METAIRIE LA - JULY 30: Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams of the New Orleans Saints during the first day of Training Camp on July 30 2010 in Metairie Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
A cloud that has hung over the NFL the entire off-season has been the bounty scandal that rocked the New Orleans Saints, costing them several members of their team for the 2012 season. It appears that the Buffalo Bills have been cleared (again) in the scandal, per a new report.
Former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has been suspended indefinitely for his role in the bounty program, encouraging players to deliver injury-causing hits and paying them to do so. Williams is a former head coach of the Bills, and while the NFL didn't hand out punishment to the Bills in March, the possibility still existed that they could based on new players coming forward.
"While NFL staff has interviewed people in connection with public allegations of bounty programs at other clubs [than New Orleans], no evidence was established showing that the programs at other clubs involved targeting opposing players or rewarding players for injuring an opponent," said the league in a March press release. "Commissioner Goodell emphasized that if additional information is brought to his attention that discloses bounties offered for injuring specific opposing players, he will revisit the matter to consider additional discipline."
After that report was released, former Bills defender Coy Wire said a system was in place under Williams, while Phil Hansen and Chidi Ahanotu disputed that report the following week. It would now appear that despite the accusations from Wire, the league has not found evidence of a bounty system in place in Buffalo nor Washington, according to the Washington Post. The key word is "evidence," of which they had piles in New Orleans.
The Post cites a "person with knowledge of the investigation who spoke on condition of anonymity because the NFL has made no formal announcement about the status of the probe."
As the league did officially in March, the person left the possibility open that if more evidence surfaces, sanctions could still be imposed.