According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, approximately two dozen New Orleans Saints defensive players participated in a bounty program targeting opponents offensive players. Schefter broke the news with a series of tweets:
"The payments here are particularly troubling because they involved not just payments for ‘performance,’ but also for injuring opposing players,” Roger Goodell said in a league statement. “The bounty rule promotes two key elements of NFL football: player safety and competitive integrity.
“It is our responsibility to protect player safety and the integrity of our game, and this type of conduct will not be tolerated. We have made significant progress in changing the culture with respect to player safety and we are not going to relent. We have more work to do and we will do it.”
Saints owner Tom Benson has released the following statement:
"I have been made aware of the NFL’s findings relative to the “Bounty Rule” and how it relates to our club. I have offered and the NFL has received our full cooperation in their investigation. While the findings may be troubling, we look forward to putting this behind us and winning more championships in the future for our fans."