Payton punishment too severe

Payton punishment too severe

Posted by Bob LeGere on Thu, 03/22/2012 - 18:09
Judging by the amount of negative e-mail I’ve received regarding my column criticizing the severity of Sean Payton’s punishment for his role in the Saints “bounty” program, I’m obviously in the minority on this one. Point taken. But I still don’t believe that the Saints’ defensive players behaved any differently than defensive players on other teams. It’s a physical game, and the object of playing defense is to hit the player across from you as hard as possible – within the rules. Yes, defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, Payton, G.M. Mickey Loomis, assistant head coach/linebackers coach Joe Vitt and anyone else who was warned and/or questioned by the NFL about the “pay for play” scheme and then continued to operate unabated showed an incredible level of arrogance and stupidity. And, yes, you can look at the shots the Saints too on Brett Favre in the playoff game against the Vikings involved some late hits. That should absolutely be punished. But a $7 million fine for Payton (his 2012 salary) is exorbitant. I think Commissioner Roger Goodell could have gotten his point across to every other team in the NFL by sitting Payton for half a season and fining him $3.5 million.
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