The NFL revealed Friday that the New Orleans Saints maintained a bounty pool on opposing players for three years since 2009 and particularly targeted former Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre during the 2009 NFC Championship Game.
An investigation conducted by the league’s security department determined that between 22 and 27 players engaged in the ugly “pay for performance” program that distributed cash to members of the Saints’ defensive unit for inflicting game-ending injuries to the opposition’s offensive personnel.
Most disturbing are reports that “knockouts” were valued at $1,500 and “cart-offs” were worth $1,000.
The disgusting contracts, or hits, placed on players’ health were doubled, or even tripled, for the playoffs.
New Orleans’ nefarious violations hit their apex, or nadir, in their 2009 Super Bowl campaign when in excess of $50,000 was provided to gridiron thugs.
Commissioner Roger Goodell released a statement yesterday expressing his disgust for the Saints’ organized criminal activities.
“The payments here are particularly troubling because they involved not just payments for ‘performance,’ but also for injuring opposing players,” Goodell said. “The bounty rule promotes two key elements of NFL football: player safety and competitive integrity.”
Favre, an 11-time Pro Bowl selection who earned three MVP awards throughout his 19-year professional career, absorbed brutal punishment against the Saints in the aforementioned NFC title contest.
The player rated in 2009 as the twentieth player of all-time in league history by NFL.com told Sports Illustrated’s Peter King he isn’t angry at the Saints for their immoral and unlawful conspiracy (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/writers/peter_king/03/02/saints.bounties/index.html).
“I’m not pissed,” said Favre, 42, who finally, and ungraciously, hung-up his cleats for good after the 2010 season. “It’s football. I don’t think anything less of those guys. Said or unsaid, guys do it anyway. If they can drill you and get you out (of the game), they will.”
“The Gunslinger” was an iconic signal-caller and generally a pleasure to watch perform on the field.
Unfortunately, with age, the graybeard became a malignant diva and badly tarnished both his personal and professional image.
Nevertheless, Favre spoke like a man to King and he should be applauded for not stooping to the level of the Saints.
Brett Favre simply sounded like the badass he once was and the New Orleans Saints have proven to be a “particularly troubling” and unethical franchise.