The New Orleans Saints organization is getting a lot of flak for the bounty hunting culture put in place by former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. But according to players around the league, this pay-for-injury system goes way behind the Saints, or even the Washington Redskins, where Williams was once an assistant.
The Washington Post reports that ex-Redskin players, most of whom were quoted anonymously, confirmed that then-defensive coordinator Williams used a bounty system to encourage his players to injure opposing teams with “kill shots,” some of which earned the players up to $8,000 dollars a hit.
Some Redskin players, including former lineman Philip Daniels, defended the practice, saying it encouraged “good, hard football.” Daniels said the reward money came from fines collected when players were late to practice or meetings, as well as from Williams’ own pocket.
Considering that Williams has been a part of a number of organizations, including the Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars and now the St. Louis Rams, it isn’t hard to imagine that this is a widely-practiced system of encouraging players to leave it all out there on the field — even if that includes leaving broken body parts of opposing players out there as well.
This was confirmed via Twitter by current NFL analyst Damien Woody, who had this to say once the story broke:
For the NFL, this has got to hurt.
[Photo from Getty, h/t Business Insider]