official. The Jets now have Tim Tebow on their roster, for now, as Mark Sanchez's backup. The Jets have agreed to pay half of the $5 million to Denver, which apparently was good enough for them. "Dear Timmy, you're not worth more than a 4th and 6th round pick and half of the $5 mil we wanted. So. See ya. Love, the Broncos." Ouch. Well, here goes. The all-mighty Tim Tebow is now going to be tabloid fodder (Page 6 has to be in heaven right now) and will have to face hungry Jets fans. I'm sure Ryan will use him in the Wildcat - how successful that will actually be remains to be seen. Once again, Pro Football Talk has a great breakdown, which you should read.