The NFL has summoned Gregg Williams to its New York headquarters for a Monday meeting to discuss the pay-for-performance violations he committed while defensive coordinator of the New Orleans Saints and possibly while he coached other teams.
League sources said Williams will meet with NFL security officials Joe Hummel and Jeff Miller, as well as general counsel Jeff Pash. One source said it will be more of a "meeting" than a "hearing," and that with the league having done such extensive work on Williams' violations in New Orleans, the focus will be on his alleged infractions with other teams.
The Washington Post and Buffalo News reported over the weekend that Williams set similar big-play incentives when he was Redskins defensive coordinator and Bills head coach, respectively. Williams, who also has been an assistant for the Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars, joined the St. Louis Rams as defensive coordinator after the 2011 season.
According to sources, Williams has been very cooperative throughout this investigation, after he and the Saints were evasive during a prior probe. Said one source: "He's been a stand-up guy."
One source said discipline will not be discussed at Monday's meeting. However, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell would like to mete out punishment before the league meeting at the end of the month, giving the involved teams time to make staffing adjustments in the wake of any possible suspensions.
Citing a person familiar with the deliberations, The Post reported Sunday that Williams, Saints coach Sean Payton, general manager Mickey Loomis and players could be suspended, some for as long as half a season or more.
Goodell's focus during this process will be to institute a culture change, according to sources, with the realization that the problem isn't necessarily limited to Williams. Held up in league circles as an example of what's needed was former New England Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi's message last week that all players are "in this together" and need to "take care of each other."
Goodell has been in touch with NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith, sources said, and the league plans to continue working with the union on the matter. Goodell plans to ensure that players are culpable in these matters, too, and responsible for respecting the careers and lives of those around them.
League spokesman Greg Aiello declined to comment Sunday about the meeting with Williams when reached by NFL.com and NFL Network.
Aiello did tell The Associated Press earlier Sunday that the league plans to keep looking at plays from recent seasons in the wake of the findings against the Saints. Aiello said in an email that the NFL will be "addressing the issues raised as part of our responsibility to protect player safety and the integrity of the game."
The investigation by NFL security found that quarterbacks Brett Favre and Kurt Warner were among the players targeted. "Knockouts" were worth $1,500 and "cart-offs" $1,000, with payments doubled or tripled for the playoffs.
All payouts for specific performances in a game, including interceptions or causing fumbles, are against NFL rules. The league also warns teams against such practices before each season.
The NFL said 22 to 27 defensive players were involved in the program administered by Williams, with Payton's knowledge. The league already has interviewed Saints players involved in the bounties and plans to interview more in an effort to gather information and prevent further incidents, according to sources.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.