Friday, October 9, 2015


Today, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell made a huge statement when he brought the hammer down on the New Orleans Saints for their bounty program. And while this isn’t exactly Vikings news, we felt that the punishment should be mentioned here since we’ve touched on the subject off and on since it came into the news.

No, the Vikings don’t get any compensatory picks. We don’t get a re-do of the NFC Championship game. The Saints didn’t lose their Superbowl ring. The Vikings will be compensated in no way, shape or form (for all you hoping they would be). But they did receive a punishment far more extreme than anything the likes of the NFL has ever seen. Seriously – it’s crazy.

The punishment (according to ESPN):

  1. Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams suspended indefinitely from the NFL.
  2. Head coach Sean Payton suspended (without pay) for one year. Roger Goodell will meet with Payton after the 2012 season to determine the coach’s status.
  3. General Manager Mickey Loomis suspended for 8 games (without pay).
  4. Loss of the Saints second round pick in both 2012 and 2013.
  5. A fine of $500,000.
  6. Assistant Coach Joe Vitt suspended 6 games (without pay) and fined $100,000.
  7. The players and coaches involved will be required to participate in efforts by the NFL to educate others on the importance of the respect for the game and those who participate in it. Their safety, sportsman-like conduct, etc…

In regards to the punishment, Goodell said,

“We are all accountable and responsible for player health and safety and the integrity of the game… We will not tolerate conduct or a culture that undermines those priorities. No one is above the game or the rules that govern it. Respect for the game and the people who participate in it will not be compromised… A combination of elements made this matter particularly unusual and egregious… When there is targeting of players for injury and cash rewards over a three-year period, the involvement of the coaching staff, and three years of denials and willful disrespect of the rules, a strong and lasting message must be sent that such conduct is totally unacceptable and has no place in the game.”

It is expected that there will also be punishments for the 22 of 27 players involved eventually.

One thing to keep an eye out for is if this has any effect on what the Vikings do with Remi Ayodele. It seems he’s already been displaced by some of the free-agency moves made so far this off-season. If he is one of the 22 players that will eventually (assumingly) be punished by the NFL, it may be wise for the Vikings to just cut their ties now.

Oh yeah, and since we’re already talking about things that aren’t really Vikings news… Tim Tebow is a Jet. Don’t you just love football?

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For the past year, quarterback Drew Brees and the Saints have been attempting to negotiate a contract to keep their elite passer in New Orleans. Today, overshadowed by the revelation of the Saints dirty scheming which has absolutely infuriated me and opened old wounds I thought were stitched tightly, it was reported by Jay Glazer of Fox Sports that Drew Brees was given the franchise tag and will remain in New Orleans (or, in other words, the two parties were unable to come to an agreement).

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Get this stupid news concerning this dirty team, which we all hate right now, off of my favorite Vikings blog!” Hold on a second, because in a roundabout way, this concerns the Vikings as well.

By franchising Brees, the Saints are in bad shape with their salary cap. I guess they’re in better shape than they would be had they actually worked out a contract, but it still isn’t looking good for them. The Saints will only have around 6 million left in cap room after using the franchise tag (maybe they can find some wiggle room in their bounty fund?). This shortage of funds will make it difficult (nearly impossible) for the Saints to retain some of their other big name free agents. More specifically, guard Carl Nicks and wide receiver Marques Colston will likely hit the open market and both players have been mentioned in various Vikings circles as players they could/should be targeting in free agency. Wide reciever Robert Meachem could become a free agent as well.

Carl Nicks would be a great addition and instant upgrade to the Vikings offensive line. If he were coupled with Matt Kalil, dare I say, we could almost overnight have one of the better offensive lines in the league.

Robert Meachem on the other hand is a little harder to gauge. Was he the product of less coverage due to the group of elite receivers around him? Did Drew Brees just make him look good? Could he really excel as a #1 receiver? These are all questions that would need to be addressed. But if the price is right, I imagine the Vikings could entertain picking up Colston.

Another issue, in light of the news of the Saints perverse bounty system, is whether or not the Vikings would want anyone from New Orleans. Granted, the potential free agents mentioned above are on offense and the Saints transgressions were by players and staff on defense (as far as we know). Still though, you have to consider that it could weigh into the team’s decision.

I wonder, if Colston or Nicks were to be Vikings when we play New Orleans again in the future, would the Saints put a bounty on them? Wouldn’t surprise me…

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