Thursday, March 22, 2012

What Should the Penalties be for New Orleans Players Who Took Part in Bountygate?

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The NFL spoke loudly yesterday, handing down the stiffest penalties in league history. The New Orleans Saints were hammered for their bountygate program. So what should the penalties be for players who took part in bountygate?

We have some clarity about the punishments handed down yesterday. So Sportmentary will use that as a guide for the punishments that should be metered out. It's alleged that 22 to 27 players took part in bountygate. They should also receive some of the stiffest penalties handed out to players, ever.The league needs to set an example that they have a duty to play the game the right way and there's no place for trying to end an opponents career. So let's get to the penalties.

Jonathan Vilma - Vilma is the captain of the Saints and is alleged to have provided a 10,000 bounty for any player who would take out Brett Favre during the 2010 NFC championship game. Vilma is the captain of the defense and should be held to a higher standard. He is supposed to be a leader and guide his fellow teammates. What he is alleged to have done is terrible and I'm sure most of his defensive opponents think he's a scumbag He disrespected the game.

Vilma should receive a two year ban from the NFL. Initially, I would have said that he should receive a lifetime ban but it seems as if the NFL is reluctant to discipline anyone that severely, at least not for their first offense.

Why should Vilma receive a two year ban, when his coach only received a one year ban? He's the guy on the field. He's a guy who could also receive a career ending injury. He should know the risks and consequences of his actions on the field. He should know, that if a player's career was cut short, he would be taking food out of the mouths of the children and family of the injured player. He should be able to realte to that. For Vilma to have had such disregard for opposing players who take the field with him is inexcusable.

Defensive Leaders - Any current or former New Orleans Saints defensive leader who took part in bountygate should receive a one year ban form the NFL. My reasoning is similar to the one I provided for Vilma. These guys are leaders and should be held to a higher standard. They should have known better and could have refused to take part in such a heinous program.

Other Defensive Players - Any other defensive player who took part in bountygate should receive an eight game ban from the NFL. While, you might be surprised that Sportmentary isn't asking for stiffer penalties, I do believe that the regular defensive player could have felt pressure to take part in this program. It's common knowledge that defensive leaders have a lot of clout in the locker room. Most players look up to their team leaders. They look at these players to help guide the team.

This would still be a tough penalty and all the penalties taken together, would not only send a message to the Saints but every player in the NFL. Every player would be alerted to the fact that if they try to end an opponents career or take part in a similar program in the future, they will be dealt with. These penalties would also reinforce to players that the NFL takes player injuries and player conduct seriously.

The NFL expects their players to carry themselves in a certain manner. If they don't, they can be fined or suspended based on the league's conduct policy. The defensive players who took part in bountygate, seriously violated the leagues conduct policy and must pay a heavy price for their involvement.

These penalties would definitely cripple the New Orleans Saints but they deserve it. Saints players are acting like thugs in response to the penalties handed out to coaches and management yesterday. They are mocking Roger Goodell. That's actually stupid, knowing that they're next. Lets hope the hammer drops on them soon!

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