“Bounties” are a hot topic around the NFL right now. A bounty is when players get paid to knock specific members of the opposing team out of the game. That’s right, intentionally injuring another athlete to make a couple grand.
The New Orleans Saints are the team currently accused for placing bounties on opposing players, but it is hard to believe this is an isolated incident. This news will make me question every dirty hit I see on Sundays because it may have been due to a bounty.
The NFL and the New Orleans Saints need to fix their current image. The NFL has cut down on dirty hits by fining and suspending players after dangerous plays. This is another subject completely, but James Harrison has been suspended and fined repeatedly for his dangerous plays. These penalties have resulted in negative press for the NFL simply because players around the league disagree with the penalties. The NFL needs to continue to punish dangerous play if they want the league to be perceived as clean and without bounties.
The league can get in front of the bounty issue by starting with the Saints. Make it known that bounties are unacceptable and can be penalized to the max. Fine the organization and launch an investigation into New Orleans defensive players in the past few years. It is extremely cliche, but make an example out of the Saints. Other teams will avoid making the same mistakes if the punishment fits the crime.
(The original bounty hunter)