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

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Gregg publicly apologized saying,

"“I want to express my sincere regret and apology to the NFL, Mr. Benson, and the New Orleans Saints fans for my participation in the ‘pay for performance’ program while I was with the Saints,”“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. I have learned a hard lesson and I guarantee that I will never participate in or allow this kind of activity to happen again.” -Gregg Williams"

This could in fact help the Saints with their punishment making it less likely that they face major penalties, but that’s highly doubtful.

The NFL’s most infamous bounty case occurred in 1989 when Philadelphia Eagles coach Buddy Ryan was accused of putting a bounty on Dallas Cowboys players.

On Thanksgiving Day, Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson accused Ryan of putting a bounty on Dallas quarterback Troy Aikman and placekicker Luis Zendejas before a 27-0 Philadelphia victory.

Ryan and his players denied the charges and NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue found no evidence of wrongdoing.

There was also speculation that during the 1970’s that the Oakland Raiders had a similar system where they rewarded money to players.

They were said to have been given more based on the severity of the hit, but no investigation ever took place.

Darren Woodson, who was a defensive back for the Dallas Cowboys from 1992-2003 said that they were also paid incentives for performance during the game, for things such as interceptions. They however never used the term “bounty.”

As a former cornerback, I truly see nothing wrong with a bounty system.

No one is actually going out of their way to intentionally injure a player.

If that was the case, you’d see helmet-to-helmet shots more often, and late hits occurring frequently, but you don’t see any of these things very often — especially from the Saints.

Also, what would you risk a $20,000 fine for a $1,500 bonus? How does that make sense?

Lets also not pretend for a second that as fans there aren’t moments when we hope a defensive players gets a good hit on an opposing quarterback that forces him to the sideline.

We all hope for that, whether we want to admit it or not.

The NFL tries stress player safety, as they have by over-protecting quarterbacks, and by adding extra bits to rules to set distinct meanings to things such as a defenseless receiver.

At the end of the day though, it just doesn’t matter.

Any hit that has happened, whether it knocked a player out or not, is legal and within the rules. You can’t change the injury aspect of the game at will because of the perception it’s “dirty”.

Each time you go to hit someone, you hit them in a  “remember me” shot or to rattle them. This isn’t flag football, this is the NFL, big hits and tackling are a part of the game.

Back in the “golden days” you don’t think players laid their bodies on the line? You don’t think that players knew they were getting aimed at especially if you were a star player?

Every star or key player for a team has a target hanging over their head, whether it’s noticeable or not, and if you have a chance to lay them out with a huge hit, you’re going to do it. That’s just how it is.

Surely defenses that face the Saints are targeting Drew Brees, thet want to hit him, sometimes hard. Why? Because if they rattle Brees then the offense will come to a screeching halt. Much as the Saints did to Warner and Favre.

Rewarding players for things you do on the field such as interceptions or forced fumbles? As much as it may be against the CBA, because it’s under the table money, there really is nothing wrong with it.