Much to the chagrin of many Saints fans,the Bountygate scandal is showing no signs of going away anytime soon -- in fact, it appears to be gathering more steam.
Peter King's new piece for Sport Illustrated lays out in more detail about how the bounties were allegedly paid, which he describes as a regular Saturday night affair in 2009, when Williams would dole out envelopes loaded with cash for a player's performance from the week before as teammates cheered for the winners to throw their winnings back into the pot to raise the stakes.
The culmination of the jackpot comes as Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma allegedly sweetens the pot by $10,000 for the NFC Championship Game against the Minnesota Vikings to knock quarterback Brett Favre out of the game.
Most damning in the King piece comes after Favre is hit high and low almost simultaneously Bobby McCray and Anthony Hargrove.
As a crumpled Favre is being helped off the field by Vikings staff, King writes, "On the New Orleans sideline, Hargrove excitedly slapped hands with teammates, saying, 'Favre is out of the game! Favre is done! Favre is done!' An on-field microphone directed toward the sideline caught an unidentified defender saying, 'Pay me my money!'"
The episode is one of many explosive elements to King's story. Also included is Goodell's aghast reaction from a source upon learning that the Saints had bounties, head coach Sean Payton's questioning by league officials whether he was aware of the bounties and the comparison of the Saints organization to the Nixon White House.
It is not a pleasant read for Saints fans.
See full story (Readers have to like Sports Illustrated's Facebook page to read the story.)
While King's story is pretty damning, a writer for the Wall Street Journal decided to examine the games from 2009 forward to see if the Saints were knocking a lot of opposing players out of the game to get those bounties.
Matthew Futterman's Little Booty in Saints' Bounties finds:
"A Wall Street Journal review of every regular- and postseason Saints game since 2009 makes clear what the NFL report didn't: Seldom did a Saints-inflicted injury force an opponent to leave the field. In 48 regular-season and six postseason games, such incidents occurred only 18 times.
The Saints player involved in the largest number of those cases was safety Roman Harper. That number was four."