The NFL security department released information today regarding the investigation they have been conducting in regards to a 'bounty system' that was started by the New Orleans Saints. In there findings, they have accused "22 to 27" Saints defensive players in beginning the system, which would call for them to knock players out of games by injuring them and in return, they would receive a lump sum of cash.
Now, former Saints and Redskins defensive coordinator Gregg Williams (who was just hired by the St. Louis Rams) is coming under heavy fire for not only allowing the system, which he admitted to knowing about, but possibly engaging with the players about it and paying out the rewards. One of the players that the Saints reportedly targeted under the bounty rules was former Arizona Cardinal quarterback, Kurt Warner.
If you might recall, Warner sustained a brutal hit during the 2009-10 playoffs against the Saints, one that many believe lead him to retire at the end of the season. Warner has since been on numerous radio shows around the Valley, stating that these types of bounty systems are common and that he is not surprised that he was the target of such an act.
If you want to relive the moment, here is a video of Warner receiving the hit after throwing an interception:
Other players from around the league have echoed Warner's sentiments in saying that bounty systems occur on every team, the Saints were just the first to be exposed. So that makes one wonder: do the Cardinals use this type of system as well?
I asked former Cardinals linebacker Bertrand Berry the question we all want to know and he responded via Twitter that the team never employed such a tactic during his time in Arizona.
The optimistic part of me wants to say that this was an isolated incident with one team, but I might be naive in believing that. This isn't your average offense that should be taken lightly. The NFL will need to take diligent steps in insuring the public that they are doing everything in their power to uphold the rules and to keeping the player's safety at the pinnacle of their agenda.
What makes this story even more interesting is the fact that the Cardinals will be playing the Saints in the Hall of Fame Game on August 5. There is no doubt that much of what is supposed to be a celebration of football with historical significance will be overshadowed by these recent findings.
What are your thoughts on what has become the biggest storyline of the NFL offseason? Do you believe these bounty systems occur on every team? Should they?