Some members of the 2009 Saints who parlayed a bounty system into a Super Bowl win continue to deny that a bounty system existed.
The latest? New Broncos cornerback Tracy Porter, who clinched the Saints’ victory in Super Bowl XLIV by intercepting a pass from new teammate Peyton Manning and returning it for a touchdown.
“It’s something the league felt they had evidence on, but I mean the thing that I will say about it is, I mean the whole label of bounty is absurd,” Porter said Friday, according to Jeff Legwold of the Denver Post. “There was definitely no bounty on any player out there in any game, we were just playing football.
The “absurd” label was applied by the league, which has concluded based in large part on the admissions of the coaches involved that bounties indeed were being used.
And so what’s absurd is any effort to deny that the Saints used bounties. And Porter seems to realize that.
“For that term to become bounty is definitely, I think, is harsh, but the league investigated it and they felt they made the right decision,” Porter said. “Who am I to come in and say that they didn’t make the right decision . . . that’s something that’s been put in the past.”
It may be part of Porter’s past, but it also could impact his future, given that the NFL eventually will be imposing discipline on Saints defensive players who funded, organized, and/or received payments from the bounty pool. If Porter was one of those people, his debut in Denver could end up being delayed.