Jeff Fisher's old friend has him in a real bind.
Gregg Williams is visiting New York City today. No, he is not there for a pastrami sandwich; he is there at the behest of NFL Security, being questioned for his role in bounty programs prior to the one the league investigated in New Orleans. There will be no discussion of punishment on this visit, but that figures to happen soon. When it does, Williams is likely to face a lengthy suspension, says Mark Maske at the Washington Post, that will raise questions about his NFL future.
Maske quotes a source "familiar with the deliberations" as saying the league is prepared to hand down "unprecedented" penalties for the bounty program. And just how severe might those penalties be? Maske reports:
The suspensions under consideration are a half-season or longer in some cases, the person said. Several other people in the sport said they expect Williams, now the defensive coordinator of the St. Louis Rams, to be punished severely.
A half-season or more, huh?
Jeff Fisher and the Rams will have a very difficult decision of their own to make if Williams gets slapped with a six-game suspension. Do they keep Williams or cut bait and move forward without him?
Even six games is a long time to be without a coach, particularly in that coach's first year with the team. That puts the Rams defense behind the eight ball in trying to learn a new system and implement it on the field. Of course, it sounds as though bounties were a big part of Williams' defensive system, so the whole point may be moot anyhow.
Goodell is expected to issue a judgement sooner rather than later.