The brunt of the New Orleans Saints' bounty scandal suspensions have finally been handed out, and from the perspective of a St. Louis Rams fan it looks like their involvement in the whole strange thing—they hired a guy who will now never coach a down for them—could have been far, far worse. The Saints lost Jonathan Vilma for the entire 2012 season, and they'll be without Will Smith for four games. Meanwhile, Anthony Hargrove, now of the Green Bay Packers, is out eight games, and Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita will miss three.
Considering all that punishment, the loss of a defensive coordinator who was apparently unable to defensive-coordinate without the assistance of cash incentives for ending Kurt Warner's career doesn't seem so bad, does it?
In one sense, the Rams' involvement in the bounty scandal remains quintessentially Rammy: They managed to get themselves tied up in, and nearly brought down by, a situation that had nothing to do with them, either by absurd accident, complete obliviousness, or calculated risk. This is different in at least one sense, though: By only losing Gregg Williams, the Rams finally managed to avoid the worst of something, for once.
For more on the Saints bounty scandal and the Rams' involvement in it, check out our Gregg WIlliams Bountygate stream, populated with all our updates and analysis on the subject. Related: No matter how widespread bounty programs are, the St. Louis Rams must fire Gregg Williams.