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Goodell: New Orleans Saints players 'embraced' bounties

There's mounting evidence that players involved in the New Orleans Saints' "bounty" scandal will pay a steep price for their actions.

In an appearance Tuesday on "The Rich Eisen Podcast," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said players have real culpability for their involvement in the Saints' pay-for-performance scheme.

"The evidence is quite clear that the players embraced this," Goodell said. "They enthusiastically embraced it. They put the vast majority of the money into the program and they actually are the ones playing the game. They are on the field, so I don't think they are absolved from any responsibility because of that."

Translation: Prepare for the hammer drop.

Goodell also spoke about his discussions with the NFL Players Association regarding the issue.

"I am not necessarily looking for their recommendation on discipline," said Goodell, who hopes to reach his decision on player discipline "very soon." "I am looking for their recommendation on what we do to continue to make our game safer and to get this type of activity out of the game and get back to the point where we have respect for each other and the game itself.

"We have held the executives and the coaches to a higher standard, but the players need to recognize, they need to make sure that this is not happening either, and that was the whole point that I made with the Players Association."

Eisen's interview with Goodell airs Wednesday at 10:30 p.m. ET on NFL Network.

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