The NFL came down — and came down hard — in the “Bountygate” scandal. Included in the stiff penalties handed down Wednesday by league commissioner Roger Goodell is an indefinite suspension for new Rams defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.
The suspension begins immediately and will include the entire 2012 season. After the season, Williams’ status will be reviewed by Goodell.
According to the league, Goodell will pay close attention to the extent to which Williams cooperates with the NFL in any further proceedings.
In addition, New Orleans head coach Sean Payton has been suspended for a year without pay. effective April 1.
New Orleans general manager Mickey Loomis is suspended for the first eight games of the regular season. And Saints assistant head coach Joe Vitt — a former interim head coach for the Rams in 2005 — is suspended for the first six games of the season.
As a team, the Saints were fined $500,000 and will forfeit their second-round draft picks in 2012 and 2013.
Williams oversaw the Saints’ bounty program when he was the team’s defensive coordinator from 2009-11. Under the program, players were offered cash bonuses for making big plays and also for making hits on opposing players that resulted in injuries.