Even for the player voted dirtiest in the NFL by his peers, the Saints’ system of paying bounties for injuring opponents goes too far.
Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh said while making an appearance at a NASCAR race today that he thinks there’s no place in football for bounties, and the Lions would never do such a thing.
“It’s unfortunate to hear these things come out,” Suh said, via the Charlotte Observer. “Me personally, I don’t take part in those things and knowing my teammates and knowing my coaches, we wouldn’t allow that. I understand it’s a tough situation the commissioner has to deal with. As he has in the past, he’s going to deal with it with a stiff hand. Hopefully, people can learn from the mistakes and make an example out of it.
Some might say that Suh is throwing stones while living in a glass house (or stomping an opponent while wearing a glass slipper), but Suh sees a distinction between the incidents that have led to his dirty reputation and what the Saints were doing: Suh says he enjoys playing tough, physical football, but that he has never had the intent to injure an opponent.
“We always have a band as a team and as a unit, especially as a defensive line, we want to be the first guys to get to the quarterback,” Suh said. “But for me personally and for my teammates, we don’t want to put anybody out. I would never want anybody to target me to take me out so why would I do it to somebody else?”
And so the dirtiest player in the NFL believes he occupies the moral high ground in comparison to Gregg Williams’ crew.