An investigation by the NFL reveled that the New Orleans Saints maintained a bounty system that paid players up to $50,000 for game-ending injuries to opposing players. The program was in place for three seasons, including the year the Saints went on to win the Super Bowl.
The bounty system was maintained by defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, with the backing of head coach Sean Payton.
The NFL said between 22 to 27 players took part in the bounty system. Players were paid a premium for injuring an opposing player to the extent that he had to be carted-off the field on a stretcher, referred to as “cart-offs.”
The NFL has yet to hand out penalties for the program, but I’m sure that will soon. My only wish is that criminal charges could be levied against everyone involved. If nothing else, I would think a player who accepted $50,000 for purposely injuring an opponent could be investigated for tax evasion. Something tells me any player stupid enough to participate in this is also stupid enough to not declare the money as income.
It’s how the federal government took down Al Capone. It would be nice if the same technique could also be used to rid the NFL of its thugs.