The NFL has suspended New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton for a full year following an investigation into a bounty program the league said the Saints employed from 2009 to 2011, according to internet reports.
New Orleans general manager Mickey Loomis was also hit with an 8-game suspension, according to reports, and former defensive coordiantor Gregg Williams, now with the Rams, has been suspended indefinitely.
Assistant head coach/linebackers coach Joe Vitt was hit with a 6-game suspension without pay as well.
The punishments come against a backdrop of looming litigation. A growing number of players have filed lawsuits against the NFL and various equipment makers, alleging the parties were insufficiently diligent in making player safety a priority. Goodell has made it clear he wants player safety to be a hallmark of his time as commissioner, pushing for rules changes that protect players on the field and levying heavy fines against players for hits ruled too savage.
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