So, what should the punishment and penalties be? The Experts differ on who should bear the biggest brunt, but here is a taste of what is in store for the city and its team, the Saints.
"Players deserve at least a two-game ban; Williams should get hit the hardest
In theory, the 22-27 players named should be suspended at least two games. That is, if the league truly wants to frown on this kind of practice.
Gregg Williams should receive the harshest punishment. But seeing as there's no real precedent here, how long do you punish him? Is six-to-eight games without pay too harsh? That isn't likely to happen. But once again, if the league is looking to discourage this kind of behavior, a one- or two-game suspension and big fine won't do it. Maybe the appropriate punishment lies somewhere in the middle.
Sean Payton's involvement is tougher to define. He apparently had knowledge of the situation, but his non-participation would lead one to believe he and general manager Mickey Loomis will only be fined. The Saints organization could -- and possibly should -- lose a first-round draft pick.
Whatever happens, to say this situation is regrettable would be an understatement. Is this freaking story medieval or what?"
Joe Harrison of NFL.com
Player safety is paramount in today's NFL, so punishment will be stiff
Roger Goodell has put tremendous emphasis on player safety, and so has the NFLPA in the new labor agreement. This scandal also includes a salary-cap violation. It is clear the Saints should be penalized as an organization. Gregg Williams -- now with the St. Louis Rams -- should face the stiffest fine. Other members of the Saints organization possibly should be fined, too, but without getting the exact details I can't have a full opinion on it. The amount of punishment doled out has to be based on the history in this matter. The Saints should probably lose a second-round draft choice -- at least -- or a first if you want to say it is for multiple violations. I would definitely fine every player involved, as well.
Charley Casserly of NFL.com
To have a coach broker hits that are intended to damage the health of opponents can't, and won't, be tolerated. That's why I believe the penalty for this NFL crime will exceed the $750,000 fines and loss of a first-round draft pick that the Patriots were penalized in 2007. The Saints traded their first-round pick to the Patriots to move up to draft running back Mark Ingram in 2011. I wouldn't be surprised if the league takes away a second-round or third-round pick this year and a first-rounder next year.
By John Clayton of ESPN.com
Here are some other thoughts on the issue. Tell us what you think below