Darren Sharper played on the Saints’ defense in 2009 and 2010, when Gregg Williams was running a bounty program. But Sharper doesn’t think any of his former teammates deserve to be punished.
Sharper’s reasoning isn’t something that the league office is likely to accept: In Sharper’s view, there’s insufficient evidence that players were getting money in exchange for hurting their opponents.
“I still don’t feel as though there is proof that guys received certain benefits from making dirty plays or making plays during the game,” Sharper said. “To say that you are going to fine guys because word of mouth or someone says or someone might speculate or someone might have a rumor out there saying that this guy came out and put a certain amount of money up to put a player out of a game, I don’t know the truth behind that and I don’t know if there is enough information to prove that.”
But NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has already determined that there is enough information to prove that the Saints violated the bounty rules. Sharper’s argument is one that Goodell has already considered and dismissed.
But Sharper will continue to press his case.
“I don’t want to call it a bounty as far as guys getting rewards for making big plays,” Sharper said. “It’s tough for me to kind of sit here and say what guys are going to be picked out of the group and what is going to be the penalty. I don’t feel as though any penalties are warranted at all.”