Skip to main content

Saints coach Sean Payton calls Bountygate investigation a 'sham'

He was suspended for the entire 2012 season.

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton is already among the most hated opponents in Vikings country, and what he said during a radio interview on Thursday probably won't help establish any new friendships in Minnesota. 

Payton, of course, has been the coach of the Saints since 2006. He's best known for, perhaps, being the coach of the 2009 Super Bowl champion Saints that beat the Vikings in the "Bountygate" scandal of the NFC title game. 

And that's where the conversation turned Thursday on Inside Access with Jason La Canfora & Ken Weinman on 105.7 The Fan in Baltimore after the hosts asked Payton what he thought about former Steelers linebacker James Harrison saying on a podcast that Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin handed him an envelope after Harrison's 2010 hit on Browns wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi rendered a $75,000 fine. 

"If people are waiting for the league to investigate that, they shouldn't hold their breath. I think what took place with us in 2011, in so many ways, was a sham. There wasn't a lot we could do with it. The players were vindicated, but from a coaching standpoint there's no union, there's no representation," said Payton. 

"I would be shocked ... that'll be something that's tucked away under the rug at Park Ave. They'll look into it briefly. Don't get me started on that. I lost $6 million in salary and honestly it was something I'll never truly get over because I know how it was handled and how it was run and the reasons behind it. That's just the truth." 

The Bountygate scandal left then-Vikings quarterback Brett Favre hobbled and badly bruised, with a league investigation revealing in March 2012 that former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams paid players for malicious hits on opponents. 

Payton was suspended for the entire 2012 season and Williams was kicked out of the league until being allowed to return to coaching in 2013. He's now the defensive coordinator of the New York Jets. 

Tomlin, meanwhile, remains the head coach of the Steelers, where he's been since departing as Vikings defensive coordinator after the 2006 season. 

Next Up

Screen Shot 2023-01-29 at 1.54.31 PM

Missing: Minnesota man last seen in Sioux Falls area

Aaron Pearson, 41, was reported missing on Thursday.

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 7.45.44 PM

Protest for Tyre Nichols to be held outside MN Governor’s Mansion

Activists groups say they’ll call on Gov. Tim Walz and the Legislature to implement police reforms.


Minnesota pool contractor banned from industry, must pay $2 million-plus

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison filed suit against Charles Workman and his company, MN Crete Pools, LLC, in August.

Minneapolis police

St. Paul man identified as victim of north Minneapolis homicide

The shooting occurred on the 2200 block of Emerson Avenue North on Wednesday.


Two youths seriously injured after being struck by driver in Bloomington

Police say the boy is in a critical condition, while the girl has severe injuries.

Rosedale Center

Two men sentenced for carjacking in Rosedale Center parking lot

Leon Kismit Bell, 49, and Jack Mitchell Piche, 23, were sentenced in U.S. District Court on Jan. 20.

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 3.59.30 PM

Police identify White Bear Lake officer shot while serving warrant

The officer is a six-year veteran of the department.

abortion, planned parenthood

Minnesota Senate passes bill codifying abortion into state law

Having already passed in the House, it will now be sent to Gov. Tim Walz for signing into law.

Screen Shot 2023-01-27 at 7.45.44 PM

Tyre Nichols: Initial police version of events bear similarities to George Floyd killing

Memphis PD said Nichols complained of 'shortness of breath' following 'confrontations' with police, who in reality violently beat him.


Vikings, Saints to renew bitter playoff rivalry

They'll meet at the Superdome on wild-card weekend.

NFL suspends Saints coach Sean Payton over 'bounty list'

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has suspended New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton for a full year. The suspension stems from a bounty system the league says the Saints maintained for three years that paid defensive players to knock opposing players out of games, including the 2009 NFC Championship game against the Vikings.

Michael Thomas Saints

Sitting at home, Saints' Michael Thomas appears to mock Vikings

At least the Vikings can say they made it further than Thomas' Saints.

Marcus Sherels

Report: Marcus Sherels agrees to contract with Saints

Sherels has spent his entire life playing football for Minnesota teams.

Reaction: Saints stunned by suspensions

The Saints were stunned and left speechless Wednesday after NFL commissioner Roger Goodell dropped the hammer on them for putting price tags on their opponents heads during their run to the 2009-10 Super Bowl. Needless to say, the likes of Chris Kluwe and other fired up members of purple country had something to say.

Be Safe: Vikes up against 'Bountygate' D-coordinator

Mike Zimmer wanted to fight Gregg Williams for a cheap shot on Teddy Bridgewater in 2015.

Favre duped into recording video for white supremacist group

Favre thought he was giving a shoutout to a military group.