3-21-2012Sean Payton suspended for one year in bounty controversy
Roger Goodell laid down the law once again. The NFL commissioner issued a harsh one-year suspension to New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton for his role in the team's bounty system that rewarded defensive players for laying injurious hits on opposing players.
The system's creator, defensive coordinator Gregg Williams who is now with the St. Louis Rams, was suspended indefinitely by the league. Saints general manager Mickey Loomis was suspended for eight games. Assistant head coach Joe Vitt will serve a six-game suspension.
All suspensions are without pay. Payton won't earn any of his $7.5 million salary during the ban, which begins April 1.
It's the most severe sanction for a head coach in the history of the NFL.
Payton was reportedly "stunned" by the news. "No, I'm not OK," he told Fox Sports' Jay Glazer on Wednesday afternoon.
The franchise will also have to pay a $500,00 fine and will relinquish its second-round picks in 2012 and 2013.
A league investigation found that bounties were placed on four quarterbacks -- Brett Favre, Kurt Warner, Aaron Rodgers and Cam Newton.