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Bounties NFL wide problem; Breaking the locks off Saints “Bounty Gate”

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The NFL sends out a memo’s to teams each year reminding them that there’s no place for bounties in the NFL.

Obviously because it’s wrong, and due to Commissioner Roger Goodell’s increasing emphasis on player safety.

The NFL has been known to hand out fines even if a penalty wasn’t called on the field for any type of incident they don’t agree with.

Technically, the ONLY thing the New Orleans Saints are guilty of are paying the players incentives, which is against the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

"The rule states that the program violated Section 9.1(C)(8) and 9.3 (F) and (G). Each team is issued a memo reminding teams of the rule prior to the season, which reads, “No bonus or award may directly or indirectly be offered, promised, announced or paid to a player for his or his team’s performance against a particular team or opposing player or a particular group thereof. No bonuses or awards may be offered or paid for on-field misconduct (for example, personal fouls to or injuries inflicted on opposing players).”"

It should be noted that no Saint player was fined by the league for a personal foul or unsportsmanlike conduct penalty during the 2009 NFL Playoffs, this includes the hits on quarterback Brett Favre and Kurt Warner.

There was however fines handed out to numerous players for hits that took place on Favre during the NFC Conference Championship, just not for a personal foul or unsportsmanlike conduct.

Bobby McCray was fined $20,000 for two hits on Favre.

The first came after Favre handed off to Percy Harvin in the first quarter. McCray then hit Favre in the knees on his interception in the third quarter, causing Favre to suffer a left ankle injury.

Defensive tackle Anthony Hargrove was fined $5,000 for unnecessary roughness when he lifted Favre up and slammed him to the turf in the third quarter.

Finally, Jonathan Casillas was fined $5,000 for unnecessary roughness when he hit punt returner Darius Reynaud after he had downed the ball.

None of those were for “personal fouls” however.

In fact, the New Orleans Saints were one of the least fined teams in the NFL over recent years.

Surely if a team had a “bounty” on a player there would be some type of penalty, or fines thrown their way since the NFL watches each hit like a hawk, right?

There were some questionable hits on players though throughout the season.

Cornerback Tracy Porter was hit with a $7,500 fine Friday for hitting a New York Giant out of bounds during a Monday Night Football game, a game they won 49-24.

New Orleans Saints safety Roman Harper was fined $15,000 for his late hit on Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith.

Smith crossed the goal line after a touchdown reception, and Roman Harper laid him out after he was clearly in the end zone.

There was a minor scuffle following the incident, but the play resulted in just a late hit penalty (15 yards on the ensuing kickoff).

Lets not pretend for a second that this is an isolated incident because it isn’t.

The NFL is now conducting an investigation on the Washington Redskins and the Buffalo Bills after reports surfaced that Gregg Williams had a similar system in place during his tenure with both of those programs.

Gregg Williams was the head coach of the Buffalo Bills from 2001-2003, and the defensive coordinator for the Washington Redskins from 2004-2007.

Reports have also surfaced that the Tennessee Titans (previously the Houston Oilers) also had a “performance pay” system.