The NFL released information following a lengthy investigation by its security department that found between 22 and 27 defensive players on the New Orleans Saints, as well as then defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, maintained a “pay for performance” program. The program was in place for three seasons (2009-2011) and according to the league investigation, payments were made for plays such as interceptions and fumble recoveries. However, it also included payments for “cart-offs” and “knockouts,” where players were rewarded for opposing players who were carted off the field or knocked out of a game and couldn’t return.
The money was pooled together most from players in violation of league rules and Williams himself, who contributed funds on occasion. Williams released a statement late Friday.
“I want to express my sincere regret and apology to the NFL, Mr. (Tom) Benson, (Saints owner) and the New Orleans Saints fans for my participation in the ‘pay for performance’ program while I was with the Saints. It was a terrible mistake, and we knew it was wrong while we were doing it. Instead of getting caught up in it, I should have stopped it. I take full responsibility for my role. I am truly sorry. I have learned a hard lesson and I guarantee that I will never participate in or allow this kind of activity to happen again.”