NEW YORK, March 6 (UPI) -- NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell reportedly is furious about reports the New Orleans Saints paid bounties to players for knocking opponents out of games.
The scandal began last week when Sports Illustrated reported Saints coaches allegedly offered linebacker Jonathan Vilma $10,000 to knock quarterback Brett Farve out of the 2009 NFC championship game.
"This is a seminal moment in the culture change we have to make," a source close to Goodell told SI, ProFootballTalk.com said. "This has to stop now. Every team needs to hear the message that we're in a different era now, where this appalling behavior is going to end."
The Los Angeles Times said Goodell was ready to impose tough disciplinary measures on Saints head coach Sean Payton, General Manager Mickey Loomis, former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and Vilma.
Williams has also been mentioned in an alleged bounty system involving the Washington Redskins, but Greg Blache, who replaced Williams in Washington, told the Post former Redskins head coach Joe Gibbs was never aware of any bounty system when Williams was Skins defensive coordinator from 2004 to 2007
However, former defensive lineman George Starke, one of the original "Hogs" under Gibbs first tenure as coach, told ESPN 980 Gibbs would walk through the locker room to hand out "a fistful of $100 bills" to players who had knocked down the opposing quarterback during games, CBSSports.com reported.