The NFL's pay-for-pain scandal: Does 'disturbing' new audio doom Gregg Williams?

In a profane audio clip, the former New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator offers players a bounty for injuring their rivals — and it could end his career

Former New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams
(Image credit: Derick Hingle/Icon SMI/Corbis)

The NFL's pay-for-pain scandal — dubbed "Bountygate" — has become even more villainous, thanks to an "extremely disturbing" audio clip that's surfaced implicating Gregg Williams, the former defensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints. (Listen to the NSFW audio below.) Williams was suspended from the league indefinitely for running a bounty pool that awarded players bonuses for brutally tackling members of opposing teams in the hopes of injuring them. Filmmaker Sean Pamphilon, who gained access to the Saints while filming a documentary, released the expletive-ridden audio clip, in which Williams commands his team to injure members of the San Francisco 49ers prior to a playoff game. "There's no doubt at all" that Williams placed a bounty on quarterback Alex Smith, Pamphilon says. "Go lay that motherfucker out," Williams says. "Kill the head and the body will die." The 12-minute speech, edited down to a three-minute clip, has emerged just as members of the Saints coaching staff, including head coach Sean Payton, are set to appeal their respective suspensions. How bad is this for Williams and the Saints?

It couldn't be worse: Bountygate isn't exactly breaking news, says Eric Bowman at Bleacher Report, but this "sickening" audio illuminates its wretchedness. "This is crossing the line, big time." Pamphilon says that Williams actually rubbed his fingers together — indicating a cash reward — while he encouraged his players to "go lay that motherfucker out." The Saints coaches had a shot of getting their suspensions reduced at today's appeal, but this damning audio kills that. As for Williams: He's toast. He'll never coach in the NFL again.

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