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NFL meetings day 1: Bountygate could've been the Packers' problem

Nov. 6, 2013
 
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PALM BEACH, Fla. — With all the buzz here at the NFL annual meetings about the New Orleans Saints bounty penalties, it’s worth wondering what would have happened had the Packers hired Gregg Williams to be their defensive coordinator back in 2009. Williams was the orchestrator and administer of the Saints’ bounty system in which players were offered bonuses for knocking out opponents’ key players during his tenure as their defensive coordinator from 2009-11. He was one of the handful of candidates Mike McCarthy considered before he hired Dom Capers to run his defense in 2009. There were even reports that Williams turned down an offer from McCarthy. “Like a lot of those questions, that’s a hypothetical,” McCarthy said. “I didn’t go through the hiring process, the details of it, out of respect for the people involved. Things happen for a reason. We hired Dom Capers, and we’re very happy with the way it’s worked out.” Either way, it’s safe to say McCarthy breathed a sigh of relief when the bounty story broke. The bounty penalties could have devastating effects on the Saints. Coach Sean Payton, a finalist for the Packers head coach job when McCarthy was hired in 2006, will begin serving a one-year suspension on April 1. Williams, who in the offseason joined the St. Louis Rams as defensive coordinator, has been indefinitely suspended and may never coach again in the league. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will meet with reporters this afternoon, and the Saints’ bounty penalties are sure to be a topic.  

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