On Wednesday, the NFL came down hard on players directly involved in the cash-for-hit bounty system the Saints have had in recent years.
Linebacker Jonathan Vilma was suspended for the entire season, defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove was suspended eight games, defensive end Will Smith was suspended four games and linebacker Scott Fujita was suspended three games. Hargrove is now playing for the Green Bay Packers and Fujita is now playing for the Cleveland Browns.
In March, the NFL suspended Saints Head Coach Sean Payton the full season, defensive co-ordinator Gregg Williams indefinitely, General Manager Mickey Loomis for eight games and Assistant Coach Joe Vitt for six games.
Knockouts were worth $1,500, cart-offs were worth $1,000, with payoffs doubled or tripled come playoff time. When the Saints won the Super Bowl in 2010, According to the Associated Press, Vilma was reportedly offering $10,000 to anyone who knocked out Kurt Warner of the Arizona Cardinals from the NFC Divisional Playoff or Brett Favre of the Minnesota Vikings from the NFC Championship.
The Saints won the Super Bowl that season by defeating the Indianapolis Colts 31-17.