Skip to content

Report: Dunbar, Harper were paid for “whacks” in January

Carolina Panthers v New Orleans Saints Getty Images

The man who handed the Gregg Williams audio to Mike Silver of Yahoo! Sports have now given Silver another intriguing nugget of information.

Per Silver, the recording captured by Sean Pamphilon the night before the Saints faced the 49ers in the 2012 NFC divisional playoffs includes Williams paying a pair of Saints defenders for hits applied during a wild-card win over the Lions seven days earlier.

The tape, which Pamphilon played last month for NFL Security, reveals that Saints safety Roman Harper and former Saints linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar received $200 for “whacks.”  The league, per Silver, considers the evidence to be further proof of a bounty system.

But “whack” doesn’t mean in the NFL what it means in New Jersey.  In fact, it may not mean that injury of any kind was inflicted.  Two NFLPA sources tell Silver that  a “whack” is a “forceful yet clean and legal play by a defender,” making the payment more like a pay-for-performance issue, and less like a bounty.

“A ‘whack’ hit isn’t a hit that injures a player,” one unnamed Saints defender told Silver.  “It’s the equivalent of a ‘pancake’ for an offensive lineman – a clean hit that knocks a defender on his ass. Everyone who knows Gregg knows what that means.”

It gets more complicated when players are paid for “cart-offs,” which may or may not entail a player being “carted off.”  Friday’s report from Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports that three $1,000 payments made after a 2009 regular-season game between the Saints and the Panthers doesn’t address what the payments specifically were for.  Were three members of the Panthers’ offense “carted off” during the game?  Were three of them injured at all?

And so the question of whether there was a bounty system in New Orleans continues to be unclear.  Cole appeared on Wednesday’s PFT Live to discuss his report regarding the Saints’ ledger.  The full segment can be seen by clicking the PFT Live link above.  The stuff about the ledger appears below.

This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
Permalink 22 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Detroit Lions, New Orleans Saints, Rumor Mill, Top Stories
22 Responses to “Report: Dunbar, Harper were paid for “whacks” in January”
  1. thingamajig says: Jun 6, 2012 6:55 PM

    “And so the question of whether there was a bounty system in New Orleans continues to be unclear”

    My guess is Williams probably explained how the
    system worked along with the verbage used during his confession talks with Goodell. Otherwise he would have been banned for life.

  2. sdisme says: Jun 6, 2012 6:55 PM

    So Sean Payton tells everyone to cooperate with the NFL and gets a years suspension.

    And the NFL appears to still be trying to build their case in late March / Early April (just like using Hargroves statement to suspend him).

    We went from the Saints specifically targeted players to injure to trying to define whack.

  3. ilovefoolsball says: Jun 6, 2012 6:58 PM

    Wow more unclear “reports” from the always “reputable” Sean Pamphilon to the totally unbiased “Roger Goodell” trying to “protect the league” and ensure “safety for all players”.

    I “believe” Sean Pamphilon isn’t a snake and I also “believe” Roger Goodell has been completely honest.

    I mean if you really believe something that is wrong you’re still being honest right?

  4. blacc24 says: Jun 6, 2012 6:59 PM

    Get your facts right, they were offered the money, both player declined it however. (nfl.com has more of the story)

  5. jealst says: Jun 6, 2012 7:02 PM

    Yahoo! also stated…

    When Williams tells the group that the “first envelope” will go to “JD” – who, according to Pamphilon and another person who was in the meeting, was Dunbar – the linebacker appears to refuse the money, instead putting it back into the pot for the current week’s game.
    “You want it?” Williams asks.
    “[Expletive] no,” a voice answers, as others in the room applaud.
    “OK, it’s $200 – you got it for a ‘whack,’ ” Williams says. The rest of his words are drowned out by loud cheers.
    Williams then singles out Harper by uniform number, saying, “41, one whack, $200.” Others in the room yell, “Give it back,” and Harper, like Dunbar, seems to comply – a common practice among Saints defenders.

  6. XRayTiD says: Jun 6, 2012 7:06 PM

    Don’t forget to add in the fact that both Dunbar and Harper turned down the money offered

  7. cwmorga says: Jun 6, 2012 7:20 PM

    @thingamajig says: Jun 6, 2012 6:55 PM

    “And so the question of whether there was a bounty system in New Orleans continues to be unclear”

    My guess is Williams probably explained how the
    system worked along with the verbage used during his confession talks with Goodell. Otherwise he would have been banned for life.
    ———————-

    If so, why wouldn’t the league have also insisted that GW say as much in his statement? GW specifically said pay-for-performance. If he had admitted to a pay-to-injure program, don’t you think the league would’ve preferred he say that in his statement (which was actually drafted by the NFL and signed by Williams).

  8. mcaismyfavoritebeastie says: Jun 6, 2012 8:03 PM

    This whole thing is insufferable. 100 times worse than Spygate. Makes me ache for SpyGate actually

  9. genericuser8888 says: Jun 6, 2012 8:17 PM

    In the Panthers’ game, there were 3 fumbles recovered by the Saints. There were 3 $1,000 payments in that game. There were not 3 Panther’s offensive players “carted off” in that game.

    Pay for performance or pay for injury? Think about it.

    Also, we’ve been hearing about the Saints getting $1,000 and $1,500 for “whacks” and “cart-offs” for weeks. That was the whole narrative. $1,000 to $1,500 for “whacks” and “cart-offs”. Now, a ledger gets released, where the $1,000 payments don’t match the number of cart offs. The league releases a second leak “correcting” the first leak, but it also doesn’t make much sense. So now, we get yet *another* leak, which so far as the dollar amounts go, don’t fit the narrative that the NFL has been spinning for weeks.

    I get it. The Saints had a pay for performance program. I don’t believe they had a bounty program in the manner that the NFL has characterized. Why don’t I believe it? Well, every piece of evidence that the NFL leaks is actually inconsistent with the narrative that was spun when this all broke loose. Let’s take a look:

    Hargrove’s statement (mischaracterized by NFL).
    Orstein email to Payton (mischaracterized by NFL).
    Ledger (cart offs did not match payments)
    Corrected leger (cart offs still did not match payments)
    This leak: the cart off amounts don’t match the amounts the NFL has publicized weeks and months.

    I don’t mind that the Saints get punished for a pay for performance program. They deserve punishment. But the punishments handed out to our head coach and Vilma seem RIDICULOUS when every leak makes the NFL’s case look more and more untrustworthy.

  10. thegreatgabbert says: Jun 6, 2012 9:02 PM

    $200 for an NFL “whack”? That’s more than they pay in Jersey.

  11. jaltreality says: Jun 6, 2012 9:07 PM

    These guys made millions. With that in mind, which seems more likely:

    (A) $100 bets were tantamount to incentives that drove players to do illegal things or

    (B) $100 bets were just some locker room camaraderie between men.

    Not sure about you guys, but my buddies and I always make bets between us. Seems a shame to make players in all locker rooms look over their shoulders now, for fear that even pretty innocuous activities will lead to severe consequences.

  12. montsta says: Jun 6, 2012 9:16 PM

    ilovefoolsball says:
    Jun 6, 2012 6:58 PM
    Wow more unclear “reports” from the always “reputable” Sean Pamphilon to the totally unbiased “Roger Goodell” trying to “protect the league” and ensure “safety for all players”.

    I “believe” Sean Pamphilon isn’t a snake and I also “believe” Roger Goodell has been completely honest.

    I mean if you really believe something that is wrong you’re still being honest right?

     ——-

    I don’t think quotation marks are supposed to be used the way you think they are supposed to be used.

  13. hatesycophants says: Jun 6, 2012 9:38 PM

    Apropos of nothing… What’s wrong with Saints fans? Is corruption and scandal so ingrained in your culture that you’re willing to accept and defend any behavior? What’s wrong with you?

    Go Lions! Go Badgers!

  14. ErikW65 says: Jun 6, 2012 9:48 PM

    If so, why wouldn’t the league have also insisted that GW say as much in his statement? GW specifically said pay-for-performance. If he had admitted to a pay-to-injure program, don’t you think the league would’ve preferred he say that in his statement (which was actually drafted by the NFL and signed by Williams).

    No, because the League believes the details of what the GW & the Saints did taints the NFL’s image/marketability etc., (and thus their reluctance to release direct evidence.)

  15. thegreatgabbert says: Jun 6, 2012 9:49 PM

    “Geez, Tiny, you get two hunnerd bucks for whacking a guy in the NFL, even if he ain’t dead. Wish I’da stayed in school playing football.”.

  16. push4souls says: Jun 6, 2012 10:39 PM

    Doesn’t matter what a “whack” is. The extra compensation paid to a player is against the current CBA, if I am not mistaken. It tarnishes the validity of the Salary Cap.

    Unless it is written in the players contract, not financial gain can be made due to performance. Simple.

    I guess it is another way for the Saints to cheat the NFL.

  17. tweeter75 says: Jun 6, 2012 11:11 PM

    I love it….makes Vilma and Fujita look even more like lying morons.

  18. beefbus says: Jun 6, 2012 11:12 PM

    Harper should be suspended for awhile for his spear on Earl Bennett of the Bears. It was a malicious and blatant attempt to injury him. And guess what? He was out for five weeks! He didn’t get a flag or a fine.

  19. purplepillager says: Jun 6, 2012 11:13 PM

    We haven’t seen the worst yet. Clearly this goes much deeper. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have a crying apology from Williams and the acceptance from Peyton. Obiviously, the punishment doesn’t fit the crime from the evidence we’ve seen. I’m waiting for a referee or multiple referees to come forward. Why else would the NFL slam the Saints as they have unless the crime was worse than advertised.

  20. jason1980 says: Jun 6, 2012 11:27 PM

    Sounds like good old fashion football to me……what is the NFL turning itself into??? Oh…but it’s the Saints, everything they do is wrong. LOL. Superbowl champs 2013!!

  21. brianbosworthisstonecold says: Jun 6, 2012 11:56 PM

    The term whack doesn’t surprise me since New Orleans is the murder capital of the nation. The toilet of the U.S. is more like it.

  22. restoretheroar1 says: Jun 10, 2012 2:44 PM

    Jon Vilma is dirtist player in game more that comes out it clearly was bounty NFL Goodell have facts that aren’t lies. Vilma is a lying of a lying liar his lawsuit suing Goodell is baseless and Goodell should counter liar the liar Vilma which is fact. Goodell is right & Saints are wrong Saints fans don’t get it they support crimes that Saints players committed 2010 NFC Championship Game hurting Brett Favre surprise refs didn’t call more roughing passer there was a lot of hard hits on Brett that game bounty was in play. NFL is right to punish Saints I think Peyton should talk to his pals and shouldn’t have to report to NFL if he has to talk.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!