With the Saints player suspension less than a week old, former Vikings receiver Cris Carter re-confirmed what many of us already knew, or at least believed, about the sport of football: “bounties” have long been a part of the game.
“I’m guilty of it,” Carter said of using bounties. “It’s the first time I’ve ever admitted it. But I put a bounty on guys before. I put bounties on guys. And the guys tried to take me out, a guy tried to take a cheap shot on me, I put a bounty on him, right now.”
Carter insisted that he used bounties strictly as a defense mechanism, but also witnessed times when bounties were use to target specific players on opposing teams.
“Protect me. . . . Protect me from him. . . . Especially if he’s playing a different position where I can’t protect myself,” Carter said. “I’d tell one of them guards, ‘Hey man, this dude is after me, man. Bill Romanowski.’ He told me he’s gonna me out before the game, in warmups. No problem. ‘I’m gonna end your career, Carter.’ No problem. I put a little change on his head before the game. Protect myself, protect my family. That’s the league that I grew up in.”
Since the day the news of “Bounty Gate” first broke I have maintained a pretty uninspired stance on the matter, despite some very emotional reactions from other Vikings faithful, but part of my measured response to this story has to do with the assumption that this troubling practice was not isolated within the City of New Orleans, with a Gregg Williams defense, or even just within the NFL.
Instead, it is becoming clear that this was a widespread problem that Roger Goodell has decided there is no room for in a league run by him.
The Saints will take the fall, but bounties have been around for a long time and have infiltrated many locker rooms.
Including, apparently, the Vikings locker room.