Loomis, Payton issue joint statement on bounty violations
New Orleans, La — The New Orleans Saints general manager and head coach released a joint statement on the bounty violation scandal that was revealed Friday.
The statement reads:
"We acknowledge that the violations disclosed by the NFL during their investigation of our club happened under our watch. We take full responsibility. This has brought undue hardship on Mr. Benson, who had nothing to do with this activity. He has been nothing but supportive and for that we both apologize to him. These are serious violations and we understand the negative impact it has had on our game. Both of us have made it clear within our organization that this will never happen again, and make that same promise to the NFL and most importantly to all of our fans.
Mickey Loomis & Sean Payton"
On Monday, a New Orleans Saints official familiar with club owner Tom Benson's reaction to the NFL's bounty investigation said Loomis and Payton still have Benson's full support.
An NFL report says between 22 and 27 defensive players on the Saints, as well as a former assistant coach, maintained a bounty program for inflicting injuries on targeted opposing players during the past three seasons.
Gregg Williams admitted and apologized for running a bounty pool of up to $50,000 over the last three seasons that rewarded players with thousand-dollar payoffs for knocking targeted opponents out of games while he was the Saints' defensive coordinator.
Commissioner Roger Goodell said he is troubled because the system "involved not just payments for 'performance,' but also for injuring opposing players. The bounty rule promotes two key elements of NFL football: player safety and competitive integrity."
Williams met with NFL investigators in the New York area on Monday. Goodell did not attend the meeting.