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Bisciotti: Bounties are “despicable,” but don’t blame Benson

Steve Bisciotti, Ozzie Newsome, John Harbaugh AP

Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti had harsh words about the Saints’ bounty scandal at the league meetings, but he suggested that when it comes to bounties, the buck stops before the issue reaches the owner’s desk.

I think it’s despicable,” Bisciotti told BaltimoreRavens.com.

In the next breath, however, Bisciotti defended Saints owner Tom Benson as having no way of knowing that defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was running a bounty program on his team, and no way of knowing that head coach Sean Payton and General Manager Mickey Loomis didn’t shut it down as soon as they learned of it.

“And I know that Mr. Benson feels the same way,” Bisciotti said. “So I feel sorry for him. Speaking from an owner’s perspective, I want to say it could happen to any one of us and I wouldn’t know.”

Bisciotti’s claim that Benson feels the same way is bolstered by the league’s statement on bounty discipline for the Saints, which notes that the coaching staff chose to “maintain the program despite express direction from Saints ownership that it stop.”

But if Benson feels as strongly as Bisciotti that bounties are despicable, it’s surprising that Benson didn’t fire Payton for disobeying his direct order to bring the bounties to a halt.

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43 Responses to “Bisciotti: Bounties are “despicable,” but don’t blame Benson”
  1. jetslag44years says: Mar 29, 2012 7:05 PM

    Players should want to knock opponents out without having to collect a bounty. Where did all the passion go?

  2. gspword says: Mar 29, 2012 7:06 PM

    Coach and GM didn’t know? Hmmm, wonder where the bounty cash came from.

  3. jason1980 says: Mar 29, 2012 7:22 PM

    Yeah, Benson’s gonna fire the guy that finally took his franchise to the promise land for playing hard nose football. All the Saints have to do is make a strong no nonsense drive into the playoffs and possible superbowl, and this whole farce will seem like playtime at Disneyland. Geaux Saints!!!

  4. ravenator says: Mar 29, 2012 7:23 PM

    Bisciotti would know if bounties were being handed out, but only because he runs a tighter ship than Benson.

    Bisciotti is one of the best owners in all sports, not just the NFL.

  5. sportmentary says: Mar 29, 2012 7:25 PM

    Coach and GM did know and it was proven. When the league informed Benson and the Saints about their investigation and allegations, more than two years ago, he directed his GM to put a stop to it.

  6. chachanola says: Mar 29, 2012 7:31 PM

    Says the guy who’s team was also named for having one. Look in your back yard…homie

  7. mdd913 says: Mar 29, 2012 7:32 PM

    Does he think his own team is despicable then, too?

  8. jenniferxxx says: Mar 29, 2012 7:35 PM

    At this point it’s all spin and damage control. They’re sorry … sorry they got caught.

  9. reed20fence says: Mar 29, 2012 7:35 PM

    Don’t comment on someone else’s bounty problems Steve! You’re the owner of the Ravens! People will start suspecting Sugar Ray just for looking at a QB the wrong way after this debacle. Whatya think they’ll do if you start preemptively setting the case for your innocence?

    Just change the subject and go on your merry way.

  10. charger383 says: Mar 29, 2012 7:36 PM

    He knew

  11. jpb12 says: Mar 29, 2012 7:37 PM

    But Benson knows now doesn’t he? And he’s choosing to keep Payton and Loomis after their suspensions.

    So I don’t feel sorry for him. His guys lied to him and he seems OK with it.

  12. chachanola says: Mar 29, 2012 7:38 PM

    Says the owner who’s team was outed about a week ago…

  13. steeltownpride says: Mar 29, 2012 7:42 PM

    Didnt the Ravens have bounties on the Steelers back in the 2008 season ? Does that make his team despicable ? I guess so. And i believe he owned the team that season .

    Now lets hear all the excuses from the Ravens fans .

  14. noqrtrgvn says: Mar 29, 2012 7:48 PM

    Yea, perhaps if Mr. Bisciotti would like to know the real situation he should talk to Ray Ray and that moron Suggs about “having the bounty out” on other teams players.

  15. deeppurple23 says: Mar 29, 2012 7:49 PM

    Payton and Loomis should be fired once their suspensions end. That would be what I would do if I was Benson.

  16. sloppydogg says: Mar 29, 2012 7:54 PM

    Yes it should have stop, but did Greg Williams comply to his last order. No

  17. zn0rseman says: Mar 29, 2012 7:56 PM

    Benson knew and approved of the bounty program. Otherwise there is no way he would keep Sean Payton around after this mess. The ONLY reason Payton still has a job, is because he and Williams fell on the sword for Benson.

    Frankly, I think NFL fans should be angry at the repeated company line that Benson knew nothing of. Such idiocy insults the intelligence of even the dumbest of fans.

  18. eyeh8goodell says: Mar 29, 2012 7:59 PM

    “The bounty was out on him and the bounty was out on 86. We just didn’t get him between the whistles” – Terrell Suggs on an Atlanta radio station

    Google it. The “him” he’s referring to is Mendenhall. Hypocrisy much, Mr. Bisciotti?

  19. doublebro says: Mar 29, 2012 8:40 PM

    Jason1980 is typical of Aints fans…they still don’t get it. That team will be lucky to win 7 this year. Payton may yet be fired but not much reason to for now since Benson doesn’t have to pay him.

  20. jason1980 says: Mar 29, 2012 8:41 PM

    Yet Goddell says he has no evidence that any other team had bounties, yeah right. That’s alright though, the Saints will show you all that despite the sanctions, suspensions, and fines, we will still be a force to reckon with, and that’s why we have the jealous hater fans? Can’t wait for this season to start.

  21. chawk12thman says: Mar 29, 2012 8:47 PM

    “Benson didn’t fire Payton for disobeying his direct order to bring the bounties to a halt.”

    How could he have given this directive if he didn’t know it was going on?

  22. tyler200829 says: Mar 29, 2012 8:58 PM

    Steelers fans are still recovering from getting tebowed….beat us in 2012 then talk…..or Tim tebow……theres a start

  23. 6ball says: Mar 29, 2012 8:59 PM

    .

    This same thing happens in our military every day. The captain and lieutenant repeatedly lie to the colonel who gets summoned to the pentagon for a sit down with the joint chiefs. Hijinks ensue and everyone has a laugh at the colonel’s expense.

    .

    .

  24. jason1980 says: Mar 29, 2012 9:06 PM

    Doublebro, what for the love of God are smoking? The Saints will be lucky to win 7 games? haha…..you’re dreaming. The Saints are a powerhouse, and you know it, pal.

  25. ausernamethatisavailable says: Mar 29, 2012 9:15 PM

    Didn’t Suggs publicly admit that the ravens had bounties out on players a few years ago, confirming what most of us already knew?

  26. stevenfbrackett says: Mar 29, 2012 9:18 PM

    I do blame Benson. I blame him for not firing the offenders. I blame him for not fining the offenders. I blame him for still not even getting pissed off about it all. He should be fuming! They destroyed the reputation of his team. They cost him a bunch of money in sponsors and advertisers who now want nothing to do with them, with fans who are too disgusted to buy tickets or merchandise.

    No, instead Benson says that the offenders, to a man, are all great guys and have his full support. (Even though what they did in any other arena would have been called organized crime.)

    I do blame Benson along with his co-conspirators and I am still waiting for one of them, any of them, to man up and say – “Yes, I did it. I knew it was wrong and I did it anyway. And I’M SORRY. I AM SORRY, MR WARNER, MR FAVRE, MR RODGERS, MR NEWTON ……..”

  27. ppdoc13 says: Mar 29, 2012 9:18 PM

    Listen to the Squealer fans yapping. After having two of the dirtiest players in the league, Hines Ward and James Harrison, you guys have no room to talk.

    Stevie B says what he feels. He is one of the most respected owners in the league and one of the youngest.

    Since Harbs has gotten here, all the trash about how the Ravens were dirty etc, etc, etc has gone away. As it should have. BB let the team run wild. Harbs doesn’t put up with garbage like that. Wish I could say the same about Mike Tomlin who has a rapist for a QB, a headhunter for a WR (now retired) and a certifiable lunatic for a LB (Harrison).

    Harbs runs a clean ship. And for all the crap everyone talks about Ray Lewis, playing dirty has NEVER been on the list. So go mind your own store before you start shopping in ours.

  28. eyeh8goodell says: Mar 29, 2012 9:39 PM

    LOL at Ravens fans. They were the proverbial dog’s ass that got a little sunshine for once last year and they run their mouths like the Steelers haven’t pimp smacked them with regularity for years on end.

    Seems like they also don’t like having Suggs’ on-air comments thrown at them in this instance. Poor babies. Not only did their boy have to plea bargain out of a double murder rap (actual innocent people simply get to have the charges dropped) but now the proof is right out of Suggs’ mouth that their golden boy and his defense did the same thing the Saints did.

  29. randallflagg52 says: Mar 29, 2012 9:42 PM

    @ravenator

    As a fellow ravens fan I have to disagree with you. Bisciotti would be likely to not know about bounties on the team because of the very trait that makes him such a great owner.

    He is very hands off. Bisciotti knows football but he also knows that Oz and De Costa know more so he lets them run the show (to a point of course).

    This is what seperates the Ravens from the Cowboys/Redskins/Colts.

  30. jason1980 says: Mar 29, 2012 9:43 PM

    Benson should be fuming about winning his franchises first Super Bowl?? You folks are truly delusional.

  31. sophiethegreatdane says: Mar 29, 2012 9:48 PM

    You people are soooo naive. EVERY team in the Nfl has likely had a similar program in place at one point in time or another. Listen to any of the multitude of players from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s who have been interviewed about this topic since the story broke. To a man, they are all not surprised there was a bounty program in place. Heck some HIGH SCHOOL teams do it.

    The only reason the Saints are getting dinged so hard is because of the cover up/ lying, and because they disobeyed several direct orders to knock it off.

    Think about that for one second, just ONE SECOND. They were told to knock it off. They were not punished for the original ” violation”. They were only punished when it looked like they did not stop, the league launched another investigation, and the Saints proceeded to lie and deny.

    Why didn’t the NFL just punish them the first time around? Because they know the extent to which this was happening across the league. The Saints are now being made an example of what happens when you lie, cover up, and ignore direct orders from the league.

    And they SHOULD be punished.

    The annoying part is all you bulletin board jockeys get up on your high horses, and clutch at your breasts in disbelief like a prudish old maid crying “Well I never!”

    Gasp! The horror of it all!

    This type of system cannot be allowed to continue in today’s world and I do not endorse it. But let’s all drop the desperate pretension and stop pretending like this was anything but commonplace up until the Saints got busted.

  32. turtlehut says: Mar 29, 2012 11:00 PM

    Benson did not achieve his position to be an NFL owner by having his people lie to his face – if they were untrustworthy he would fire them. OR they gave him “plausible deniability” so he keeps them around for their “loyalty?” and maybe blackmail.

  33. babyhorsemorgan says: Mar 29, 2012 11:26 PM

    “Limp Biscuit” Bisciotti tries to please everyone as usual. With predictable results.

  34. ravenator says: Mar 29, 2012 11:42 PM

    @randallflagg52

    While I agree that Bischotti is hands off, to think he wouldn’t know about ‘bounties’ in the Ravens’ locker room is absurd. He’s better than that. He WOULD know. He manages from afar, out of the spotlight.

  35. cags777 says: Mar 29, 2012 11:45 PM

    Wait a second! Didn’t Benson initially tell Loomis to end the bounty program when the NFL was first investigating them at the conclusion of the 2009 season? If so, it would appear Benson knew what was going on but wouldn’t go any farther in trying to end the program.

  36. jonny42671 says: Mar 30, 2012 8:17 AM

    @jason1980….eventually you are going to actually start believing your posts. Till then, everyone still knows your Superbowl will always be Tainted and the only thing you will be remembered for is cheating! Go Pack !!

  37. saintsnutcase says: Mar 30, 2012 8:18 AM

    what an idiot. one of his players said that he put “some extra hot sauce on the tackle” against Reggie Bush in 2007 when Reggie’s ankle was injured. NO BOUNTY???? what a douch!!

  38. nolarules says: Mar 30, 2012 9:26 AM

    I know you guys are dying for Payton to get fired from the Saints. You write about it daily. And you know full well he would be back with another team (hint, hint, Dallas) the second the suspension is over. Could it be that you want to see him out of New Orleans and onto a big market team? Do you guys in the press have an agenda here?
    And why would Benson fire him. Being a fan since birth, this team stunk it up for years and years and years. The eighties were a nightmare & joke (don’t forget about the season Saints players were doing coke the whole time). The dome patrol was a savior but could not put it all together. Then another decade and a half of being a complete joke (I wouldn’t wish Aaron Brooks on my worst enemy). Then suddenly, this coach and gm build a winner. And Benson is supposed to fire him even though he disgraced the team? There are certain employees that are indispensable and you put up with some BS from. And Payton is one of them. If anything, I think Benson should jump on the fact he is being loyal to Payton and sign him to a long contract extension, ensuring that Jerry Jones can’t get him sticky paws on him.

  39. cardiovascularendurance says: Mar 30, 2012 10:48 AM

    I just ate a delicious biscotti. Unfortunately, it left some crumbs at the bottom of my coffee. That’s always a bummer.

  40. btrenary87 says: Mar 30, 2012 11:59 AM

    that’s funny, a ravens player named Terrell Suggs said on a radio show that there was a bounty on Hines Ward. take a look in the mirror, ya jagoff

  41. yukon672010 says: Mar 30, 2012 1:18 PM

    I love reading the comments……makes me feel so much better about myself…….you genius’s understand that the bounty is not what caused the fines / penalties….right? It was because the Saints covered it up, lied about it…over and over…and then continued it. The league finds out about bounties all the time. They take action, the teams stop, and everyone moves on. The Saints LIED…over and over….COVERED UP….and CONTINUED the bounty practice…..even you 7eleven 3rd shifters should understand the difference……

  42. stevemdlthn says: Mar 30, 2012 7:17 PM

    Guess what the NFL is investigating the Ravens as we speak. Punishment needs to be consistent. Fire……. Goodell oh yeh ……Vikings SUCK

  43. stevemdlthn says: Mar 30, 2012 7:32 PM

    Yukon, I know you might be missing a chromosone but I’ll try to explain. It’s not the scandal that pisses everybody off. It’s heavy handed punishment that punishes a entire city and fan base. There are no guidelines for punishments, Goodell just makes them up as he sees fit. There’s no real appeals process in place, Goodell is starting to rub people wrong. A punishment in the professional world is suppose to be corrective not malicious. He was being vengeful for being lied to.

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