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Saints' punishment 'bittersweet' to Willie Roaf

NEW YORK -- Hall of Fame lineman Willie Roaf is a former New Orleans Saint and remains a huge fan of the organization. He also knows the team's bounty program had to be stopped, so it was with mixed emotions that he watched the Saints be disciplined this offseason.

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"It was bittersweet. Something had to be done," Roaf told ATL at Radio City Music Hall before introducing the Saints' pick Friday night. "I don't really know the specifics of it. I'm still going to cheer for the team."

While many Saints fans are upset with the NFL for coming down so hard on the team, they must share some of Roaf's feelings. They must know the bounty program as it existed had to be stopped. Like Roaf, they also might try to see the positive.

"I still think they are going to be a good team this year," Roaf said. "They don't have a first- or second-round pick, or Sean Payton, so it makes it tougher. But I think it's kind of good because it brings the guys together and want to have something to prove."

We asked if there were any bounties in Roaf's time as a player. 

"We had more of a thing our day, it was more about for special teams," he said. "In a special teams meeting, if someone made a big hit, we might give him $500 or something for those special teams guys. It wasn't for guys making starter's money. It was more for making a big special teams tackle, big plays."

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