Two big stories broke today in the NFL, with the league handing down unprecedented sanctions in the New Orleans Saints’ bounty scandal on the same day that Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow was dealt to the New York Jets.
The NFL banned Saints head coach Sean Payton for a year in connection with a scandal in which players were reportedly paid a bounty for injuring opposing players, CBS News reports.
Payton, who guided New Orleans to a Super Bowl title in the 2009 season, is the first head coach suspended by the NFL for any reason, the story reports. The suspension is linked to accusations that he tried to cover up the extra payouts to players in a so-called “bounty” system described by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell as “particularly unusual and egregious” and “totally unacceptable,” the story notes.
Said Goodell: "We are all accountable and responsible for player health and safety and the integrity of the game. We will not tolerate conduct or a culture that undermines those priorities. No one is above the game or the rules that govern it."
Meanwhile, repercussions are being felt from Peyton Manning’s decision to join the Denver Broncos, which we reported earlier this week. With Manning in the lineup the team traded Tebow, who led the Broncos to the playoffs last season, to the New York Jets.
Tebowmania was the biggest story in the NFL during the past season, and with Tebow in the league’s biggest TV market, it’s not likely to subside anytime soon.
What the move means for the Jets’ current quarterback Mark Sanchez is unclear. The New York Times reported that the move diversifies the Jets’ offense but threatens to undermine Sanchez’s position on the team. The story notes that the deal is contingent on league approval.
The Times piece reports: “The Jets received Tebow and a seventh-round pick in the deal, and sent a fourth- and a sixth-round pick to Denver. Tebow will ostensibly run only a handful of plays per game, but the Jets view him as a component of their new run-oriented offense, engineered by the first-year coordinator Tony Sparano, who popularized the Wildcat formation when he was the head coach of the Miami Dolphins.”