NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks at a media conference at the New Orleans… (Gerald Herbert / Associated…)
In this week's Sports Illustrated, NFL writer Peter King has a comprehensive story on the New Orleans Saints' bounty scandal in which he says Commissioner Roger Goodell is furious about the revelations and prepared to take severe action.
"This is a seminal moment in the culture change we have to make," a source close to Goodell told King, according to ProFootballTalk.com. "This has to stop now. Every team needs to hear the message that we’re in a different era now, where this appalling behavior is going to end."
According to King's source, when Goodell first heard the allegations of the Saints paying bounties, the commissioner said, "God forbid this is true. This will be earth-shattering."
King suggested that the commissioner is prepared to come down hardest on former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, Coach Sean Payton, General Manager Mickey Loomis and linebacker Jonathan Vilma, who allegedly offered a $10,000 incentive to knock Brett Favre out of the 2009 NFC title game.
Meanwhile, the defensive coordinator who replaced Williams in Washington, Greg Blache, told the Washington Post that former Redskins coach Joe Gibbs knew nothing of any bounty system when Williams ran his defense.
"The only reason I'm talking at all is that I don’t want to see a man like Joe Gibbs get pulled down into the muck of this because Joe Gibbs did not know," Blache told the newspaper. "The whole situation, the way this is all coming out, is unfortunate.
"But to have anyone think Joe Gibbs knew, or to accuse Joe Gibbs to be part and parcel to it, is just totally wrong. People who know me know I don't put my name on a lot of things. But I know for a fact that he didn't know, so I'll put my name to this."
NFL, former Saints coach to meet
T.J. Simers: Spare the anger over a bounty system in the NFL
Sam Farmer: Don't let the Saints off the hook in bounty scandal