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fordfixer
03-05-2012, 02:36 AM
Ban the 'bounty' bums, but blame culture
Greg Couch

Updated Mar 3, 2012 10:14 PM ET
http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/couc ... job-030212 (http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/couch-bounty-hunting-by-saints-should-cost-sean-payton-his-job-030212)


Don’t be shocked. Don’t be surprised. Don’t even ask how. Football, the false American dream, has struck again. That’s all.

In 2009, we thought the New Orleans Saints were the cuddly, feel-good story of the NFL, winning the Super Bowl for a town that needed something to cheer for after Hurricane Katrina.

Turns out, according to an NFL investigation released Friday, that was the year a bounty system, administered by defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, reached its height — a system that, over three years, included between 22 and 27 players and totaled up to $50,000.

It gave players cash rewards for hurting opponents — a thousand bucks for a knockout, $1,500 for a cart-off.

The report says that Saints head coach Sean Payton didn’t help to put the system in place, but did nothing when he found out about it.

Nothing. Didn’t stop it. Didn’t look into it. Didn’t tell anyone that they shouldn’t do it.

If that’s true, then Sean Payton should be fired.

Already, players are looking back, wondering publicly if they were victims of the bounty system. Kurt Warner took a big hit from the Saints in the 2010 playoffs. Was he a target? Jay Cutler? Adrian Peterson?

Before the NFC Championship Game in 2010, Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma offered a $10,000 bounty — according to Sports Illustrated — to knock Brett Favre out of the game.

Bounties aren’t new in the NFL. What’s new is medical fears about the game. What’s new is Dave Duerson committing suicide because he was forgetting phone numbers and addresses and addition and subtraction. He couldn’t face the future. What’s new is the knowledge about the connection between football and concussions and former players’ brains turning to mush.

So why does anyone do this? It’s the NFL, that’s why. It’s the culture not only of the league, but also of the sport that parents across the country are dying to put their kids into. Think again, parents.

Football glory is a big lie.

"It is our responsibility to protect player safety and the integrity of the game, and this type of conduct will not be tolerated," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said. "We have made significant progress in changing the culture with respect to player safety, and we are not going to relent."

Progress in changing the culture? Oh, please.

Yes, Goodell put in rules against head shots. But let’s be real: The offensive and defensive linemen are smashing heads the whole game. The only people who aren’t allowed to do it now are the ones people clearly see when they’re watching games on TV.

The culture has not changed. And if you’re shocked by what the Saints have done, then you’re going to accept the pitch to blame the whole thing on Williams. See, if it’s the fault of one person, or a small group, then you can get rid of those individuals and everything looks clean, right?

The Washington Post reported that Williams had a similar program in place when he was the defensive coordinator for the Redskins, too. But look, he didn’t invent the idea. And these players are not children. They know that players from the past are drooling on themselves now, and today's players didn’t have any problem ponying up for the bounty pool.

Apparently, real men turn other men into vegetables.

Those players all need to be suspended, and fined. The NFL fined Patriots coach Bill Belichick $500,000 and the team $250,000 over Spygate in 2007. Spygate was nothing compared to this.

These fines are going to hit seven figures.

As for Williams, now the coordinator with the Rams, he needs to be kicked out. He issued this apology, through the Rams:

"It was a terrible mistake, and we knew it was wrong while we were doing it. Instead of getting caught up in it, I should have stopped it. I take full responsibility for my role. I am truly sorry."

It would be nice if Payton would say something like that, too.

Are we supposed to think the Saints are dirtier than other teams now? That’s what the NFL is going to want you to think. Don’t kid yourself.

"It’s definitely disappointing, but I won’t say that I’m completely surprised," Warner told KTAR Radio in Phoenix, via ProFootballTalk.com.

"And, again, not necessarily the Saints, but I’m not surprised that there were teams out there doing those kinds of things behind closed doors … I think that’s part of the game, and I think that’s part of the mindset."

This is a sport built on aggression and pain and testosterone. You can’t take all of that out of the game. All the league can do — for fans and NFL attorneys in future lawsuits — is make it appear that it is doing all it can do.

The problem is that the lawsuits from ex-players are going to start rolling in, especially if the Duerson family wins big. Meanwhile, studies are starting to see an increase in parents who don’t want their kids playing football.

Researchers at Virginia Tech and Wake Forest did a study measuring the head impact on youth football players. It was believed to be the first such study on youth football. It looked at seven players, ages 7 and 8, in Virginia.

As reported by ESPN, the study showed that the average player suffered 107 shots to the head over the course of 9.4 practices and 4.7 games.

This is a serious threat to the NFL. It’s the players of the past and the future attacking at the same time. At some point, people might start feeling sick to their stomachs when watching the game, cheering big hits and wondering what happens to a brain as it crashes off one side of the skull.

That’s what makes the Saints scandal so awful. The players knew.

Williams knew. Payton knew. Players and coaches around the league know.

They can’t help themselves. So, $1,500 for a cart-off? This is what they were taught, what they were groomed for. It is their dream.

fordfixer
03-05-2012, 02:41 AM
Reports: Williams pushed more bounties
FOX Sports

Updated Mar 4, 2012 3:53 PM ET
http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/greg ... nts-030412 (http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/gregg-williams-nfl-washington-redskins-buffalo-bills-bounty-allegations-new-orleans-saints-030412)

The NFL will investigate allegations that the Washington Redskins operated a bounty program that paid players big bonuses for jarring hits when Gregg Williams coached the team’s defense from 2004-07, the Washington Post reported, citing a league source.

In addition, a former Buffalo Bills player said Williams promoted cash bonuses for delivering hits that seriously injured opponents while working the team's head coach from 2001-03.

League spokesman Greg Aiello said in an email to The Associated Press on Sunday that the league would not comment on other reports. He adds that the NFL will look at ''any relevant info regarding rules being broken,'' saying that is ''standard procedure.''

Williams' tactics came under scrutiny in a two-year NFL investigation that accused him of managing an illegal bounty system while working as defensive coordinator of the New Orleans Saints. The NFL said Friday that Williams rewarded Saints players for knocking opponents out of games. Williams admitted to the allegations and apologized in a statement.

A former Redskins coach and five players said Friday that the team’s defense under Williams had a system to reward players with cash for hits that knocked opponents from games. Former defensive end Phillip Daniels, now the Redsksins’ director of player development, defended Williams, saying the approach promoted “good, hard football.”

But Coy Wire, who joined the Bills in 2002, told The Buffalo News a mindset of "malicious intent" existed when he arrived.

"That's real," Wire told the paper. "That happened in Buffalo.

"There were rewards. There never was a point where cash was handed out in front of the team. But, surely, you were going to be rewarded. When somebody made a big hit that hurt an opponent, it was commended and encouraged."

Wire said he never received a bounty pyment and didn't remember how much cash was doled out for particular hits. Two other former Bills who mentioned "knockout shots" declined to comment further, and another, who requested anonymity, remembered his teammates, more so than Williams' staff, promoting the system.

"It was talked about," that player said. "I think it happens a lot of places, and it's been going on for a really long time."

Wire said there was no bounty system under subsequent Bills head coaches Mike Mularkey or Dick Jauron.

The NFL did not mention the Redskins or Bills in its announcement Friday. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello, in an email to The Buffalo News, stated: "No evidence of violations at other teams came forth during this investigation."

"We are unaware of any type of 'bounty' program occurring during Gregg Williams' tenure as our head coach, and we would not have tolerated that type of behavior," Bills CEO Russ Brandon said.

Joe Gibbs, the Redskins' head coach when Williams coached the defense, also said he was unaware of any bounty program. The Redskins declined to comment Friday.

Former Redskins safety Matt Bowen alleged the use of bonuses and detailed the Redskins’ bounty program in the Chicago Tribune on Friday.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has not announced sanctions against the Saints or any individuals. Williams is now the defensive coordinator of the St. Louis Rams.

fordfixer
03-05-2012, 02:48 AM
Report: Williams to meet with NFL
FOXSports.com's Jay Glazer has the latest on the New Orleans Saints.

Updated Mar 5, 2012 12:34 AM ET
http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/form ... ies-030412 (http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/former-saints-defensive-coordinator-gregg-williams-to-meet-with-league-security-officials-over-bounties-030412)

NEW YORK (AP)

NFL investigators will meet Monday with the former New Orleans Saints assistant coach who admitted to and apologized for his role in a "pay for performance" program that the NFL says rewarded players with thousand-dollar payoffs for knocking targeted opponents out of games.

The meeting with Gregg Williams will be in the New York area, according to two people familiar with the NFL's investigation of the bounties. They spoke on condition of anonymity Sunday because details of the continuing investigation are not being disclosed.

The Saints maintained a bounty pool of up to $50,000 the last three seasons, the NFL said. Payoffs were made for inflicting game-ending injuries on targeted players, including quarterbacks Brett Favre and Kurt Warner. ''Knockouts'' were worth $1,500 and ''cart-offs'' $1,000, with payments doubled or tripled for the playoffs.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Sunday in an email to The Associated Press that the investigation was far from over and that the league will continue ''addressing the issues raised as part of our responsibility to protect player safety and the integrity of the game.''

That likely means the investigation will zero in on teams that employed Williams in the past.

Before joining the Saints, Williams was the defensive coordinator in Tennessee, Washington and Jacksonville, and the head coach of the Buffalo Bills. In January, he was hired by new St. Louis Rams coach, Jeff Fisher, to lead the defense.

''It was a terrible mistake,'' Williams said in a statement Friday night shortly after the NFL released the report. ''And we knew it was wrong while we were doing it.''

Several players around the league have said the Saints and Williams weren't the only ones with such a system. Former Redskins safety Matt Bowen said Williams had a similar bounty scheme when he was in Washington.

Former Bills safety Coy Wire told The Buffalo News on Saturday that an environment of ''malicious intent'' was in place when he joined the team in 2002 — when Williams was the head coach. Wire said Williams promoted ''financial compensation'' for hits that injured opponents.

Aiello said the NFL would look at ''any relevant info regarding rules being broken.''

No punishments have been handed out, but they could include suspension, fines and loss of draft picks.

Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, who was suspended for two games this season for stomping on an opponent and has been fined frequently by the NFL for rough play, insisted Sunday his team had no bounty program.

''I don't take part in those things and nor do my teammates and nor my coaches. We don't allow that,'' Suh said. ''For me, personally, and I know my teammates, we don't want to put anybody out,'' he added. ''Especially me, I would never want anybody to target me to take me out, so why would I do it against somebody else.''

All payouts for specific performances in a game, including interceptions or causing fumbles, are against NFL rules. The NFL also warns teams against such practices before each season.

''The payments here are particularly troubling because they involved not just payments for 'performance,' but also for injuring opposing players,'' Commissioner Roger Goodell said Friday in a statement. ''The bounty rule promotes two key elements of NFL football: player safety and competitive integrity.''

The league said 22 to 27 defensive players were involved in the program. Its findings were corroborated by multiple, independent sources, and the pool amounts peaked in 2009, the year the Saints won the Super Bowl.

One Saint fined last season for flagrant hits was safety Roman Harper. In Week 14 against Tennessee, he made two hits that drew a total of $22,500 in fines.

Harper was fined $15,000 for roughing the passer on a helmet-to-helmet hit, and another $7,500 for unnecessary roughness when he pulled down receiver Damian Williams by his helmet after a long catch and run. The tackle likely stopped Williams from scoring, and Gregg Williams defended Harper's aggressiveness on that play after the game.

''If that guy doesn't want his head tore off, duck. Because that's how we're playing. He needs to duck, OK? And that is exactly what you have to do,'' Williams said. ''One of the things about playing in this league is that your mental toughness, your physical toughness, all that kind of stuff works hand in hand. And I love Roman Harper and the way he plays, and evidently a lot of other people and players in the league do, too, because they keep on voting him to the Pro Bowl.''

MicroBioSteel
03-05-2012, 02:51 AM
It's football and at the end of the day it's about wins and losses. How one gets to the W (between the lines; unlike spygate) has not been an issue in the past. Do what you need to do to get the job done. Do you think Mean Joe or Jack Lambert would be against a bounty system? Probably not (Heck, back then there was no need for bounties because hurting the other teams players and KOing them was the job). I have no problem with the fact that other teams had bounty systems and I would not have a problem if the Steelers had it either.

fordfixer
03-05-2012, 02:54 AM
James Harrison
We'll see how concerned the NFL is about player safety when they decide what the punishment for the saints is.. What do u think it should be?

hawaiiansteel
03-05-2012, 03:05 AM
James Harrison
We'll see how concerned the NFL is about player safety when they decide what the punishment for the saints is.. What do u think it should be?



there should be fines, suspensions and lost draft choices as a result...

SS Laser
03-05-2012, 03:56 AM
James Harrison
We'll see how concerned the NFL is about player safety when they decide what the punishment for the saints is.. What do u think it should be?



there should be fines, suspensions and lost draft choices as a result...

Buy the time my daughter (2) is my age (34). The NFL will be flag football. I bet this gets way OVER fined. And do not try to watch a saints or rams game this year, flags will be flying around.

Here's to the "new" NFL :moon

Discipline of Steel
03-05-2012, 08:08 AM
Progress in changing the culture? Oh, please.

Yes, Goodell put in rules against head shots. But let’s be real: The offensive and defensive linemen are smashing heads the whole game. The only people who aren’t allowed to do it now are the ones people clearly see when they’re watching games on TV.

This is what ive been saying all along. Goodell has not taken one step to address the part of the game where most of the H2H contact occurs. He just attacked the most visible 'offenders'.



This is a serious threat to the NFL. It’s the players of the past and the future attacking at the same time. At some point, people might start feeling sick to their stomachs when watching the game, cheering big hits and wondering what happens to a brain as it crashes off one side of the skull.


Its no wonder the owners love having a lawyer lead them. But its the lawyers who have over-regulated the game and promoted this issue of 'player safety' thats now drawing the lawsuits in droves. The NFL will never be the same and neither will be my enthusiasm i once had as a kid and young adult.

Eich
03-05-2012, 09:13 AM
It shouldn't be a foregone conclusion that former players are going to start winning tons of money in lawsuits.

Boxing is a sport where they are paid/incentivized to injure and knock a guy out. Same with MMA. How many shots to the head do you think these guys take? Are former boxers going to start lining up the court rooms?

Steelgal
03-05-2012, 09:48 AM
James Harrison
We'll see how concerned the NFL is about player safety when they decide what the punishment for the saints is.. What do u think it should be?



there should be fines, suspensions and lost draft choices as a result...

Buy the time my daughter (2) is my age (34). The NFL will be flag football. I bet this gets way OVER fined. And do not try to watch a saints or rams game this year, flags will be flying around.

Here's to the "new" NFL :moon

I'd be shocked if the Rams keep williams as the DC. With a heavy suspension coming and all the baggage he's bringing, I'm thinking he'll be out of a job by the end of this week.

Slapstick
03-05-2012, 10:04 AM
As Harrison pointed out, there is a difference between "hurting" an opponent and "injuring" an opponent...

These bounties encourage injuring an opponent...there is a big difference between hitting hard within the rules of the game and trying to blow out another player's knee for $1,500...

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
03-05-2012, 10:25 AM
Goodell has shown that he reacts to media hype, not issues.

He suspended Ben, who was never charged with a crime, but continued to let Perrish Cox play even though he was charged with sexual assault. Reason being - Ben got the media, Cox did not.

He begins fining players for hits after the media makes a huge deal following a week 6, 2010 Sunday. He also doles out the biggest penalties based on what the media hypes the most and lets other low profile H2H hits slide.

This will already be a big deal, and could get bigger depending on how far the press takes this.

feltdizz
03-05-2012, 11:09 AM
Goodell has shown that he reacts to media hype, not issues.

He suspended Ben, who was never charged with a crime, but continued to let Perrish Cox play even though he was charged with sexual assault. Reason being - Ben got the media, Cox did not.

He begins fining players for hits after the media makes a huge deal following a week 6, 2010 Sunday. He also doles out the biggest penalties based on what the media hypes the most and lets other low profile H2H hits slide.

This will already be a big deal, and could get bigger depending on how far the press takes this.

ummm.... media hype IS the issue... it's the biggest issue the NFL has to deal with and Goodell is doing what every good CEO does when a company gets bad press.

I'm not a fan of Goodell but I swear you guys pretty much wanted Ben to get drug through the mud for another 2 months instead of doing damage control.

I'm sorry fellas but there was no way Ben was going to come out smelling like roses after GA. The suspension was the best thing that ever happened to Ben and our franchise...

RuthlessBurgher
03-05-2012, 11:13 AM
Goodell has shown that he reacts to media hype, not issues.

:Agree

This same issue came to light a few years ago when the Ravens took out bounties on Ward and Mendenhall (when Ray Lewis cracked Mendenhall's collarbone, ending his rookie season in game #4). Terrell Suggs acknowledged those bounties himself on a radio show. But because it did not make national headlines like this Gregg Williams story has, it was swept under the rug for only folks like us on message boards to talk about.

If the Saints or Redskins or Bills lose draft picks because of these Gregg Williams bounties, so should the Ravens for their bounties (especially since one of the guys they put a bounty on was actually put on I.R.!).


Updated: October 24, 2008, 3:22 AM ET
NFL eyes Suggs' 'bounty' comments about Steelers
ESPN.com news services

Terrell Suggs' suggestion that the Baltimore Ravens had a "bounty" on Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward and running back Rashard Mendenhall has gotten the attention of the NFL.

During the "2 Live Stews" syndicated radio show on Oct. 17, when he was asked, "Did you all put a bounty out on that young man [Mendenhall]," Suggs replied, "Definitely. The bounty was out on him and the bounty was out on [Ward] -- we just didn't get him between the whistles."

Also during the interview, Suggs called Ward "a dirty player" and "a cheap-shot artist. ... We got something in store for him."

Ward, who appeared on "PTI" on Thursday, said the bounty talk is "a big honor."

"I am really not going to comment," Ward continued. "But all I have to say to Mr. Suggs is there's a policy in the NFL [against bounties] he should read."

Ray Anderson, the NFL's executive vice president of football operations, said the league is looking into the comments.

"That 'bounty' notion is completely against the rules," Anderson told ESPN.com. "To the extent that someone is engaged in that activity, we will look into it and address it. Yes, we've seen the comments and we're trying to determine the completeness of the circumstances."

Mendenhall sustained a season-ending shoulder injury during the game on a hit by Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis.

Wednesday, Suggs clarified his comments, explaining that the Ravens were merely planning to keep a close eye on Ward, according to The Baltimore Sun.

"There wasn't any bounty," Suggs said, according to the newspaper. "He [the talk show host] asked me if there was a bounty and I just said I'm going to keep a watch on the guy. He [Ward] broke some guy's jaw last week, and he tried to cheap-shot JJ [Jarret Johnson]. He has also cheap-shotted Ed Reed. We're just going to be on alert the next time we play him."

Suggs also on Wednesday clarified comments supporting second-year quarterback Troy Smith as the Ravens' starter rather than rookie Joe Flacco, who currently has the job, according to the Sun.

During his appearance on "2 Live Stews," Suggs said, "Right now, I think [Flacco is] all right. ... But like I said, in the end, Troy should be the starter [because he's] the better man for the job."

Wednesday, Suggs denied saying Smith should start.

"That's not what I said," Suggs explained, according to the Sun. "When he asked me, I said there should be multiple packages. I think both should get a chance to play."

Suggs also said that Flacco and Smith have different strengths -- and that the Ravens should use both to their advantage.

"I think it would better if we had both of them playing," Suggs said, according to the report. "Then again, I ain't no damn offensive coordinator."

ESPN.com NFL writer James Walker contributed to this report.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=3659317

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
03-05-2012, 11:15 AM
Goodell has shown that he reacts to media hype, not issues.

He suspended Ben, who was never charged with a crime, but continued to let Perrish Cox play even though he was charged with sexual assault. Reason being - Ben got the media, Cox did not.

He begins fining players for hits after the media makes a huge deal following a week 6, 2010 Sunday. He also doles out the biggest penalties based on what the media hypes the most and lets other low profile H2H hits slide.

This will already be a big deal, and could get bigger depending on how far the press takes this.

ummm.... media hype IS the issue... it's the biggest issue the NFL has to deal with and Goodell is doing what every good CEO does when a company gets bad press.

I'm not a fan of Goodell but I swear you guys pretty much wanted Ben to get drug through the mud for another 2 months instead of doing damage control.

I'm sorry fellas but there was no way Ben was going to come out smelling like roses after GA. The suspension was the best thing that ever happened to Ben and our franchise...

Actually, bounties for injuries is the issue, Ben was just an example used of Goodell's history in dealing with issues.

The question here is how will the Gregg Williams bounty situation be dealt with? My opinion is that it will be a penalty based on how large the media hype gets. What is your opinion on the bounty issue?

feltdizz
03-05-2012, 11:53 AM
I agree... the media hype will determine how bad the punishment is...

I think Williams should get fired or suspended for 4 to 8 games and they should lose draft pick(s).

The media won't run with this for too long because March Madness is about to take over.

flippy
03-05-2012, 04:15 PM
In a sport that makes billions off violence, a bounty doesn't seem like a bad thing to me.

The most violent players get paid the biggest contracts. You could call every NFL deal a bounty. And as such, every team is guilty of providing bounties.

hawaiiansteel
03-05-2012, 04:28 PM
Ryan Clark says he’s not aware of any bounties, anywhere

Posted by Michael David Smith on March 5, 2012

http://nbcprofootballtalk.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/ryanclark2-e1321210505336.jpg?w=250

Steelers safety Ryan Clark says he has never heard of any bounties being paid for injuring opposing players, anywhere he’s been — including during his two seasons playing for Gregg Williams in Washington.

Clark played for the Giants in 2002 and 2003, then played for Williams with the Redskins in 2004 and 2005 before signing with the Steelers in 2006. Now that Williams has admitted paying bounties to players in New Orleans (and stands accused of doing the same in Washington) Clark is saying he never saw any indication of that.

“I have never in my career, at the New York Giants, the Washington Redskins nor the Pittsburgh Steelers ever had a defensive coach come in a meeting, single out a guy and say, ‘If you knock out this guy we will give you a certain amount of money for it.’ Whether it was my head coach Joe Gibbs, whether it was Gregg Williams, I was never, ever approached to take a guy out,” Clark said on ESPN.

If he had been approached about such a thing, Clark says, he would have spoken out against it. Clark has a different take than Charles Barkley, who thinks that whoever reported Williams is a punk and a snitch. In Clark’s view, reporting a coach who was running a bounty system would be the right thing to do.

“If these things are going on, you speak up while they’re happening,” Clark said. “If you’re in a meeting and a coach comes in and says, ‘Hey, No. 16, whoever he is, if you knock him out of the game we’re going to pay you x amount of dollars.’ Then you blow the whistle then and say, ‘Look, I’m not going to be a part of this. If we continue to do this, I will report it.’ To me, that’s making a statement, that’s making a stand and that’s being loyal to all the players in this league.”

But Clark has never blown the whistle, because he says it has never happened in his presence.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... -anywhere/ (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/03/05/ryan-clark-says-hes-not-aware-of-any-bounties-anywhere/)

feltdizz
03-05-2012, 05:06 PM
In a sport that makes billions off violence, a bounty doesn't seem like a bad thing to me.

The most violent players get paid the biggest contracts. You could call every NFL deal a bounty. And as such, every team is guilty of providing bounties.

true.. but actually having a pot and getting caught is the problem.

It's the reason Harrison was made a poster boy for H2H. He said he wanted to hurt players when he hit them. We know he meant it in a solid, legal, punishing style but people twisted it into wanting to end careers...

feltdizz
03-05-2012, 05:11 PM
Ryan Clark says he’s not aware of any bounties, anywhere

Posted by Michael David Smith on March 5, 2012

http://nbcprofootballtalk.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/ryanclark2-e1321210505336.jpg?w=250

Steelers safety Ryan Clark says he has never heard of any bounties being paid for injuring opposing players, anywhere he’s been — including during his two seasons playing for Gregg Williams in Washington.

Clark played for the Giants in 2002 and 2003, then played for Williams with the Redskins in 2004 and 2005 before signing with the Steelers in 2006. Now that Williams has admitted paying bounties to players in New Orleans (and stands accused of doing the same in Washington) Clark is saying he never saw any indication of that.

“I have never in my career, at the New York Giants, the Washington Redskins nor the Pittsburgh Steelers ever had a defensive coach come in a meeting, single out a guy and say, ‘If you knock out this guy we will give you a certain amount of money for it.’ Whether it was my head coach Joe Gibbs, whether it was Gregg Williams, I was never, ever approached to take a guy out,” Clark said on ESPN.

If he had been approached about such a thing, Clark says, he would have spoken out against it. Clark has a different take than Charles Barkley, who thinks that whoever reported Williams is a punk and a snitch. In Clark’s view, reporting a coach who was running a bounty system would be the right thing to do.

“If these things are going on, you speak up while they’re happening,” Clark said. “If you’re in a meeting and a coach comes in and says, ‘Hey, No. 16, whoever he is, if you knock him out of the game we’re going to pay you x amount of dollars.’ Then you blow the whistle then and say, ‘Look, I’m not going to be a part of this. If we continue to do this, I will report it.’ To me, that’s making a statement, that’s making a stand and that’s being loyal to all the players in this league.”

But Clark has never blown the whistle, because he says it has never happened in his presence.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... -anywhere/ (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/03/05/ryan-clark-says-hes-not-aware-of-any-bounties-anywhere/)

I'm sorry but Clark sounds like he is protecting his back side. :lol:

feltdizz
03-05-2012, 05:28 PM
Bounty scandal has Saints in disarray

http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/76451 ... ty-program (http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/7645118/saints-coach-sean-payton-gm-mickey-loomis-deserve-fired-bounty-program)

Sean Payton deserves to get fired. Mickey Loomis does, too. New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson should strongly consider canning his head coach and general manager for their stupidity and arrogance, if for nothing else.

Having a bounty system that financially rewards players for taking out the opposition is less offensive than the arrogance Loomis and Payton showed in not putting an end to it after the league first investigated the Saints in early 2010. They weren't scared or swayed by the thought of being exposed doing something that violated NFL rules. They let the pay-for-big-plays system remain.

By doing nothing, Payton and Loomis rubber stamped the program and said it was OK to go out there and try to take out someone, be it Brett Favre or Kurt Warner or whomever, with a vicious, even late, hit.

According to the NFL's report, when Benson directed Loomis earlier this season to ensure that any bounty program be discontinued immediately, Loomis did not follow Benson's directions. "Similarly, when the initial allegations were discussed with Mr. Loomis in 2010," the report continued, "he denied any knowledge of a bounty program and pledged he would ensure that no such program was in place. There is no evidence that Mr. Loomis took any effective action to stop these practices."

If the NFL's report is true, Loomis defied a direct order from his owner. That is grounds for dismissal.

And Payton was no better.

In its damning release Friday afternoon, the NFL said Payton "was not a direct participant in the funding or administration of the program," but said "he was aware of the allegations, did not make any detailed inquiry or otherwise seek to learn the facts, and failed to stop the bounty program. He never instructed his assistant coaches or players that a bounty program was improper and could not continue."

[+] EnlargeMickey Loomis and Sean Payton
AP Photo/Rogelio V. SolisSaints coach Sean Payton and GM Mickey Loomis didn't participate in the bounty program, but didn't prevent it, either.
Payton knew, and did nothing. Loomis knew, and did nothing. Reason would have it if they disapproved of a bounty system, they would have stopped it. By not stopping it, they encouraged it.

And that was stupid.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has made player safety one of his top priorities, and for good reason. Research continues to show more and more players are suffering brain damage as a result of sustaining concussions while playing football. The lawsuits against the NFL, like the wrongful death suit recently brought by the family of Dave Duerson, the former Chicago Bear who took his own life last year, will only continue to mount, particularly if Duerson's family wins.

Goodell has gone overboard to legislate against big hits and dirty play by spending the past few seasons levying significant fines on players. You can't hit a defenseless receiver. You can't lead with your head. Ask any defensive player. They will tell you Goodell is trying to change football, and not necessarily for the better. And, most of them will tell you, Goodell's fines have worked.

It is inconceivable, given how big the player safety issue has been, for Payton and Loomis to not recognize the environment change that has occurred in the NFL. Defensive players complain about the fines every week. They appeal. Their appeals usually are denied. And they gripe and complain and voice their displeasure.

So to allegedly institute a bounty system in this era is just lunacy. This isn't the 1980s or 1990s. This is Goodell's era, in which protecting the shield matters. We know about CTE and we know Duerson shot himself specifically in the chest, apparently so doctors could dissect his brain and further the conversation about the dangers of the sport.

To condone a system in which a player is paid $1,500 for a "knockout" shot and $1,000 for a hit that results in a player being carted off the field is the height of arrogance.

The bounty system is bad, but this is football. It is an ugly game. Bad things happen under the piles. Eyes get poked. Body parts get pulled. If you don't want to know, don't look too closely. This game is violent and nasty, and those players who succeed do so through intimidation and fear.

But thinking that the rules don't apply to you, that somehow you are better than the other 31 teams, coaches and front offices, that to me is worse.

That has become a hallmark of the Saints under Payton and Loomis. They've earned the reputation for doing what they want to do. On the Tuesday before their Super Bowl victory, the Saints purposely arrived at media day an hour late. It had never been done. The NFL has an annual day-after Super Bowl news conference with the winning coach and MVP, and Payton had to be strong-armed into going.

Rules are rules, but the Saints too often act as if the rules don't apply to them.

Goodell will bring down the hammer soon enough, and the prevailing feeling is that his punishment will be harsher than the one levied on New England for Spygate in 2007. There, Goodell fined the Patriots $250,000 and Bill Belichick $500,000 and docked the team a first-round draft pick. This could include multiple picks and possible suspensions because the Saints were told to stop and didn't.

That is what makes their offenses so egregious. And that arrogance in thinking the rules don't apply to them and the stupidity in not understanding the NFL's climate in 2012 are why Benson should consider firing his coach and his general manager and starting anew.

Sugar
03-05-2012, 05:48 PM
Perhaps I'm missing something. What did these players actually do? Did they hit dirty? Did they hit after the whistle? If they were simply given an incentive to legally put the most on a guy, then what exactly is the problem? :?

SanAntonioSteelerFan
03-05-2012, 06:10 PM
Perhaps I'm missing something. What did these players actually do? Did they hit dirty? Did they hit after the whistle? If they were simply given an incentive to legally put the most on a guy, then what exactly is the problem? :?

Just what I was thinking. If it's wrong to hit within the rules but so hard that someone gets carted off, then putting a bounty isn't the problem, it's the rules themselves.

Any film on dirty hits by the Saints D? If not, maybe Mr. Goodell needs to push rules changes - you can hit, but not TOO hard, and certainly not so hard that the player who gets hit gets his feelings hurt or feels disrespected.

Flasteel
03-05-2012, 06:50 PM
As Harrison pointed out, there is a difference between "hurting" an opponent and "injuring" an opponent...

These bounties encourage injuring an opponent...there is a big difference between hitting hard within the rules of the game and trying to blow out another player's knee for $1,500...

This is the only issue there should be. If coaches or even players by themselves are conspiring to injure opponents, then the sanctity of the game has been compromised. I have no issues with competitive incentives for sacks, big hits, picks, forced fumbles, or even knocking guys out of the game (which kind of inherently means injury, but that's beside the point). Are players going to be hurt in the process? I hope so. It's football...a game of strategy, but also a game of punishment and attrition.

Sometimes the physicality of the game results in injuries. Nobody wants to see another persons' long-term health or career jeopardized by the intentional act of another player...and certainly not at the direction of the coaches who are supposed to lead them. But if those injuries occur within the boundaries of fair play and are the ancillary byproducts of a player doing his job, then how can anyone have a real problem with this?

Are bounties a violation of a team's salary cap? Well...yeah, they are. These numbers aren't included in any contracts, but when you're talking a thousand here and a thousand there, that complaint is simply lame. The bounties are nothing more than tapping into a young man's competitive nature and providing as many incentives as possible to get his job done. Many jobs in the real world employ the same tactics. The only difference is our jobs don't entail hitting someone as hard as we can...repeatedly.

I'll take this all a step further. I don't care about player safety. Not when it threatens to destroy the game I love. The league owes it to the players to minimize as many safety risks as they can, but not when it fundamentally changes the way the game is played...sorry. If someone gets hurt...hey, that sucks. But it's "next man up" and time to move on. I watch the game for my entertainment and joy. I take no joy out of seeing someone injured, but the worst thing that happens to that player is that they will continue to earn hundreds of thousands of dollars for the rest of that season, then they have to get a real job.

If you don't like it, then join the friggin' chess club instead of the football team. Try earning a paycheck in the real world instead of setting up yourself for life to play a sport. Instead of being greedy and jamming all of that cash in your pocket now, try putting it into pension funds to help offset the risks you incur today. A player has no right to complain about the risks or the negative outcomes of those risks, when they inevitably will occur. They knew the risks going in and they are well compensated for it. Nearly every man in this country would do the same thing, if given the opportunity. So count yourself lucky that you had the chance to be injured in the NFL and STFU.

NorthCoast
03-05-2012, 08:22 PM
In a sport that makes billions off violence, a bounty doesn't seem like a bad thing to me.

The most violent players get paid the biggest contracts. You could call every NFL deal a bounty. And as such, every team is guilty of providing bounties.

You've hit it flippy. Defensive players salaries and bonuse are based on performance. How disruptive can you be to the other team?...that determines their pay.

Bottomline, the NFL is setting itself up for a gradual stultifying and arcane system of legislating play on the field. I see no positive outcome for the popularity of the game when they begin trying to legislate the "intent" of individual hits during a game. We are already seeing the effects of this on WRs and QBs as the game evolves to simply pitch-and-catch, with an occasional RUTFM for the enjoyment of the traditionalists out there still hoping for that kind of play. Fully half the leagues QBs get 4000 yds a season when ten years ago it was a rare occurrence for the top 3 QBs in the league.

fezziwig
03-05-2012, 08:33 PM
I like hard hitting football but to intentionally go out and try to hurt another player is BS.
Had someone did this to Ben and ended his season or cost us a chance for a championship some of you would be singing a different tune.
It's criminal what they have done and the coach should be pitched from the league and the players involved.
We will see how much the NFL really cares about the players upon how they handle this.

How freakinn GREEDY are these players that they need the extra coin to be a part of this crap ?

Sugar
03-05-2012, 09:25 PM
I like hard hitting football but to intentionally go out and try to hurt another player is BS.
Had someone did this to Ben and ended his season or cost us a chance for a championship some of you would be singing a different tune.
It's criminal what they have done and the coach should be pitched from the league and the players involved.
We will see how much the NFL really cares about the players upon how they handle this.

How freakinn GREEDY are these players that they need the extra coin to be a part of this crap ?

OK, did these players do something dirty? Did they hit illegally or something? If Ben got knocked out of a game, it would suck, but I think people would only scream about it if he was done dirty.

hawaiiansteel
03-05-2012, 09:58 PM
Steve Young thinks players who were injured should sue the Saints

Posted by Michael David Smith on March 5, 2012


Steve Young isn’t only a Hall of Fame quarterback. He’s also a lawyer. And in his legal opinion, the bounty scandal in New Orleans is outrageous, egregious, preposterous.

Young said on ESPN today that he believes a player who was injured against the Saints during the three years that defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was running a bounty program, paying players for knocking opponents out of games, would have a good case for a lawsuit.

“I was shocked at the fact that it was institutionalized and that they paid for hurt players,” Young said. “I think it opens up, if I’m hurt against the Saints in the last couple years, I’m suing the Saints.”

Young said the fact that the bounties came from the coaching staff makes the team culpable.

“It’s institutionalized by the coaches, and it’s institutionalized to pay them for actually injuring somebody,” Young said. “The problem is that they institutionalized paying somebody for actually hurting them. To me that goes to the integrity of the game. The fact that they institutionalized it tells me that this is a big issue.”

There’s no question it’s a big issue. The question is whether the ramifications of the issue will be confined to the league office, or whether this story could find its way to a courtroom.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... he-saints/ (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/03/05/steve-young-thinks-players-who-were-injured-should-sue-the-saints/)

BURGH86STEEL
03-05-2012, 10:04 PM
With or without a "bounty system" players go out on the field with the intention to hit hard and intimidate the opposition. I suspect that the "bounty system" was in place for years. Football is a violet sport. Players get incentives/bonuses for reaching certain performance levels. Players are rewarded huge contracts for their ability to do X, Y, and Z on the football field. Players are rewarded for their ability to hit people hard and inflict punishment. If my team's playoff or championships hopes rested on taking out a key player from the opposition, bounty or no bounty I'd attempt to make that happen (within the rules). It's unfortunate that we now live in a world where every little issue gets blown out of proportion.

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
03-05-2012, 10:21 PM
I like hard hitting football but to intentionally go out and try to hurt another player is BS.
Had someone did this to Ben and ended his season or cost us a chance for a championship some of you would be singing a different tune.
It's criminal what they have done and the coach should be pitched from the league and the players involved.
We will see how much the NFL really cares about the players upon how they handle this.

How freakinn GREEDY are these players that they need the extra coin to be a part of this crap ?

OK, did these players do something dirty? Did they hit illegally or something? If Ben got knocked out of a game, it would suck, but I think people would only scream about it if he was done dirty.

Ben got injured by a player who was diving at his knees and ended up rolling his ankle. It was not a penalty because he was outside the pocket, but he was not in the process of scrambling at the time so it was a cheap shot........and hardly anybody complained about it.

feltdizz
03-05-2012, 11:57 PM
10K to knock Favre out the game. Favre was hit late a ton in that playoff game.

Slapstick
03-06-2012, 10:03 AM
Guys, the bounty system is clearly not OK...it is also clearly not an issue that has been blown out of proportion...

The entire NFL knows these rules. The owner of the Saints specifically told his employee to put a stop to it. Both Payton and Loomis turned a blind eye to the activity.

This is as much against the rules as Belicheat's Spygate crap...and it is no more excusable...

phillyesq
03-06-2012, 10:22 AM
Goodell has shown that he reacts to media hype, not issues.

:Agree

This same issue came to light a few years ago when the Ravens took out bounties on Ward and Mendenhall (when Ray Lewis cracked Mendenhall's collarbone, ending his rookie season in game #4). Terrell Suggs acknowledged those bounties himself on a radio show. But because it did not make national headlines like this Gregg Williams story has, it was swept under the rug for only folks like us on message boards to talk about.

If the Saints or Redskins or Bills lose draft picks because of these Gregg Williams bounties, so should the Ravens for their bounties (especially since one of the guys they put a bounty on was actually put on I.R.!).


Updated: October 24, 2008, 3:22 AM ET
NFL eyes Suggs' 'bounty' comments about Steelers
ESPN.com news services

Terrell Suggs' suggestion that the Baltimore Ravens had a "bounty" on Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward and running back Rashard Mendenhall has gotten the attention of the NFL.

During the "2 Live Stews" syndicated radio show on Oct. 17, when he was asked, "Did you all put a bounty out on that young man [Mendenhall]," Suggs replied, "Definitely. The bounty was out on him and the bounty was out on [Ward] -- we just didn't get him between the whistles."

Also during the interview, Suggs called Ward "a dirty player" and "a cheap-shot artist. ... We got something in store for him."

Ward, who appeared on "PTI" on Thursday, said the bounty talk is "a big honor."

"I am really not going to comment," Ward continued. "But all I have to say to Mr. Suggs is there's a policy in the NFL [against bounties] he should read."

Ray Anderson, the NFL's executive vice president of football operations, said the league is looking into the comments.

"That 'bounty' notion is completely against the rules," Anderson told ESPN.com. "To the extent that someone is engaged in that activity, we will look into it and address it. Yes, we've seen the comments and we're trying to determine the completeness of the circumstances."

Mendenhall sustained a season-ending shoulder injury during the game on a hit by Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis.

Wednesday, Suggs clarified his comments, explaining that the Ravens were merely planning to keep a close eye on Ward, according to The Baltimore Sun.

"There wasn't any bounty," Suggs said, according to the newspaper. "He [the talk show host] asked me if there was a bounty and I just said I'm going to keep a watch on the guy. He [Ward] broke some guy's jaw last week, and he tried to cheap-shot JJ [Jarret Johnson]. He has also cheap-shotted Ed Reed. We're just going to be on alert the next time we play him."

Suggs also on Wednesday clarified comments supporting second-year quarterback Troy Smith as the Ravens' starter rather than rookie Joe Flacco, who currently has the job, according to the Sun.

During his appearance on "2 Live Stews," Suggs said, "Right now, I think [Flacco is] all right. ... But like I said, in the end, Troy should be the starter [because he's] the better man for the job."

Wednesday, Suggs denied saying Smith should start.

"That's not what I said," Suggs explained, according to the Sun. "When he asked me, I said there should be multiple packages. I think both should get a chance to play."

Suggs also said that Flacco and Smith have different strengths -- and that the Ravens should use both to their advantage.

"I think it would better if we had both of them playing," Suggs said, according to the report. "Then again, I ain't no damn offensive coordinator."

ESPN.com NFL writer James Walker contributed to this report.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=3659317

Ruthless, this was my first thought when this whole bounty controversy broke out. The Ravens did the same thing a few years ago and admitted to it, but there were no fines or suspensions or any mention of it.

It seems that this story has gotten no play, which is unfortunate.

feltdizz
03-06-2012, 10:45 AM
Guys, the bounty system is clearly not OK...it is also clearly not an issue that has been blown out of proportion...

The entire NFL knows these rules. The owner of the Saints specifically told his employee to put a stop to it. Both Payton and Loomis turned a blind eye to the activity.

This is as much against the rules as Belicheat's Spygate crap...and it is no more excusable...

:Agree

We all know this has gone on in some shape or form since the NFL began but the Saints were WARNED about it... and then continued to do it.

Vilma put out a 10K bounty on Favre and Favre said although he doesn't want to harp over it the Saints game had a ton of questionable hits. They were hitting him after hand offs.

I also wonder what the tape of the Steeler game shows as far as late hits on Ben.

feltdizz
03-06-2012, 10:47 AM
Goodell has shown that he reacts to media hype, not issues.

:Agree

This same issue came to light a few years ago when the Ravens took out bounties on Ward and Mendenhall (when Ray Lewis cracked Mendenhall's collarbone, ending his rookie season in game #4). Terrell Suggs acknowledged those bounties himself on a radio show. But because it did not make national headlines like this Gregg Williams story has, it was swept under the rug for only folks like us on message boards to talk about.

If the Saints or Redskins or Bills lose draft picks because of these Gregg Williams bounties, so should the Ravens for their bounties (especially since one of the guys they put a bounty on was actually put on I.R.!).


Updated: October 24, 2008, 3:22 AM ET
NFL eyes Suggs' 'bounty' comments about Steelers
ESPN.com news services

Terrell Suggs' suggestion that the Baltimore Ravens had a "bounty" on Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward and running back Rashard Mendenhall has gotten the attention of the NFL.

During the "2 Live Stews" syndicated radio show on Oct. 17, when he was asked, "Did you all put a bounty out on that young man [Mendenhall]," Suggs replied, "Definitely. The bounty was out on him and the bounty was out on [Ward] -- we just didn't get him between the whistles."

Also during the interview, Suggs called Ward "a dirty player" and "a cheap-shot artist. ... We got something in store for him."

Ward, who appeared on "PTI" on Thursday, said the bounty talk is "a big honor."

"I am really not going to comment," Ward continued. "But all I have to say to Mr. Suggs is there's a policy in the NFL [against bounties] he should read."

Ray Anderson, the NFL's executive vice president of football operations, said the league is looking into the comments.

"That 'bounty' notion is completely against the rules," Anderson told ESPN.com. "To the extent that someone is engaged in that activity, we will look into it and address it. Yes, we've seen the comments and we're trying to determine the completeness of the circumstances."

Mendenhall sustained a season-ending shoulder injury during the game on a hit by Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis.

Wednesday, Suggs clarified his comments, explaining that the Ravens were merely planning to keep a close eye on Ward, according to The Baltimore Sun.

"There wasn't any bounty," Suggs said, according to the newspaper. "He [the talk show host] asked me if there was a bounty and I just said I'm going to keep a watch on the guy. He [Ward] broke some guy's jaw last week, and he tried to cheap-shot JJ [Jarret Johnson]. He has also cheap-shotted Ed Reed. We're just going to be on alert the next time we play him."

Suggs also on Wednesday clarified comments supporting second-year quarterback Troy Smith as the Ravens' starter rather than rookie Joe Flacco, who currently has the job, according to the Sun.

During his appearance on "2 Live Stews," Suggs said, "Right now, I think [Flacco is] all right. ... But like I said, in the end, Troy should be the starter [because he's] the better man for the job."

Wednesday, Suggs denied saying Smith should start.

"That's not what I said," Suggs explained, according to the Sun. "When he asked me, I said there should be multiple packages. I think both should get a chance to play."

Suggs also said that Flacco and Smith have different strengths -- and that the Ravens should use both to their advantage.

"I think it would better if we had both of them playing," Suggs said, according to the report. "Then again, I ain't no damn offensive coordinator."

ESPN.com NFL writer James Walker contributed to this report.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=3659317

Ruthless, this was my first thought when this whole bounty controversy broke out. The Ravens did the same thing a few years ago and admitted to it, but there were no fines or suspensions or any mention of it.

It seems that this story has gotten no play, which is unfortunate.

Definitely should have been addressed but the hit on Mendenhall was legal.

phillyesq
03-06-2012, 12:12 PM
Definitely should have been addressed but the hit on Mendenhall was legal.

The hit on Mendenhall was. Ray's hit on Hines this past season was not legal. It would be nice to see the NFL probe into whether the Rats still had a bounty on Ward, but given the NFL's promotion of Ray the killer, it seems unlikely.

hawaiiansteel
03-06-2012, 10:57 PM
Bounties seen as player safety issue

By Teresa Varley - Steelers.com


As NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell continues to investigate, the issue of bounties, i.e., players being rewarded for hits that knocked opponents out of games, has become the sport’s hottest topic. Some current and former players and coaches have offered the opinion that bounties are no big deal and are prevalent throughout the league, while others see the issue as critical to player safety.

Count Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert among the latter.

“My position is the position of the (Steelers) organization,” said Colbert. “Never, ever would we condone anything like that.”

In an era where player safety and concussion awareness are at the forefront, Colbert said injuring another player intentionally does not belong in the game.

“To intentionally set out to injure another player, there’s absolutely no room for that in our game or any other game,” said Colbert. “Especially in the climate we are in where we are learning about the concussions and the severe lifetime problems that can occur in a normal course of our game or any other sport. To go out and try to intentionally injure somebody, there is absolutely no room for that in our game.”

Colbert said the Steelers monitor things like that, mainly by keeping their eyes and ears open to what is happening.

“You always think that you’re ahead of it, but you don’t know for sure,” said Colbert. “You always want to make sure that your own house is in order, and we are comfortable that our house has been in order. If we are going to say this is something we wouldn’t tolerate, hopefully we wouldn’t violate it as well.”

http://www.steelers.com/news/article-1/ ... 7034ef26a0 (http://www.steelers.com/news/article-1/Bounties-seen-as-player-safety-issue/688bcc61-73dd-4c2c-bd6d-797034ef26a0)

fezziwig
03-07-2012, 06:44 PM
Thanks for the post Hawaiian.

What's everyones opinion of what if anything happens about this ? Think there will be fines, firings, draft pick losses or players missing games ?

If James Harrison or others are anytype of benchmark with their fines for not following the warm and fuzzy rules of the NFL what, will the NFL do to guys/coaches for trying to be brutal ?

fordfixer
03-08-2012, 04:30 AM
NFLPA says it will do own bounty investigation

By HOWARD FENDRICH, AP Pro Football Writer 8 hours, 15 minutes ago

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylt=AsSf2d1t3_icju3cJlAJkKNDubYF?slug=ap-saints-bounties-nflpa

WASHINGTON (AP)—The NFL Players Association will do its own investigation of the New Orleans Saints’ bounty system and asked the league to help set up interviews with the team’s coaches and front-office staff.

In a statement released Wednesday, the union vowed to “vigorously protect the rights of all players.”

“If the facts prove that players voluntarily and willingly participated in conduct that jeopardized health and safety, we will work with them and the league to put in place additional safeguards to prevent this in the future,” the statement said. “Dangerous play and acts on the field by players intended to injure have no place in football. We must do better to ensure that this activity is not a part of our game.”
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There was no mention of possible punishment for players involved.

After the NFL made its investigation public Friday, former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams admitted to running a bounty pool of up to $50,000 over the past three seasons, rewarding players for knocking targeted opponents out of games. The league now wants to know whether Williams—who recently left the Saints to become defensive coordinator of the St. Louis Rams—ran a similar scheme while a head coach or assistant with the Titans, Redskins, Jaguars and Bills.

It took until Tuesday for current Saints head coach Sean Payton and general manager Mickey Loomis to also acknowledge the existence of the bounty system.

“We acknowledge that the violations disclosed by the NFL during their investigation of our club happened under our watch. We take full responsibility,” Payton and Loomis said in a joint statement.

Noting those comments, the NFLPA said Wednesday that it “negotiated vigorously to protect our players from coercive actions that compromise health and safety. The current CBA contains detailed rules on what clubs and coaches can and cannot do in terms of practice schedules and places limitations on the amount of contact. These rules include how clubs and coaches can be punished for violations of those safeguards.”

The union asked the NFL to give it “sufficient time” to finish its own inquiry into what happened in New Orleans.

According to the league, “knockouts” were worth $1,500 and “cart-offs” $1,000—with payments doubled or tripled for the playoffs. The NFL said the pool amounts reached their height in 2009, the season the Saints won the Super Bowl.

The league said between 22 and 27 defensive players were involved from 2009-11, but it hasn’t publicly cited specific players.

Spokesmen for the league and Saints declined to comment Wednesday.

fezziwig
03-08-2012, 06:01 PM
do you think on film they were learn that, more opposing players when playing the saints were injured more than the typical ?