Saints cheated in playoff win over Vikings

We knew it!

In the franchise-changing NFL National Conference championship game in 2010, many thought the New Orleans Saints were playing dirty and out to injure people, particularly then-Vikings-QB Brett Favre. Now we know the truth. They were.

Today, the National Football League revealed results of an investigation into a “bounty program” the Saints had that paid players for injuring the competition.

It said between 22 and 27 defensive players and at least one assistant coach were involved and that the payouts to players reached a high of $50,000 during the playoffs that year.

There’s no word, yet, on how much the Saints players made for this critical hit.

(Update 5:07 p.m.) – Sports Illustrated’s Peter King says Favre was specifically targeted:

Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma offered any defensive teammate $10,000 in cash to knock then-Vikings quarterback Brett Favre out of the game. Favre was hit viciously several times in the game. That fact was in a report to the 32 NFL owners, sent out by the league to detail further what the league’s 50,000-page investigation found.

The investigation showed that Saints players received $1,500 for a “knockout” hit and $1,000 for a “cart-off” hit with payouts doubling or tripling during the team’s three playoff appearances, reported.

The Saints went on to win the Super Bowl that season.