St. Louis Rams defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is in trouble. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is not expected to take the bounty program administered by Williams in New Orleans lightly. For Rams fans, the question is just what kind of punishment Williams will face.
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It is expected to be, in the words of Peter King, "very significant." It's reasonable to wonder if Williams' role in the bounty program and the looming punishment from the league won't cost him his new job.
Already pundits are expecting the punishment for this to be worse than Spygate, the New England Patriots' videotaping affair that many Rams fans feel cost them a Super Bowl win in 2001.
Williams released a statement moments ago via the Rams:
I want to express my sincere regret and apology to the NFL, Mr. Benson, and the New Orleans Saints fans for my participation in the ‘pay for performance' program while I was with the Saints. It was a terrible mistake, and we knew it was wrong while we were doing it. Instead of getting caught up in it, I should have stopped it. I take full responsibility for my role. I am truly sorry. I have learned a hard lesson and I guarantee that I will never participate in or allow this kind of activity to happen again.
Williams will most likely be suspended for several games, at least, per Peter King.
Because this gets to two of the NFL's primary concerns, competitiveness and player safety, you can be sure that Goodell will not treat it lightly. Already some are wondering if the league will choose to make an example out of Williams. There is talk, just talk, that he could face a full year suspension.
It even begs the question whether or not the Rams would fire him and find another defensive coordinator.
Just one reason that "h" is an "f" soon RT @SethWickersham: So did Gregg Williams inform the Rams about the investigation when he was hired?— Dan Shanoff (@danshanoff) March 2, 2012
Funny, Rams fans wanted to see a tougher face on the coaching staff, one with more accountability. Williams seemed like the right answer. Rams fans wanted a tougher coach, and this is what they got.
Do not expect this to go away any time soon.