Commissioner Roger Goodell's actions, if too light, could open the league up to damaging lawsuits and fatal exposure. Lawsuits are the only thing outside of a meteor strike that could take down the high-flying NFL.
That is why Goodell must banish, or suspend indefinitely, Gregg Williams. He must also suspend and fine Saints' Head Coach Sean Payton, fine GM Mickey Loomis and slap the Saints in general with a hefty fine.
If this sounds excessive, it is. It has to be. We live in a very litigious culture, and all major businesses fear one thing more that anything else: lawsuits.
There are currently nine lawsuits or legal actions on the books around the country, filed by former players accusing the NFL of not going far enough - or misleading them - in regards to player safety.
The NFL cannot afford to allow this current Saints' fiasco to seep into any one of those proceedings. All it takes is for Goodell to mishandle the punishment in this case and opposing attorneys will have a field day.
If the NFL does not banish Williams indefinitely, lawyers can prove to a jury that the NFL not only promoted violence throughout their history, but is still doing so today. That would sway a jury and - as we all know, once a precedent is set - the game is afoot.
How many former NFL players are out there? 5,000, 10,000? Many of them will sue, and the NFL will be liable. They will have to pay damages. Maybe not enough to bankrupt them, but enough to severely cripple them.
Goodell has to slam this hatch and seal it. Williams and the others can appeal, as is their right, but someone has to go here and it will not be Goodell...He needs to end this quickly and send a message to everyone (inside and outside of the game of Football) that the NFL is serious. Therefore, the punishment must be one that no one - not even a lawyer, judge or jury - can dispute or misconstrue as too lenient.
His job is to "protect the shield" and if the NFL does not want to be in court for the next decade watching their profits flow down the drain on legal costs and tort awards.