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.