On March 21, 2012, the NFL suspended New Orleans Saints' head coach, as well as fined the team $500,000 for a bounty program the team advocated. From 2009-2012, the Saints operated the bounty program by offering cash to Saints players who injured their opponents. Twenty-two of twenty-seven defensive players were involved in the bounty program, which paid up to $1,500 for some hits during regular season play. Some players who were particularly targeted were Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers, Kurt Warner, and Carolina Panthers' Cam Newton who plays here in Charlotte.
The NFL began its investigation in 2010, but the Saints misled the league during the initial investigation, prolonging the NFL's ruling. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell stated in a press conference the Saints' conduct will not be condoned, and the NFL will not tolerate the deliberate targeting of players. Commissioner Goodell has assured the NFL, as well as the public, that player safety is the primary concern of the NFL, which prompted the investigation.