It took them almost three weeks, but the National Football League has finally decided how to punish the New Orleans Saints for their "bounty program." And, boy oh boy, is it a crazy punishment. Over the course of the next two years, the Saints will lose their second-round draft picks. They'll also be required to pay a $500,000 fine. But that's not the real punishment. Additionally, the NFL has decided to suspend Saints head coach Sean Payton for—you ready for this?—the entire 2012-13 NFL season. That's right. The Saints will have to play for an entire year without their head coach.
There were other penalties that were handed out, too. Saints general manager Mickey Loomis was suspended for eight regular-season games. Assistant coach Joe Vitt was suspended for six games without pay. And former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, now with the St. Louis Rams, was suspended indefinitely. But, hands down, the most shocking suspension of the day was the one involving Payton.
The NFL said they wanted to send a message with their suspensions. And that, folks, is how you send a message. Wow.
Follow @Complex_Sports for more news and commentary.