The Saints are appealing their ban/suspensions for the “bounty” scandal they got themselves into but despite the outcome there are no winners here.
For those who think that the bans are about player safety or some kind of outrage from fans or other players, you are wrong. These bans/suspensions were put in place by the NFL because they had no other choice. In the face of lawsuits filed by countless former players and player’s families, the NFL has no choice but to put these things in place. If they did not, then these lawsuits could contend that the NFL condones such actions that deliberately hurt other players, even causing the very concussions these lawsuits are about. The NFL has no choice and these appeals will not win.
The NFL is in the position of having to make a show of their concern over players. Despite the fact that multiple players have come out and said that the “alleged” actions of the Saints and Gregg Williams are done by “every” team and most players. Despite the fact that most fans don’t really care about these allegations or their implementation. Despite the fact that the NFL almost certainly knew of these things well before their publication and turned a blind eye. The NFL has no choice but to make an example of Williams and the Saints. To not do so would lead to legal suicide in the more than 400 upcoming lawsuits they have filed against them for negligence in regards to player injuries.
The Saints have no prayer of having their bans/suspensions overturned. Not one. No matter their argument the NFL has no other option at this point. They have been backed into a corner by these lawsuits and the only thing for them to do is to put forth an appearance of concern and action against injury. To not do so opens the door for masses of lawyers to use what would be perceived as their obvious lack of concern in court over and over and over again.
I had thought that the NFL would make Williams the only scapegoat in this but they are going for the biggest bang for their ban/suspension buck and going after the Saints is just the way to do that. It gets high profile coverage and generates the kind of “concern” publicity that the NFL sorely needs.
Will it stop “bounty” type things from happening in the NFL in the future? Not at all. Will it help the NFL in court? That remains to be seen. In the end though, there are no winners here.