Gregg Williams, the professed ringleader of the New Orleans Saints bounty program who was suspended indefinitely, was reinstated Thursday by the NFL, which also approved the Tennessee Titans’ contract offer with Williams to become senior assistant in charge of defense.
In a statement, Commissioner Roger Goodell cited several reasons for reinstating Williams, including that he accepted responsibility for his role in the bounty program; he committed to never be involved in any pay for performance system; and he pledged to teach safe play and respect for the rules.
“The commissioner emphasized that Williams must fully conform to league rules and will be subject to periodic monitoring to confirm his compliance,” the NFL said in its statement.
Williams was suspended indefinitely last March, and his reinstatement comes a few weeks after coach Sean Payton’s. So his penalty for his role in the scandal was essentially the same as Payton’s. Saints general manager Mickey Loomis was suspended for eight games, and assistant head coach Joe Vitt for six. Four current or former Saints players also were suspended after an investigation found the club had a performance pool, offering cash rewards for key plays, including big hits. The player suspensions eventually were overturned.
Williams coached for the Saints between 2009 and 2011.
The Titans scheduled a news conference for Thursday afternoon with Williams expected to be on hand with Titans coach Mike Munchak.
“I have known Gregg for over two decades and have seen him work his way up from a quality control coach to a head coach,” Munchak said in a statement. “He will bring a great deal of defensive knowledge and energy to our staff. The decision to bring him here only came after going through a thoughtful and thorough process.”