We've heard a lot about players getting paid to take out football players from the other team lately, but it's not new. Testimony has come out that in the mid-90's Reggie White offered 'smash for cash' incentives to his fellow Packers for a good hit. The thing is the NFL not only knew about it, they put guidelines in place to make sure it didn't go to far.
Some newspaper articles about it at the time have also surfaced:
"Greg Aiello, an NFL spokesman, said there was nothing wrong with what White did, likening it to a quarterback buying gifts for his offensive linemen."
Not only does this hurt the NFL's credibility, it opens them up for legal problems. If they changed the rules, they needed to notify the players. Since they failed to do that, legally they shouldn't have fined the Saints players. Here's a video of Reggie White casually talking about 'Smash for Cash' during an interview in 1996. WATCH.