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The fine line between targeting injured players and bounties

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In every episode of Pro Football Talk, we try to take a closer look at a story that maybe you’re not paying as much attention to as you should.

When it comes to the bounty case, there’s an angle that still hasn’t fully been developed.  To the extent that severe punishments have been dispensed for using small cash rewards for clean, legal hits that cause injury, is it wrong to apply clean, legal hits with the hope that those clean, legal hits will keep the opponent from being able to continue to play?

Football is a game of attrition, and inducing attrition is part of the game.  Dispensing walking-around money for doing what the players already have an incentive to do, while against the rules, is far less sinister than attempting to injure with dirty or illegal hits — especially hits that come after the whistle.

For more on this topic, with some candid thoughts from former NFL safety Rodney Harrison, check out the clip from Pro Football Talk.

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10 Responses to “The fine line between targeting injured players and bounties”
  1. illcomm says: Sep 11, 2012 2:49 PM

    There is no fine line. Bounties are a blatent preplanned attempt to cause injury for monetary benefit. Targeting n injury is just different. You always want to expose a player for a weakness. If your too hurt to play them you shouldn’t play. if someone ido.hired n you constantly expose em then so be it. But by no means should one player. ever try to intentionally cause an injury to a healthy or already injured player. it is just not right or moral

  2. panamon says: Sep 11, 2012 2:49 PM

    YES, it’s very wrong for players to receive money for legal hits which injure. It’s an incentive to injure clearly, and as we saw against Favre the Saints got away with dirty hits too which looked to be meant to hurt.

    When you’re getting money for hurting somebody that’s #1 against the rules and #2 very likely to lead to a difference in how you “cleanly tackle” players. You know, like players who the DC named the serious injuries of as “motivation”.

  3. crubenst says: Sep 11, 2012 3:15 PM

    The question of whether it is wrong or right misses the point entirely. The point is, the NFL CAN NOT allow it. Unless they want to lose their multi-billion business in court. So the league WON’T allow it. And if the players won’t cooperate to help eliminate it, then they’ll watch from the sidelines for a year or so. Get with the program or get off the bus. It’s not 1970 anymore. Its 2012 and the NFL just can’t have it.

  4. mitchdms says: Sep 11, 2012 3:31 PM

    And fans will continue to be naive.

  5. larryjames836 says: Sep 11, 2012 3:52 PM

    If we all look at the whole picture all 32 teams are under contract to perform at they best. If you are a defensive player your performance is your job you get pay to hit and hit hard you see the way the 49er’s play they are the hardest hitting team in the NFL and also put players out of the game. But you don’t here the NFL commissioner hounding behind these players nor the people’s and the media but you guys are throwing the Saints under the wheels of a bus. How can a defense like the Saints had get pay-for-performance-to-injury his opponents with the worses defensive team in the league. But the Saints took all the scandals and still trying to over come it and Roger Goodell still not satisfied until he drag they name off the map its going to take a HIGHER POWER to touch that hard heart of Roger Goodell.

  6. rhodeislandpatriotsfan says: Sep 11, 2012 3:54 PM

    Unintended injuries are an acceptable part of football. And while it is true that football is a game of attrition, that attrition need not—and should not—result from the intentional infliction of injuries to opponents. There is no skill to intentionally injuring a player. If the league were to countenance such behavior, the game would quickly devolve into one played by second and third stringers. With skill players like Brees, Rodgers, Brady, Foster, McCoy, Rice, Jones, Johnson, Fitzgerald, Gronkowski, Graham, etc. knocked out of the game, the game would quickly lose its allure. Think about it. Who would want to watch the movie, “The Godfather” knowing that actors like Brando, Pacino, Caan, Duvall, and Keaton were being replaced by a cast of “Mr. Irrelevants?” At the end of the day, NFL fans—not just Saints fans— would be left saying, “WhoDat?”

  7. pongonfl says: Sep 11, 2012 4:02 PM

    Kind of a red herring discussion.
    The hits on Farve were not legal, They should have been penalized.
    The hit that red skins under Williams put on Peyton Manning to stretch his neck out was not legal and should have been penalized.

    Why these clearly not legal hits were not penalized is a way bigger story then why the players did it.

  8. goodolebaghead says: Sep 11, 2012 4:06 PM

    Use your noggins, guys. Defensive player1 says off handed to Defensive player2, “Betcha I get a sack on the QB before you do.” Player2 says, “Betcha $1,000 you don’t.” Player1 says, I’ll up that bet, “I bet you $5,000 I not only get a sack but decleat him so hard he doesn’t come back in the game.” Player2 says, “You’re on.”

    This wasn’t a bet to hit a guy illegally, draw a $20,000 penalty and put your team back 15 yards. That just doesn’t make any sense. It’s like a boxer betting his trainer $1,000 he can knock the guy instead of a technical knock out. He didn’t claim he would hit the guy below the belt or stomp on his knee. He bet he would crush his opponent legally within the rules.

    And that is what was going on. Salary Cap violation. Fine them in the pocket books hardcore, but leave the team intact. Ruining a team’s competitive advantage over a season is detrimental to EVERY fan. Don’t you guys see that? You know how many Saints fans wonder if the Skins would have won if the Saints weren’t hampered? Neither side will really know, because Goodell is trying to make them play with one are tied behind their backs.

    All I can say, is there is a 1 in 31 chance your team is next.

  9. dr45acp says: Sep 11, 2012 11:19 PM

    When I played football, we were all taught at an early age to go & knock the crap out of the guy with the ball….peewee league, jr high & high school….and if you didn’t do it, you were replaced…it’s sbout sending a strong message to the other team that it’s gonna be a dog fight from snap to the whistle….and all players know what the score is….so qiut your belly aching and get on with playing football already….all you whiners make me wanna puke.

  10. kaferwerks says: Sep 12, 2012 1:37 PM

    you have to wonder why the NFL turned a blind eye on the comments from the Giants players who publicly stated they targeted Kyle Williams because of his concussion history….

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