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Words of wisdom from LaMarr Woodley

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When Ian Rapoport, formerly of the Boston Herald but now of NFL Network, forwarded the link to his conversation with Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley regarding the bounty controversy, the natural inclination was to scoff at Woodley’s comparison of bounties to contract incentives.

But then I considered what he was saying.  And it started to make some sense.

“If you think about it, when you say there’s an extra incentive, the ‘bounty,’ that’s like people having incentives in their contract,” Woodley told Rapoport.  “You get a certain amount of sacks, you get an extra bonus.  Is that considered a bounty?

“You’re still going to go out there to make the plays in order to get some extra money.  Is that putting that much more pressure to go out there and want to hit a quarterback because you know you have a $100,000 bonus coming if you do this?”

In other words, football players play football.  Different tactics are utilized to get players to play football harder, better.  Whether that extra kick comes from a contract incentive or a cash payment for playing so hard that it puts an opponent out of the game, it’s more about motivation and focus than it is about inflicting injury, especially in the absence of a specific pattern of cheap shots or other clearly beyond-the-bounds behavior that could serve no purpose other than to create bodily harm.

“When I’m going to hit the quarterback, I’m not thinking, ‘I should hit this guy soft,’ I’m thinking, ‘I’m about to take this dude down to the ground,'” Woodley said. “With a running back going through the hole, he’s trying to lay a hit on you, I think everybody is out there trying to lay a hit on somebody.”

Contract incentives, bounties — whatever the device — get players in the frame of mind to go out with the single-minded purpose of delivering hard hits and fighting through pain and fatigue.  These weren’t Nancy Kerrigan-style kneecappings.  These were, in many respects, good performances procured by bad intentions.

That’s not to say the process flies off the rails when members of a team’s coaching staff put together a formula for “knock-outs” and “cart-offs” and packs bills into envelopes and hands them out like gold stars, and then lies about it when the league investigates.  But there’s a certain amount of appeal to the notion that a disconnect exists between the unsavory methods of getting players to play with reckless abandon and the reality that, in the end, guys were simply playing football, often with reckless abandon.

None of this means the NFL should look the other way.  The Saints screwed up, at the worst time in the history of the sport.  But absent evidence that Saints players were using brass knuckles or dipping tape in plaster of Paris or hiding outside locker-room doors to cold-cock unsuspecting quarterbacks, it’s more than a little difficult to paint the outcome of the bounties as anything other than the kind of aggressive, nasty football that we see from any team whose players are properly motivated and focused to play hard and fast and mean.

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82 Responses to “Words of wisdom from LaMarr Woodley”
  1. akhhorus says: Apr 3, 2012 9:54 PM

    Big difference between sacking a QB(or talking a player) and intentionally trying to hit him hard or injure him.

  2. mjbulls45 says: Apr 3, 2012 10:00 PM

    im glad someone brought up his showing on NFL network today

    when he speaks he sets NFL players back another 10 – 15 years

  3. RavenzGunnerz says: Apr 3, 2012 10:01 PM

    I do not think the Saints are the dirties team in the NFL. The Steelers are.

  4. cmb79 says: Apr 3, 2012 10:03 PM

    The cynic in me wonders if he’s trying to cover for Harrison. Otherwise, excellent counterpoint.

  5. sanjose61 says: Apr 3, 2012 10:05 PM

    On top of that, there’s a difference between a dirty hit and a clean hit.

  6. themonster49 says: Apr 3, 2012 10:07 PM

    If that is what is argued then yes there is a connection. That is beside the point entirely. The sooner the league can cut back on the number of people convinced through incentive to injure (or through peer pressure or comradery), the sooner we will be able to see which players are out there trying to injure people on purpose, for their own reasons. Play rough, if you get hurt then you get hurt, don’t let someone in there that is trying to intentionally injure someone else, for any reason.

  7. fooath says: Apr 3, 2012 10:07 PM

    Yeah, hitting QBs after they clearly hand the ball off is just run of the mill aggressive play you see out of any other team.

    Wait, nope. It was clear at the time through more than one game that what they were doing went beyond “aggressive, nasty football”. And playing hard, fast, and mean.

    It’s one thing for Suh to play aggressive, nasty football with a mindset for hard, fast and mean.

    It’s another when the coaches, players, and even people outside the organization are putting money on the table for him to not just play like that, but directly try to injure and remove another player from the game.

    Difficult to paint the outcome as more than that? Tell that to Kurt Warner or Brett Favre and the injuries they sustained from those dirty, disgusting, and illegal bought and sold by sleazy coaches, players, and outside forces, hits.

  8. timsmooth says: Apr 3, 2012 10:07 PM

    Bout time some one wrote the story correct.

  9. bigredjbird says: Apr 3, 2012 10:08 PM

    @ak I agree. This a a very lame attempt to defend the wrongdoing of his fellow players.

  10. hutch119 says: Apr 3, 2012 10:08 PM

    Making football plays like hitting the RB or sacking the QB is not the same as intentionally trying to injure someone. “When I’m going to hit the quarterback, I’m not thinking, ‘I should hit this guy soft,’ I’m thinking, ‘I’m about to take this dude down to the ground,’” While a Saints player might be thinking “How could I take this guy to the ground and cause him an injury”.

  11. staugslugga says: Apr 3, 2012 10:09 PM

    ‘trying to hit hard or injure’

    You know where that line is?

    This is the first PFT article that has somewhat made sense

  12. jeffw says: Apr 3, 2012 10:11 PM

    There’s a difference between playing hard and playing to intentionally hurt someone. Bad example but… I play tackle football with my friends all the time. No pads. We can all tackle each other just fine without trying to injure each other.
    It can be done. Just need to get rid of the mentality that intentionally hurting someone somehow makes you a “man”.

  13. jenniferxxx says: Apr 3, 2012 10:12 PM

    The incentive wasn’t the problem. What they had to do for the incentive … that was the problem.

  14. ningenito78 says: Apr 3, 2012 10:12 PM

    Wait a minute Florio. Holy sh-t. It sounds like you finally put the ‘bounty’ issue into some unbiased light. Wow. Thanks bro. Some of us have been waiting.

  15. drunkenjunk says: Apr 3, 2012 10:14 PM

    @akhhorus

    do you not understand what all of these players have been saying. They’re always trying to hurt the qb when they hit him. They want the qb to feel every hit, to get up slower, to throw off his rhythm. This is part of the game, most of you are being soft about how its played and don’t understand what you’re talking about.

  16. str8up12 says: Apr 3, 2012 10:22 PM

    @drunkenjunk
    There is a difference between trying to hurt someone and trying to injure someone.

  17. rezburna says: Apr 3, 2012 10:23 PM

    @akhhorus

    Every player is implying that their goal is to hurt each other. Nobody can openly admit to it, but that’s everyone players goal. No you don’t want to paralyze somebody, but if you can knock their best player out of the game then you’re going to do it. If you can get some extra money while doing it, you’re definitely going to try and do it. Just like “DrunkenJunk” said, you guys are being soft. VERY soft, and don’t know how the game is played.

  18. pjhurley5 says: Apr 3, 2012 10:25 PM

    This is perhaps the most ridiculous article I’ve read on this site. The fact that they are NFL players and are getting paid huge sums of money to play well is what gets them to play with “motivation and focus”…presumably.

    How do you reconcile what you’re preaching to what the Saints did to Favre in the NFC Championship Game a few years back? Were they trying to make outstanding plays to sack him to make extra money? NO. They were trying to inflict enough pain in Favre to knock him out of the game. That is absolutely unacceptable at every level.

    To equate incentives for sacking a quarterback with incentives to blatantly injure someone is ignorant. Incentives are valid if what you’re INCENTIVIZING is valid (e.g. see jenniferxxx’s insightful comment). You’ve missed the mark here, Mike…

  19. jh4prez says: Apr 3, 2012 10:27 PM

    Woodley=genius

  20. sbdt says: Apr 3, 2012 10:30 PM

    It’s nice that Florio (thank you, Mike!) is letting up a little on the bounty business. The proselytizing has been a little over the top lately.

    Professional football players play hard & hit hard. And ANY other team in the league, facing a 39 year old quarterback in the NFC Championship, would have tried to knock Favre out of the game. The endless derision of the Saints players and coaches for this is blatant hypocrisy.

    And to the guy who says he and his friends play tackle football without pads – and it’s possible to bring people down without trying to hurt them – this is, after reading this site for years, undoubtedly the stupidest comment I’ve ever seen. Bravo. I’m going to keep an eye out for your future work. Please post often.

  21. figpucker says: Apr 3, 2012 10:33 PM

    Akhhorus, there is no difference. You take the starting QB out of the game and chances are you win. Each sack, those guys are hitting that QB as hard as they can. Why? To hurt him. If it wasn’t to hurt him, why wouldn’t we just play touch or flag? Same athletic ability could be displayed without the hitting. No we hit to hurt, plain and simple. Everyone is trying to cause as much pain, within the rules, to the other team. That’s football. You know what else is football? Injuries. You play football, you are going to get injured. They may not all be a broken leg or ruptured tendon but EVERYONE gets injured. If you don’t, you’re not giving it your all and I don’t want you on the field with me.

    As long as we aren’t seeing a lot of illegal hits (which the Saints players weren’t doing), then there is no problem. If people get injured as a result of a huge hit, that’s the violent game we play. I’m laying the wood on each hit, if I can make a few extra bucks because my legal hit knocked someone out, so what. If I make a few extra bucks because an illegal hit/tactic took someone out, that is very wrong. From what I’ve seen, that didn’t happen.

  22. jackers252 says: Apr 3, 2012 10:34 PM

    Who wrote this and what did you do with Florio?

  23. nflpuppetmaster says: Apr 3, 2012 10:45 PM

    The best commentary on the subject so far. Just the truth, sans the drama and hyperbole.

  24. xx4zu1 says: Apr 3, 2012 10:45 PM

    You kinda flip flopping here Florio they almost swayed you to the dark side.

  25. dclogicatlast says: Apr 3, 2012 10:46 PM

    So you’ve completely backtracked from your countless other bounty articles?

    At least ya got one right!

  26. thecayannecoon says: Apr 3, 2012 10:49 PM

    I believe the only thing the saints did wrong was beat the crap out of a team the way old football would be proud of. You can all say what you want by the bottom line is safety is a major concern in all industrys period but these guys get paid a ton of money to go out there and hit. We all love to see spectacular plays big his and end zone dancing. It’s what football represents. To say that a few thousand dollars changed any of there decisions to intentialy hurt someone is just plain dumb. I’m not saying it wright but COM On MAN. That’s like me saying I ll give someone Five dollars to take the commish out. But really all I did was stir up a bee nest bc saints fans would be like I’ll do it for a dollar. So you better believe if you can take out a QB in the playoffs. Guess what players will try regardless to win a chance at the Super Bowl. Bounty, nan I call that commrodery. Good luck saints. Beat all the odds and get another ring.

  27. thegonz13 says: Apr 3, 2012 10:50 PM

    Who said sacking a QB meant taking him out of a game?

    The comparison doesn’t hold water. Nice try, though!

  28. skinsfantom says: Apr 3, 2012 11:01 PM

    drunkjunk are you dense or naturally stupid. there is still a difference between hitting someone hard and trying to injure them intentionally. its a thin line but a HUGE difference, like your IQ which probably shows that yes, you are actually reta…… slow. have a nice day.

  29. zenofobe says: Apr 3, 2012 11:01 PM

    In the Saints situation the ends aren’t of consequence. The means are. Contract incentives: legal. Bounties: illegal. Simple.

    Now, it should be obvious why NFL contracts don’t include incentives for taking other players out. If it isn’t obvious to you, MMA or boxing are there for your viewing enjoyment.

  30. slobmykolb says: Apr 3, 2012 11:05 PM

    akhhorus
    Apr 3, 2012, 9:54 PM EDT
    Big difference between sacking a QB(or talking a player) and intentionally trying to hit him hard or injure him.

    I am all for the suspension of payton & co. because what they did was illegal (in the NFL and in “real” life). Just to be clear though it is extremely naive to think that 80% of these players aren’t out there trying to make the “BIG” hit and knock a teams MVP out of the game with or without extra incentive. These guys are all always playing for that next big contract and if you think those types of plays and highlights don’t get them noticed and earn them more playing time then you my friend need to join the rest of the world! I don’t think that they are trying to make career ending hits (not most of them anyhow) but clean, hard, knock the wind out of you, break your rib type hits are what makes it a sport that we all love to watch. They are playing that way, even your favorite DE!

  31. kronix7 says: Apr 3, 2012 11:06 PM

    The point your missing is there isn’t anything wrong with a good solid hit however there is something wrong with trying to take a player out of the game. It’s cheap if anything.

  32. eleventyeight says: Apr 3, 2012 11:22 PM

    The big difference is that football is a test not only of talent but of physical and mental strength and of will; every player sets out to push his opponent past the point of his mental and physical endurance.

    Toughness is bearing that beating and succeeding despite it.

    The line is the point at which any player removes or otherwise discards his respect for his opponent and plays specifically to cause a debilitating injury regardless of the outcome of the play.

    The Saints drew the line big and bold and then promptly ran over it fast and and didn’t look back until they were caught at it.

    Competition and sportsmanship inherently implies a respect for both the game and the opponent and the implied unspoken law that everyone accepts the rules of the game AND the repercussions for exceeding those rules.

    When the intent is to intentionally cause permanent damage to an individual it transcends gamesmanship and becomes nothing more or less than criminal assault.

    The Ravens spoke openly of bounties of Big Ben and Hines Ward for years but were ignored yet now the Saints are demonized for the very same behavior. One almost certainly begot the other, even if only tangentially.

    This kind of inconsistent double-standard paves the way for how this institutionalized brutality like what became of the Saints defense, and what many of the individual players on other teams, came to commit in their thoughtless and potentially criminal behavior for bounties set on men who are targeted to be physically damaged in the name of “sport”.

  33. flyerscup2010 says: Apr 3, 2012 11:23 PM

    Fine, then at the very least the bounties are cap violations if they’re bonuses.

  34. steelymcbeam6 says: Apr 3, 2012 11:24 PM

    You ppl do realize bounties have been going on for a long time right? You’re an ignorant fool if you think the saints are the first and only team to ever do this. All of you seem to think your team is above this, they are not. Get off your moral high horses talking about how disgraceful the saints are for doing this. every team in the league was doing some form of bounty at some point wether it be last year, the year before that or 10, 15, 20 years ago…the saints just happened to be the ones that got caught.

  35. lifeimitatesfootball says: Apr 3, 2012 11:26 PM

    If a member of a bad team had said the same thing Florio would be all over it. Guys, he only wrote what he wrote because a Steeler (THE dirtiest team in the NFL, not the Saints) said it.

  36. Deb says: Apr 3, 2012 11:38 PM

    As I’ve said from the get-go, players play hard and bounties in some form have always been part of the game. The difference here is that coaches took money from an outside felon to bypass the salary cap then lied through their teeth to the league. And the coaches prompted their players to deliberately inflict serious injury (I’ve known people who’ve been knee-capped who walked better than Brett Favre.)

    This situation goes way above and beyond the norm. And since it is obvious from his little “Free Sean Payton” antics that the coach thinks this is all one big joke, clearly a one-year suspension isn’t enough. He was one of my favorites, but after watching how he’s handled this, perhaps a lifetime ban is the only thing he’d understand. I’m not excusing the players, but it’s wrong for them to be looking at suspension plus IRS and even possibly criminal issues while this jerk is banging the drums all day with Jimmy Buffett and planning his debut on FOX.

  37. rajbais says: Apr 4, 2012 12:06 AM

    So NFL Network hired Ian Rapoport.

    Well, he’s a good addition; but Kim Jones is an even BETTER one!!!

    No offense Ian, NFL Network is looking more gorgeous than ESPN!!!!

  38. rodgers419 says: Apr 4, 2012 12:07 AM

    You play to win the game. Hurting opposing players increases your chances of winning. There’s no penalty in the NFL for hurting people.

  39. sloppydogg says: Apr 4, 2012 12:28 AM

    So getting put out of a game from a good or bad hit is ok as long as it is written in your contract. So why is thee saints being punish by Goodell cause they paid them in cash to avoid paying taxes on the monies……….lol

  40. purplegreenandgold says: Apr 4, 2012 12:44 AM

    please do not drink this “KOOL-AID”.
    please consider the source
    its a setup. more to come.

  41. southyank7 says: Apr 4, 2012 12:53 AM

    i see alot of
    pot calling the kettle black
    especially mr
    #RavenzGunnerz wanna talk DIRTY
    i hate the ravens as much as next guy but at least i respect most of there players but the coach & their fans are a disgrace 2 human kind

  42. detroitcityryda says: Apr 4, 2012 12:59 AM

    Michigan boy he got some sense In him unlike them buckeyes Popeyes

  43. jackshine says: Apr 4, 2012 1:01 AM

    Alot of ‘non-football’ people chime in in outrage.

    Goodell has strict fines levied for illegal hits.

    Those fines far outweighed incentives in the bounties.

    The thing the Saints did that was truly disappointing was having the arrogance to continue after being told to cease the program.

  44. hnrqoliv says: Apr 4, 2012 1:12 AM

    Well, then it’s circumventing the cap. Which is also illegal.

  45. landroo says: Apr 4, 2012 1:16 AM

    Now that the OMG bounty hysteria has faded somewhat and the coaching staff punishments have been handed out, it was only a matter of time until the pendulum started swinging the other way, with player punishment in the pipeline. Once again, common sense is making its way to the surface.

    Woodley’s comments are revealing and certainly valid and Florio’s “backtrack” take is on the money. Like Favre said when the bounty saga was unfolding, “it’s just football”. Yes, football players want to CAUSE PAIN. They want to lay a hit on a guy that will make him remember where it came from, and if it causes bodily injury and forces him to leave the game, well, good for our team. Yep, it’s football, folks. A brutal, vicious game not for the faint of heart.

    I’m not a Saints fan, but as the line gets finer in this whole fiasco, like Florio I find myself backing off faulting the players so much and agreeing that the coaches and management deserve the punishments they got, especially Williams. He was simply out of bounds. The players have to buy into a coach’s system and if that includes cash rewards for injuring and/or knocking players out of a game, that puts players in a difficult position, in my estimation. You think a player is going to call out his position coach, a long-time league veteran, for unethical and dangerous methods? Hell no.

    In a nutshell, it’s a motivational ploy gone rogue. The reason the league is doubly-pissed is because they warned the Saints (i.e. coaches & management) about it but apparently were lied to and then blithely ignored. Now they’re finding out what happens when they defy the Red Rooster – down comes the Iron Fist.

    But, as Florio said, the lines are blurred with the players because they are simply…playing football…with reckless aggression…wanting to hit as hard as possible…and CAUSE PAIN. Admit it – we fans love this just as much as the players do, hi-fiving our buddies after an opponent gets creamed, while the players celebrate on the field. It is simply inherent in the sport and how much should we punish a player for aggressively doing the job he is coached to do, which includes a sizable cash bounty for inflicting PAIN and possibly injury?

    So Vilma throws $10 large on a table, to anyone who takes Favre out of the game. Is that so wrong when that is part of his coach’s motivational arsenal? And, as a player, I would think the glory of that kill would overshadow a cash bounty. Who wouldn’t want to be known as the player who knocked the legend out of the game, paving the way to a Super Bowl title? How can you fault a player for hitting an opponent so hard that it takes him out of the game – unless of course it was a blatant cheap shot?

    It’s a fine line between hitting hard that may result in injury and deliberately trying to drive someone out of the game. And I’m sure it’s crossed more than we know. Perhaps only the individual players know for sure what their real motivation was. But when you’re coached to take an opposing player out of the game, knowing you’ll earn a nice cash reward in the process, can you say no? Hell no. It’s football. The madness is in the motivational method.

    I imagine Dick Butkus is getting a good laugh about all these bounty shenanigans. I’m sure someone has asked him what he thinks, and I’d bet he’d say, in so many words, it’s much ado about nothing. He’d say something like,”I didn’t need any cash jackpot to take someone out of a game. Hell, I tried to do that on every play. If (coach) Halas told me to break Bart Starr’s leg, you think I’d ask,”How much is it worth?”.

    It’s just football…

  46. keakuamai says: Apr 4, 2012 1:28 AM

    That’s not wisdom, that’s an attempt at rationalization

  47. NoHomeTeam says: Apr 4, 2012 1:31 AM

    So far, the evidence here seems to support the conclusion that this board is full of Internet Tough Guys.

    And a sudden reversal of principles from the site owner. Who got to YOU, Mike?

  48. seaner44 says: Apr 4, 2012 1:55 AM

    Saying words of wisdom from LaMarr Woodly is like saying the world will end because the Myans said so (FYI the Myans also sacrifice the strong and those who provided to thier Gods)

  49. zn0rseman says: Apr 4, 2012 2:15 AM

    Dude…

    Forget the high-low illegal hit on Brett Favre that broke and maimed his ankle. Forget the late hit that ended Kurt Warner’s career.

    They freaking leveled Brett Favre 3-4 seconds AFTER he handed off the football on a RUNNING play.

    Never in my life have I seen that done before or sense. That kind of dirty play goes far beyond players being “properly motivated”.

    In addition, the Saint inclusion of a convicted felon with ties to sports gambling interests, on their sideline and in their locker room, is the most disturbing aspect of their combined violations. This guy was handing out huge wads of cash to players (and officials?) under the table during the playoffs. They gave this guy a Super Bowl ring! I don’t know about you, but that to me seems like the real crime under the crime in this case. The NFL certainly doesn’t want to talk about it, so they are punishing the Saints for the illegal bounty program… but you’re crazy if you don’t think Ornstein’s involvement isn’t factoring into the league’s decisions.

  50. ImproperRedskin says: Apr 4, 2012 2:56 AM

    The thing is, it’s really hard to prove intention. It has to be quantified in some way, hence the rules.

  51. ampatsisahypocrite says: Apr 4, 2012 3:20 AM

    I love guys like RavenzGunnerz here making excuses for New Orleans and still trying to drag down the classiest franchise in football. Tsk tsk. Last I looked the Steelers didn’t run bounties.

    But hey, what can you expect from the clueless Baltimore fan?

  52. jcm123 says: Apr 4, 2012 3:31 AM

    seems some live their life as if winning is all that matters. No rules, just win baby!…. keep it up and see where it will end up !

    being a human being is living with other human beings within Rules like Laws… like the US Constitution, Ten Commandments, etc… all of these intended to address those that will stop at nothing to win.

  53. thehatefulnerd says: Apr 4, 2012 3:53 AM

    Incentives are at least theoretically not paid by members of organized crime.

  54. randygnyc says: Apr 4, 2012 4:20 AM

    There’s a difference between playing football within the rules or subverting the rule of law by premeditating injury for monetary gain. additionally, there is a purposeful intention to circumvent the salary cap and the federal crime of tax evasion. Finally, IMO,a criminal enterprise is the result, and could easily be prosecuted under federal RICO statutes.

  55. thephantomcoder says: Apr 4, 2012 4:35 AM

    Looks like they missed part of the reason for the punishment. Yes some of it was about player saftey but as woodley says, these payments are just like incentives that are written into the contract, except they are not written into the contracts, and constitute violations of the rules. You cant have teams paying players outside of their contracts, and salary cap structures. Thats called cheating.

  56. mitchitized says: Apr 4, 2012 4:36 AM

    Just a few years ago football players openly and publicly admitted that if they saw a QB/RB on the injury report, they would target the wounded area just to get said QB/RB out of the game.

    Why was there no outrage then?

    This hypocrisy and deluded self-righteousness is getting out of hand.

    The Saints are not being punished because they tried to hurt players for money, they are getting punished because they got caught, lied, got caught again, lied again…

  57. quittsburghstoolers says: Apr 4, 2012 6:53 AM

    It’s not hard to understand why Woodley could get confused
    about what is considered a bounty & what’s not & what’s
    considered a good clean hit & what’s a dirty play
    that’s main purpose is to injure someone.

    After all, he plays for one of the dirtiest teams in the
    league so the line (for all of them) is naturally blurred…

  58. isphet71 says: Apr 4, 2012 7:10 AM

    Woodley is right to an extent. Bounties are similar to contract incentives. There are three main reasons why bounties are illegal, however:

    1. Bounties are NOT reported against salary cap, as are contract bonuses. The IRS would put you in jail for doing something similar with your taxes.

    2. Bounty rewards can also include (but are not limited to) rewarding “non-football” plays on the NFL field. Hurting a QB 2 seconds after he hands off would and could in no way be a rewardable contract bonus.

    3. In the Saint’s specific case, they continually lied about the usage of bounties. Specifically with behavior constituting the worst elements of points 1 and 2.

    It’s no wonder the Saints got the hammer.

    Honestly.. I have no problem with bounties, and neither does the NFL if:

    1. They reward “good football” plays
    2. They are reported against the salary cap
    3. You are up-front about them throughout the process.

    THESE are called contract incentives.

  59. jerlee7 says: Apr 4, 2012 7:10 AM

    I admit to never reading a single NFL player’s contract, but I would guess that not one offers a $10,000 incentive to injure a starting quarterback.

  60. 7to10for6allday says: Apr 4, 2012 7:22 AM

    Every team does it….it’s a matter of language, if the coaches told the players you get money for Sacks, tackles, INTs etc, everything would be ok. But the minute they used words like injure, cart off that’s where they went wrong.

  61. SaintsTownHall says: Apr 4, 2012 7:41 AM

    IF indeed the Saints actually tried to hurt players in games, then how come they were not penalized and fined in games? From the time I played pee wee football, we had a similar system (however no cash) but if we ever actually took a cheap shot, there was hell to pay to the same coach that gave the “bounty”. The play on words is not literally meaning go “kill the QB”

    Search in google, “No Bounty Necessary, Saints Fans Are After Goodell”

  62. daddyb1gdrawz says: Apr 4, 2012 7:43 AM

    I 100% agree with Woodley. I think the word “bounty” is influencing many opinions. Lets take the word “bounty” out of it and call it a cash payment. It really is no different than what is written in contracts (incentives). However no incentive is worded to knock a player out of the game. If that is what the Saints condoned, then it is wrong. But if it is as Woodley claims, then there is no problem with it in my book.

  63. ravenator says: Apr 4, 2012 7:46 AM

    Woodley is a moron, does he ever shut up?

  64. rpiotr01 says: Apr 4, 2012 8:02 AM

    A legal line is crossed when it comes to intent to injure. This isn’t about “just playing football,” it’s about liability. A professional sports league cannot tolerate a situation where coaches are telling players specifically to injure other players, and giving them cash payments for such injuries.

    Contract incentives are completely different. Player, agent, team and league agree upfront to extra payment – through open and transparent payment methods – for hitting certain statistics recognized as valid by all four parties. That last part is particularly valid – it’s not just about agreement, it’s about game integrity. Do you really think this would all be OK if Hargrove had in his contract “$10K for injuring Brett Favre”? Of course not. No judge or jury in the country would buy that if Favre decided to sue. That’d be a formal contract to ruin another person’s health. It’s illegal and its shady, so the Saints did what most folks do when it comes to shady and illegal things – they did it under the table in a way that would be very hard to trace (cash only). Doing this as a formal system would put the league and everyone else in a TON of trouble. But it’s OK because it wasn’t done formally?

    Please. Injury is incidental in professional sports. Assault is not. That’s the difference. It’s not just about the game.

  65. 49erstim says: Apr 4, 2012 8:21 AM

    I don’t have any problem with “incentive-laden” contracts. $1500 per sack? Awesome! I hope ya break the record! I don’t even have a problem with under the table payouts for sacks, ints, TDs, etc. I’m not the IRS nor am I a salary cap lawyer….. But if you tried to hand out money to intentionally injure another human being then you’re a dirtbag. Plain and simple. Also if you advocate the practice of intentionally injuring a person to win a GAME then you are also a dirtbag. I can’t believe there is even an argument here. I’ve lost a lot of faith in humanity reading some of these comments.

  66. newguy925 says: Apr 4, 2012 8:31 AM

    Trying to hurt someone on the field is different than trying to injure someone. Yes, you want to hit them as hard as you can when you make a tackle. No, you do not hit a qb low after he threw the ball.

    James Harrison = trying to hurt (god I love watching him hit people)

    Saints = trying to injure

    There is a difference, and the Saints wrote it down, and took a picture, and now the league has it. They threatened the livelihood of their coworkers and were stupid about it. Pay the piper.

  67. timtheenchanter1 says: Apr 4, 2012 8:34 AM

    2 major issues with professor woodley’s strawman arguments.

    1) These bounties in the saints case specifically incentivized injuries, not just good plays that may happen to cause injuries. There are things a player can do that are illegal or poor sportsmanship that go beyond just getting a sack or “laying a hit” on someone. therefore the comparison to legal contract incentives is not valid.

    2) The NFL’s rules strictly prohibit *ANY* non-contract rewards or incentive, whether they are incentivizing legal or illegal plays. The reward system they had in place was already against the rules. The fact that it included specific injury to players when the league is facing lawsuits out the wazoo from injured players just made the situation one where the league had no choice but to bring the hammer hard.

  68. sterilizecromartie says: Apr 4, 2012 8:38 AM

    It is quite aggrevating that it took an NFL player to speak out such common sense before Florio listened. Hey Mike, you have some pretty intelligent and loyal readers on this site who have been preaching this SAME EXACT CONCEPT. If you took a few minutes to actually read through your reader comments you would have seen people making the same point Woodley just made. Don’t act like Woodley is this great prophet finally shedding light on the situation. Lots of people have had that same mindset since this whole thing started a month ago. Now go back to eating your crow.

  69. outvoted2006 says: Apr 4, 2012 8:42 AM

    I find it hilarious that many of you still say that the “bounty payments” were directed towards hurting someone. Not one single piece of evidence has been brought to light that any Saints player tried to intentionally hurt someone.
    If you think that you can find one, then was the broken face that Boldin received intentional? Was Theisman’s shattered leg intentional? Nope, these things just happened because football is a violent sport.
    Where was all this outcry when Suh stomped Dietrich-Smith, when Suh sacks a QB by throwing him to the ground AND receiving a RTP penalty, when Steve Smith broke his teammates nose, when Roethlisberger gets sacked viciously 6 times a game???
    Picking and choosing your arguments because they make you feel better is very close-minded and ignorant.
    Mike, I am not buying your flippity flop write up!! It seems as though your initial stance on assumptions is finally starting to erode and this is your first attempt at grasping for a lifeline. NOT HAPPENING!!!

    Your statements of
    “But then I considered what he was saying. And it started to make some sense.”
    AND
    “But there’s a certain amount of appeal to the notion that a disconnect exists between the unsavory methods of getting players to play with reckless abandon and the reality that, in the end, guys were simply playing football, often with reckless abandon.”,
    are both proof that you have been following the crowd during this situation, which is irresponsible “journalism”. Also, the disconnect you talk about, you and your fellow sports writers are the ones that invented that and have been exploiting it since day one!!!

    AGAIN, you should be ashamed of yourself!!

    Try writing something without having to use someone’s quote, or having to piggyback off of someone else’s story!!

  70. sterilizecromartie says: Apr 4, 2012 8:54 AM

    @mitchitized

    Bingo. This punishment is more so based on Godell being mad that his almightly self was lied to. Also, the NFL is covering themselves for not bringing the hammer down when they first discovered this activity. If bounties were so awful, why didn’t they suspend the guilty parties immediately when they found out about it? But, no. They gave them a “hey fellas, do us a favor and cut out this bounty stuff before the public finds out about it. We are trying to push this “safety thing” and that wouldn’t look good if it went public.”

  71. drunkenjunk says: Apr 4, 2012 8:59 AM

    @ str8up12

    No there isn’t a difference. Trying to hurt someone and injure someone are the same thing.

  72. drunkenjunk says: Apr 4, 2012 9:13 AM

    @ fooath

    Yes, Suh is a perfect example for someone that isn’t trying to hurt someone. I guess stomping on people doesn’t count, he’s just trying hard.

    @ skinsfantom

    Yea, way to question my intelligence. When you use …. anytime your intelligence should be questioned. Have a nice day? How about go screw yourself because you obviously don’t know anything about football players and their mentality. You’re everything that is wrong with football fans. You’re probably some obese, hog that has never played the game.

  73. cnmiddel says: Apr 4, 2012 9:16 AM

    Man, these raven fans need to give the hate a rest give it up already flacco won’t win sh-t

  74. burningbush66 says: Apr 4, 2012 9:34 AM

    Can we please get over the so-called “dirty” hit on Kurt Warner? Go back and watch the film. The hit was totally CLEAN and within the rules.

    Warner threw a pick and then ran toward the play. He got de-cleated and knocked out. That has been going on forever in football.

    The QB who throws a pick immediately becomes a target, fair game. If you think otherwise you are dreaming. Warner himself has admitted this. Grow up people!

  75. steelersmichele says: Apr 4, 2012 9:59 AM

    I think a lot of you guys are missing the point: the saints got caught. and when told to stop, they didn’t and lied about it. that’s the problem here. other teams probably have bounties, but they keep the price tag small and they keep it in house. the saints got too greedy. same problem with the patriots. I’m sure other teams video tape, but they got caught.

    the sad truth here is don’t get caught, and if you do, don’t lie about it.

  76. emperorzero says: Apr 4, 2012 10:50 AM

    History has shown the cover up is always worse than the actual crime whether it be denting dad’s car, Watergate or Bountygate. The Saints are being punished for the cover up, not the actual offense.

  77. jh4prez says: Apr 4, 2012 11:18 AM

    @ all ravens fans”the ravens will never win a super bowl as long as joe flacco is their quarterback.”lamarr woodley=genius LOL!

  78. sitbackandwatch says: Apr 4, 2012 12:00 PM

    I love watching all of the legal hits ESPN and the NFL network run on a loop during talk of the Saints bounty program. The only questionable hit was the high/low on Favre. But the question I have, what about the tackle at the knee that tore Adrian Peterson ACL, the low ht by KC defender that Tore Tom Brady’s ACL, or the constant complaints of Mike Vick being hit on every play ( in or out of bounds), Harrison’ mutilple fines for hard hits and finally San Fransisco defense who were praised for knocking several teams starters out in a span of several games last year. Were this hits unmentioned bounties or just chalk it up to game?

  79. SaintsTownHall says: Apr 4, 2012 12:43 PM

    Also search these headlines:
    “Goodell is not serious about player safety, and it’s because of money”
    By Chris Smith of Forbes Magazine

    “Recall Saints Harsh Punishment unless/until all NFL Teams are investigated” investigated

  80. stevemdlthn says: Apr 4, 2012 5:08 PM

    It’s a shame that a player has better insight on this matter than Goodell…..

  81. antibenapalooza says: Apr 4, 2012 7:06 PM

    Pig Ben Rottenberger deserves to be hit hard again and again.

  82. psychosteeler says: Apr 6, 2012 11:45 PM

    wheres the steelers bounty scandal huh?oh wait there isnt one.they just do their job and destroy people for the pay they are given.i personally tried to hurt everyone when i played football andi didnt make a cent.i wanted to make everyone regret they decided to play football and if they couldnt take it then quit.i got pain now from it at least partially from football and i dont regret it a bit ,im 39 now and i wouldnt have to be offered a penny to nail someone on any field,cuz thats just how i am.and drop the steelers being dirty bs,its just jealous fans blabbing who never hit anyone ever.and last time i checked this wasnt about the steelers at all,woodley made a valid point that theres a bounty even without cash under the table,and i personally dont care what was offered to the saints as a bonus,i didnt see one flagarant cheap shot in any of the clips i have seen of so called dirty hits.show me the late hits and sucker punches and ankle twists and 3 or 4 extra steps to hit favre or warner where they coulda stopped and just hit em late anyway.sorry but u wont find any cuz they dont exist.i wish jack tatum could rise from the dead and hit all you whiners for free to show u that u dont need a bounty to hit someone for the hell of it.especially when its your job.

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