Gregg Williams had to hate what he read from Paul Tagliabue this week. The former commissioner's ruling put the blame for the bounty scandal on the Saints coaching staff, and specifically on Williams. It could affect Williams' ability to return to the league as a coach.
The ruling also hurts Sean Payton's image, but Payton will be back coaching the Saints next season and making people forget about his involvement.
Three players came out of this smelling pretty sweet, as Jonathan Vilma, Will Smith and Anthony Hargrove had their suspensions lifted. But the biggest winner was Scott Fujita, the linebacker who was exonerated by Tagliabue. The ruling suggested these players were merely following orders.
City of New Orleans hurt
The biggest winner in the ruling was the NFLPA.
The victory signals a potential shift in how Commissioner Roger Goddell handles future rulings.
With every decision, Goddell grew bolder in his authority and perhaps this case was the breaking point for the NFLPA.
Bountygate became more about the players against Goddell than the pay for injury concerns. The biggest losers are the NFL and the city of New Orleans.
Sean Peyton's yearlong suspension put an end to a legit shot at having the first NFL team playing and hosting a Super Bowl.