With the game of football or any sport comes injuries, however when those injuries are forced purposely by the opposing team or player then that’s when it becomes a problem. The NFL has been mostly known for this issue as it’s such a common occurrence that the NFL has addressed the issue with what’s known as the “bounty rule.”
Now while there have been many past cases or rumors of teams doing or putting out bounties, news today broke that not only the New Orleans Saints were doing it but between 22 out and 27 defensive players as well as at least one assistant coach was apart of the Saints bounty program.
Reports say that the program was maintained by an assistant coach that was in charge of a bounty pool that had up to $50,000 in it.
Knockouts were worth $1,500 and cart-offs were worth $1,000. Those payments were doubled, sometimes tripled for playoff games. Reports also say that some of the opposing players that were targeted were quarterbacks Brett Favre and Kurt Warner.
“In the week of the NFC Championship Game,” Adam Schefter said on NFL Live Friday, “Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma put $10,000 in cash on a table and said ‘this goes to the guy that knocks out Brett Favre.’” Those weren’t Vilma’s exact words, but they were similar to those, ESPN’s Adam Schefter said.
Vilma or any other player from the Saints Organization has yet to respond.
However NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell did in a statement saying, “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.”
“It is our responsibility to protect player safety and the integrity of our game, and this type of conduct will not be tolerated. We have made significant progress in changing the culture with respect to player safety and we are not going to relent. We have more work to do and we will do it.”
The Saints have yet to suffer any consequences or penalties as this is all just speculation and rumors at this point though it doesn’t look good as it seems true as there was a league release statement. However if this is true, the Saints could face some serious penalties such as, loss of draft picks, suspensions, and definitely huge money fines.
The league release also mentioned that Saints head coach, Sean Payton was not involved in the bounty program, though he was aware and as we know he didn’t do anything to try and stop it.
Peyton Manning has been a top the sports world lately with breaking news varying from him likely to missing the whole entire season, to missing a few games, to missing none at all. The truth is; no one knows, there all just rumors. However what we do know is that doctors have told Manning not to practice which would mean that he wouldn’t play this Sunday ruling him out for week one…at least.
The thing that sparked this whole Manning trend came late last night when a report broke from John Michael Vincent of ESPN 1070 Indianapolis that Manning was going to have undergo neck surgery again and that he was going to miss the entire 2011-12 NFL season.
After news broke about Manning expected to miss the entire NFL season, articles, tweets, facebook posts, you name it began flooding the internet.
The good news is the Indianapolis Colts responded today saying that they have no intentions in another neck surgery for Manning meaning that he wouldn’t miss the whole entire season.
Though don’t expect this to just be a one or two week injury, because it’s not. If it wasn’t they wouldn’t have signed veteran Kerry Collins to a two year, $14 million deal. Expect it to be about a four to five week injury in the least, but again who knows.
“I hate it for Peyton,” said Pro Bowl center Jeff Saturday to ESPN, one of Manning’s closest friends. “You want him to be healthy, you want him to be back, but you want him to take care of it, too. It’s sad when players face tough times, but I know he’s strong enough to get through it.”
Now we do know that he’s strong enough to get through it, we definitely know that however how long will it take for him to get through it is the question and the other question that comes with it, is how will the Colts get through it.
The Colts first five games of the season are against the Houston Texans, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the Kansas City Chiefs.
This Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans would’ve been Manning’s 209th consecutive start in his NFL career but due to not being able to fully recover in time the streak of 208 will come to an end and a new streak will begin; games missed.