Overview of Saints’ Bounty Scandal:
The New Orleans Saints were found to have operated a bounty system in which players were paid bonuses for, among other things, hard hits and deliberately injuring opposing players. The system was in place from 2009 — the season the Saints won the Super Bowl — to 2011, and between 22 and 27 Saints players participated in the program.
On March 2, 2012, the NFL announced the findings of its investigation, saying that the players and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams pooled their money to pay out the bonuses over three seasons. The league also found that head coach Sean Payton was aware of the bounty system and, though not directly involved with it, hadn’t done anything to shut it down. Saints GM Mickey Loomis had been ordered by owner Tom Benson to shut down the program, but failed to do so.
Since the NFL unveiled its findings, Williams has been accused of running similar bounty programs during his coaching stints with the Titans, Redskins and Bills.