On Monday, former NFL receiver Cris Carter provided great insight regarding the concussion issue during ESPN’s Outside the Lines. On Tuesday, Carter chimed in on the other big issue in the NFL.
Actually, it was more than a chime. It was a freaking gong.
Carter told ESPN Radio’s Hill & Schlereth that Carter placed cash bounties on opposing players during his career.
“I’m guilty of it,” Carter said. “It’s the first time I’ve ever admitted it. But I put a bounty on guys before. I put bounties on guys. And the guys tried to take me out, a guy tried to take a cheap shot on me, I put a bounty on him, right now.”
“A money bounty?” Mark Schlereth asked.
“Absolutely,” Carter said.
“Protect me. . . . Protect me from him. . . . Especially if he’s playing a different position where I can’t protect myself,” Carter said. “I’d tell one of them guards, ‘Hey man, this dude is after me, man. Bill Romanowski.’ He told me he’s gonna me out before the game, in warmups. No problem. ‘I’m gonna end your career, Carter.’ No problem. I put a little change on his head before the game. Protect myself, protect my family. That’s the league that I grew up in.”
Asked whether he was the only one to do that, Carter was emphatic: “Heck no!”
Carter added that he has no regrets. “Matter of fact, if I see a couple of them dudes that was trying to cheap shot me walking through ESPN, I’d put a bounty on them right now.”
Carter explained that the bounty was “based on protection or big hit, excitement or helping your team win, it wasn’t to maim or hurt the dude.” And that sounds a lot like how the Saints would explain the use of bounties from 2009 through 2011, if any of them were to admit to it and/or if there were evidence of it.
Carter also said that he was in the Eagles locker room for the 1989 Bounty Bowl, and that he was present when former Eagles coach Buddy Ryan “put the bounties on the guys.” Carter said he disregarded those types of bounties, but other players didn’t. “I saw guys getting wiped out, guys going for the money,” Carter said.
Later in the interview, Carter said that bounties also were used by the Vikings to protect players like Randy Moss, Daunte Culpepper, and Randall Cunningham.
Carter’s remarks generally support the notion that bounties have indeed been part of the game for a long time before the Saints were caught using them. But the league has shown no inclination to look any deeper into history than the 2009 through 2011 Saints — probably because the league realizes that the rabbit hole runs far deeper than anyone realizes.
And so the NFL instead has opted to make an example of the Saints and to hope that, moving forward, no one “puts a little change” on anyone’s head before a game. Or during a game. Or ever.