NFL Precedent (1 Viewer)

predator

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While we discuss the extent of the penalties imposed on the Saints so far by the NFL let's also look at NFL precedent for what the violations should be.

But before I go into the details of previous incidents, I would like to first point out that I have not heard a single Saints fan say that New Orleans should not be punished at all. And for full disclosure, I am a lifetime Saints fan. We just think that the penalty does not match NFL precedent.

NFL Argument 1: Player safety is important to the NFL. I will not debate that fact as I do think the NFL is concerned about player safety when it fits their needs.

The players have long argued that an 18 game schedule will cause an increase in injuries yet the NFL is proceeding with their push for an 18 game schedule.

But putting aside those arguments we will look at the 2 game suspension received by Suh of the Detroit Lions. This two game suspension came after three other previous fines issued by the league. League precedent has clearly been established. Violations regarding player safety carry increasing fines and could in a two game suspension as in the case of Suh.

Based on that fact, it would be argued that the Aaron Rogers bounty and the Cam Newton bounty carry 2 - 2 game suspension for a total of four games. The others from previous seasons should carry no penalty as the NFL in those cases chose to issue a warning to the Saints instead. Their is also precedent for a team just receiving a warning initially as with the Green Bay Packers.

Report: Packers focus of bounty probe in 2007 | Sports - Home

But for argument sake, lets say Warner and Favre should count even though they were not handled by the NFL with anything more than a warning when they were discovered by the NFL. That means 4 -2 game suspensions maximum. Considering there were no initial fines handed down first, as is NFL precedent for violations regarding player safety, that would mean that should be the maximum.

So argument 1 says that they should have gotten between 4-8 games suspension as a maximum.

NFL Argument 2: They lied to the NFL.

We will refer back to first to Suh again. He told the NFL that he was not stomping on the arm. Roger Goodell did not believe him and later suspended him. No penalty for lying.

Next we will look at Spygate. The facts that people have forgotten is that in Spygate, the Patriots were warned in a previous season and were caught again later. The Patriots then began to lie and try to cover-up the violation. So now we have precedent for a head coach and team executive lying to the NFL and trying to cover up something that they were previously warned to stop. See the link below about the initial warning by the NFL and the Patriots not heeding that warning while trying to cover up their violations.

With Belichick, the cover-up is most revealing - The Boston Globe

Belichick's penalty for lying, covering up and refusing to obey previous warning from the NFL, $500,000 fine.

So now the Saints penalty should be 4-8 games max and $500,000 penalty.

Bill Belichick, Patriots Got Off Easy With Spygate Penalties in Comparison to Sean Payton, Saints - NFL - NESN.com

When you really start looking at NFL precedent, you will see that according to the NFL's own rulings, their penalty to the Saints is way out of line.

Next we will look at the other fact. It has been reported in numerous places that this also took place in Washington, Tennessee, Buffalo, New Orleans, Baltimore, Green Bay, New York Giants. But so far none of these teams have gotten the same penalties. In fact none of the other teams have gotten any penalties.

Below are the articles that establish where each of these teams had a bounty.

Ravens - NFL eyes Suggs' 'bounty' comments about Steelers - NFL - ESPN Quote directly from the player.
Giants - Kyle Williams: Dirty Giants Focused on 49ers Returner's Concussion History | Bleacher Report. Quote directly from the player.
Green Bay - NFL investigated Green Bay Packers for 'bounty rule' violations in 2007 - New Orleans Saints Football NFL News - NOLA.com
Buffalo - Bills bounty system under Williams alleged - Bills & NFL - The Buffalo News
Tennessee and Washington - Tony Dungy Claims Tennessee Titans Had a Bounty on Peyton Manning | Bleacher Report

If nobody else gets the same suspension as the Saints when we have acknowledgement from players themselves on other teams, then it becomes clear that the penalty then has no basis in established NFL precedent.

Again, neither myself nor any other Saints fan thinks that the bounty is ok and should go unpunished. We just think the punishment should be inline with punishments of similar nature. We also think that since we are punishing teams that have a bounty system and other teams have been found to also have bounty systems as well that we should not share the punishment alone.

If the NFL is serious about this and wants to be considered a just Judge, then other teams and players will join us and the penalties will be brought back to reality of established NFL precedent.
 

saintsfan26

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Very well written and thank you.. excellent points and i think we as paying customers/fans of the NFL deserve a good explanation for this! Answer the damn questions Goodell you P.O.S!!!
 

blackngold4877

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Belichick didn't lie and cover up, per se. They continued the practice after the memo came out. The article is a bit disingenuous in that they make it seem like the league caught them in Green Bay and questioned them which didnt happen. What actually happened was that the Green Bay security threw the guy taping out early in the game, I think they won that game something like 35-0, but be that as it may it was not a case of the league catching the Patriots and giving them a warning like you and that article are portraying. If anything it's similar to the Patriots catching the Jets filming in the 06 playoffs where they threw the guy out. The Saints are accused of flat out denying everything for 3 years during an NFL investigation. When the Patriots were found taping in New York by the league they promptly handed over all of the materials and frankly that would have happened in Green Bay if the Packers security called NFL security like the Jets did. What the Saints did would be tantamount to Belichick saying he never taped anyone else while others in the organization tried to cover up the existence of the other tapes.

I would love to see the league bring the hammer down on other teams here but they won't. Just like we knew the Jets guy was taping in 06, they never investigated New York or any other team, same thing here. They don't need to, the punishment given to the Saints basically assures the league that no one else will do this, same thing with the Patriots in 07 so sorry get used to being the scapegoats in this. When Goodell did a sit down with Patriots fans recently they wouldn't even allow questions about Spygate.
 

saint_drago

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Great post. The punishment is just way over the top and when I see how easy the Patriots got off it makes me see red. The talking heads keep saying "the Patriots were only cheating, the Saints were trying to hurt people". What? They were just cheating? What the Pats were doing actually gave them a competitive edge. The Saints gained no competitive edge from giving a couple hundred bucks out for big plays.

You know what, nevermind. You guys already know all of this and frankly I'm tired of going over it again and again with people who are already on the same page. I just feel so damn helpless and it helps to vent by talking to you guys about it but it doesn't do a thing to change anything. :rant:
 

blackngold4877

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Great post. The punishment is just way over the top and when I see how easy the Patriots got off it makes me see red. The talking heads keep saying "the Patriots were only cheating, the Saints were trying to hurt people". What? They were just cheating? What the Pats were doing actually gave them a competitive edge. The Saints gained no competitive edge from giving a couple hundred bucks out for big plays.

You know what, nevermind. You guys already know all of this and frankly I'm tired of going over it again and again with people who are already on the same page. I just feel so damn helpless and it helps to vent by talking to you guys about it but it doesn't do a thing to change anything. :rant:
Prove it. Records seem damn near identical to me.
 

blackngold4877

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Playoff wins before being caught VS Playoff wins after getting caught
Is that a joke? The 2001 - 2004 teams were stacked on defense and went 9-0 in the playoffs. When the defense started to get old/injured/retired they started losing games which started in 05 and 06. Frankly if the signals made that big of a difference they should have won every Superbowl from 2000 through 2006 and they sure as hell should never have lost the Broncos and Colts playoffs games. Also, the 2003 Superbowl was the one where the Patriots put up the most points and there is no possible way they had any film on Carolina. As for after, they lost in the Superbowl twice! I like that the Patriots have such lofty expectations that anything besides winning the Superbowl is a failure but Jesus Christ they made the damn Superbowl twice since then, the Saints havent made it twice in their history nor has almost half the league. So taking away the Superbowls they lost to the Jets and Ravens. Absolutely should have beaten the Jets, no doubt. The Ravens game they lost Welker the week before, it was the absolute worst team of the BB era except for maybe 2002, and they had no running game. You can just ignore 2008 when they went 11-5 and missed the damn playoffs.
 

blackngold4877

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Why did SpyGate exist if not to gain a competitive edge?
Why did the Saints run a bounty system if they didn't feel it gave them an edge? Everything that's done from teams bugging locker rooms, to bounties, to rifling through the trash for playbooks, to stealing signals is to gain an edge. If you honestly want to believe that video taping the signals from a location that isn't sanctioned by the league is more of an advantage than filming them from a location that is enclosed on 3 sides with a roof by a guy in a yellow vest, ok. At the end of the day it's just more efficient than having a guy with binoculars writing them down. Remember that stealing signals isnt illegal, that's why guys cover their mouths when they call in plays.

Look I'm not saying what the Patriots did was right, far from it. My main thing with Spygate has always been that the punishment was too harsh, they didn't investigate anyone else, and they made it seem like it was an issue with stealing signals (legal) versus where they were recorded from (illegal.) That and that the memo which said recording them was illegal didnt come out until after the Superbowls so they are 100% legit in my opinion. You're seeing a lot of it with the Saints now. the punishment is WAY too harsh and makes ours look lenient and they will not investigate anyone else regardless of evidence. That's what I'm getting at. You guys can try to organize this stuff and fight it all you want, we've done it for 5 years, it doesnt matter.
 

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Spygate also helped the Patriots beat the Rams in the Super Bowl. Evidence started to come out some years back and the NFL rightfully destroyed it. In interviews, Kurt Warner and Marshall Faulk have expressed their opinions feeling the NFL could have done a better job with it, there was even a story a few years ago where the refs admitted they "went easy" on the Patriots as far as holding Marshall Faulk (which tape has proved, they held him most of the game)

I hated the Rams back then, but after the Patriots barely got any punishment for 7 years of spy gate, I have always believed it was some conspiracy that the NFL wanted them to win it all back in 2001, I mean hell, look at it; they totally screwed the Raiders out of that game with the so called incomplete pass that Brady threw by holding the ball with both hands "Tuck Rule".



Looking back, the refs also helped the Patriots quite a lot, including the Tuck Rule game against Oakland, and the NFL has never stood down and admitted they were wrong blowing that game for Oakland. Who would want the Raiders in the Super Bowl anyway? Everyone hates them right?

I also find it oddly a coincidence after YEARS of not giving a crap at all how many quarterbacks get hurt and can never play again, the NFL changed the rules and now you're not allowed to hit the quarterback in the legs, after Brady blew his knee in 2008. Why wait till Brady gets hurt? What about Joe Thiesmann, or how about the running quarterbacks in the 90's that used to blow their knees out too (Cough, Cough, Steve Young)
 

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Why did the Saints run a bounty system if they didn't feel it gave them an edge? Everything that's done from teams bugging locker rooms, to bounties, to rifling through the trash for playbooks, to stealing signals is to gain an edge. If you honestly want to believe that video taping the signals from a location that isn't sanctioned by the league is more of an advantage than filming them from a location that is enclosed on 3 sides with a roof by a guy in a yellow vest, ok. At the end of the day it's just more efficient than having a guy with binoculars writing them down. Remember that stealing signals isnt illegal, that's why guys cover their mouths when they call in plays.

Look I'm not saying what the Patriots did was right, far from it. My main thing with Spygate has always been that the punishment was too harsh, they didn't investigate anyone else, and they made it seem like it was an issue with stealing signals (legal) versus where they were recorded from (illegal.) That and that the memo which said recording them was illegal didnt come out until after the Superbowls so they are 100% legit in my opinion. You're seeing a lot of it with the Saints now. the punishment is WAY too harsh and makes ours look lenient and they will not investigate anyone else regardless of evidence. That's what I'm getting at. You guys can try to organize this stuff and fight it all you want, we've done it for 5 years, it doesnt matter.
My personal belief is that Greg Williams (the Saints) had a bounty system (The term is still ********) because Greg Williams defensive scheme is overrated and he needed to motivate his players with something more. He has proven that his coaching is not enough since he has done this everywhere he coached. The biggest issue most fans have (I think) is that no type of bounty helped make the defense better, other than in turnovers in 09. Where were the injuries that prices were put on?
I may be mistaken, but it is my understanding that a threat can be issued but unless it is followed through upon there is nothing that can be done. IE I can say I am going to kill such and such, but that does not mean I am going to get arrested. However if that individual ends up dead, I am screwed. Very far fetched example, but that is the one that comes to mind off the cuff.
I am not condoning the whole bounty thing or ideal, and believe that a punishment is just when all things are settled. However, since when is it the league policy to make a decision this quickly AND impose such outrageous penalties. Hell, the Star Cap crap took two years!!!!

I understand what Pats fans were feeling now and begrudgingly, feel a sort of kinship with them. What you should understand by now is that Saints fans are loyal beyond any other fan, and to a fault most times (don't believe this is homerish, but could be) and we fight for our team tooth and nail. One of the things I am a little stunned about is that Pats fans are not rallying with us.
I do not expect anything to change for the Saints, although I will hope for it, I just don't want to see any other team get screwed over by an oppressive and unregulated commissioner.
 

blackngold4877

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My personal belief is that Greg Williams (the Saints) had a bounty system (The term is still ********) because Greg Williams defensive scheme is overrated and he needed to motivate his players with something more. He has proven that his coaching is not enough since he has done this everywhere he coached. The biggest issue most fans have (I think) is that no type of bounty helped make the defense better, other than in turnovers in 09. Where were the injuries that prices were put on?
I may be mistaken, but it is my understanding that a threat can be issued but unless it is followed through upon there is nothing that can be done. IE I can say I am going to kill such and such, but that does not mean I am going to get arrested. However if that individual ends up dead, I am screwed. Very far fetched example, but that is the one that comes to mind off the cuff.
I am not condoning the whole bounty thing or ideal, and believe that a punishment is just when all things are settled. However, since when is it the league policy to make a decision this quickly AND impose such outrageous penalties. Hell, the Star Cap crap took two years!!!!

I understand what Pats fans were feeling now and begrudgingly, feel a sort of kinship with them. What you should understand by now is that Saints fans are loyal beyond any other fan, and to a fault most times (don't believe this is homerish, but could be) and we fight for our team tooth and nail. One of the things I am a little stunned about is that Pats fans are not rallying with us.
I do not expect anything to change for the Saints, although I will hope for it, I just don't want to see any other team get screwed over by an oppressive and unregulated commissioner.
If you read the big threat on this on Patsfans.com you'll see most fans sympathize but get annoyed when Saints fans bring up the Pats "cheating." If not for that you'd see more support.
 

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Great post Allen. I hope it gets more traction.

The reason I think the the punishments are so disproportionate to the Patriots is that no one was suing the NFL over illegal camera usage and harsher punishments didn't fit into any agenda the NFL had at the time. They would only serve to weaken their product and reduce revenue.

The reason the NFL didn't punish the Ravens,Giants,Packers,Titans,Redskins,and Bills is probably because,with the exception of the Giants, the NFL didn't have hundreds of ex-players suing them over player safety issues when these issues occurred. The Giants just won the SB and the NFL already had the Saints on their plate. No need to beat on the SB champs when they had the Saints to offer up. Now that the Saints have been made an example of for all the league to see they probably feel no need to go after the other teams which would cast an even uglier shadow over the league as well as impact revenues even more.
 

saints4eva

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Thank you for posting your intelligent and well-reasoned thoughts. I couldn't agree more with your logic.

I wish everyone could read this because there are precious few in the media (about zero) who are writing or talking about the lack of precedence in Goodell's ruling against the Saints; specifically, that it is uncalled for in light of the rulings he has made in the past.

Well said. :9:
 

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While we discuss the extent of the penalties imposed on the Saints so far by the NFL let's also look at NFL precedent for what the violations should be.

But before I go into the details of previous incidents, I would like to first point out that I have not heard a single Saints fan say that New Orleans should not be punished at all. And for full disclosure, I am a lifetime Saints fan. We just think that the penalty does not match NFL precedent.

NFL Argument 1: Player safety is important to the NFL. I will not debate that fact as I do think the NFL is concerned about player safety when it fits their needs.

The players have long argued that an 18 game schedule will cause an increase in injuries yet the NFL is proceeding with their push for an 18 game schedule.

But putting aside those arguments we will look at the 2 game suspension received by Suh of the Detroit Lions. This two game suspension came after three other previous fines issued by the league. League precedent has clearly been established. Violations regarding player safety carry increasing fines and could in a two game suspension as in the case of Suh.

Based on that fact, it would be argued that the Aaron Rogers bounty and the Cam Newton bounty carry 2 - 2 game suspension for a total of four games. The others from previous seasons should carry no penalty as the NFL in those cases chose to issue a warning to the Saints instead. Their is also precedent for a team just receiving a warning initially as with the Green Bay Packers.

Report: Packers focus of bounty probe in 2007 | Sports - Home

But for argument sake, lets say Warner and Favre should count even though they were not handled by the NFL with anything more than a warning when they were discovered by the NFL. That means 4 -2 game suspensions maximum. Considering there were no initial fines handed down first, as is NFL precedent for violations regarding player safety, that would mean that should be the maximum.

So argument 1 says that they should have gotten between 4-8 games suspension as a maximum.

NFL Argument 2: They lied to the NFL.

We will refer back to first to Suh again. He told the NFL that he was not stomping on the arm. Roger Goodell did not believe him and later suspended him. No penalty for lying.

Next we will look at Spygate. The facts that people have forgotten is that in Spygate, the Patriots were warned in a previous season and were caught again later. The Patriots then began to lie and try to cover-up the violation. So now we have precedent for a head coach and team executive lying to the NFL and trying to cover up something that they were previously warned to stop. See the link below about the initial warning by the NFL and the Patriots not heeding that warning while trying to cover up their violations.

With Belichick, the cover-up is most revealing - The Boston Globe

Belichick's penalty for lying, covering up and refusing to obey previous warning from the NFL, $500,000 fine.

So now the Saints penalty should be 4-8 games max and $500,000 penalty.

Bill Belichick, Patriots Got Off Easy With Spygate Penalties in Comparison to Sean Payton, Saints - NFL - NESN.com

When you really start looking at NFL precedent, you will see that according to the NFL's own rulings, their penalty to the Saints is way out of line.

Next we will look at the other fact. It has been reported in numerous places that this also took place in Washington, Tennessee, Buffalo, New Orleans, Baltimore, Green Bay, New York Giants. But so far none of these teams have gotten the same penalties. In fact none of the other teams have gotten any penalties.

Below are the articles that establish where each of these teams had a bounty.

Ravens - NFL eyes Suggs' 'bounty' comments about Steelers - NFL - ESPN Quote directly from the player.
Giants - Kyle Williams: Dirty Giants Focused on 49ers Returner's Concussion History | Bleacher Report. Quote directly from the player.
Green Bay - NFL investigated Green Bay Packers for 'bounty rule' violations in 2007 - New Orleans Saints Football NFL News - NOLA.com
Buffalo - Bills bounty system under Williams alleged - Bills & NFL - The Buffalo News
Tennessee and Washington - Tony Dungy Claims Tennessee Titans Had a Bounty on Peyton Manning | Bleacher Report

If nobody else gets the same suspension as the Saints when we have acknowledgement from players themselves on other teams, then it becomes clear that the penalty then has no basis in established NFL precedent.

Again, neither myself nor any other Saints fan thinks that the bounty is ok and should go unpunished. We just think the punishment should be inline with punishments of similar nature. We also think that since we are punishing teams that have a bounty system and other teams have been found to also have bounty systems as well that we should not share the punishment alone.

If the NFL is serious about this and wants to be considered a just Judge, then other teams and players will join us and the penalties will be brought back to reality of established NFL precedent.
Frankly, this is the best article I have seen on the entire matter. Thanks much. I think the Pats also lost a 1st round pick.
 

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