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SBD/March 22, 2012/Franchises
Bountygate Will Have Short-Term, Long-Term Repercussions For Saints Franchise
Published March 22, 2012
TOUGH FOR OWNER: When told of the punishment, Goodell said Benson’s reaction was “disappointment.” Goodell: “He knew that this was a serious violation. He wants to, obviously, win and he wants to do it the right way. He's disappointed and sorry that the Saints were being portrayed this way, in a position where they haven't upheld the rules the way he believed them” ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 3/21).
FRANCHISE FACE: Also in New Orleans, Brett Duke writes Benson should "hand the football side of his franchise to the face of the franchise," QB Drew Brees. Considering the circumstances, there has "never been a time when one player, one voice, meant more to the immediate future of an NFL franchise" (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 3/22). YAHOO SPORTS' Jason Cole wrote Brees is "not literally going to be the coach," but in "every significant way in which the Saints will have to replace Sean Payton ... Brees is the guy who will take over" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 3/21). Brees' agent Tom Condon said yesterday that Brees will "keep the Saints on the right path." Condon: "I haven't spoken to him since these sanctions have come down, and they seem extraordinarily severe. At the same time, Drew's a great leader, he tries to make the best of any situation" (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/22).
RIPPLE EFFECT: In St. Louis, Jeff Gordon notes "Bountygate" has left a "big stain on the NFL and some of it splashed onto the Rams." The scandal broke shortly after the Rams hired Williams, and coach Jeff Fisher said, "Had we known about this, would we have hired him? Absolutely not" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 3/22). Meanwhile, in DC, Mark Maske notes the Redskins, where Williams was the defensive coordinator from '04-08, have "escaped punishment, at least for now." A source said that the NFL's "active investigation of the Redskins was closed, but left open the possibility of reopening the probe should new information surface" (WASHINGTON POST, 3/22).