Dungy: Titans had a bounty on Peyton Manning

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Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams had a bounty on Colts quarterback Peyton Manning in Super Bowl XLIV.  But while it didn’t result in an injury to Manning, his former coach in Indianapolis believes it wasn’t the first time that knocking Peyton out of a game would have gotten a player paid.

Tony Dungy of NBC’s Football Night in America tells PFT that he believes the Titans had put a bounty on Manning.

“I know they had them in Tennessee,” Dungy said via text.

Williams worked for the Oilers/Titans through 2000 under coach Jeff Fisher.  Dungy became coach of the Colts in 2002, when a realignment of the divisions put the Colts and Titans in the newly-created AFC South, pitting the two teams against each other twice per season.

Coincidentally, Fisher and Williams have now been reunited, in St. Louis.  Which will make even more interesting a decision by Manning to sign with one of the Rams’ NFC West rivals:  the Cardinals, Seahawks, or 49ers.

Even more coincidentally, Dungy explained during a 2011 preseason edition of Football Night in America that he believes a 2006 hit on Peyton Manning first caused his ongoing neck problems.

The man delivering the hit?  Phillip Daniels.  His team?  The Redskins.

The defensive coordinator at the time?  Gregg Williams.

That said, Dungy emphasized that he doesn’t know whether the Redskins were using bounties under Williams.  But Dungy was clear in his belief that the Titans used such a system.

77 responses to “Dungy: Titans had a bounty on Peyton Manning

  1. All of this darn bounty talk….

    Like my old man used to say when I was a kid…

    If women didn’t have a vagina, there would be a bounty on them

  2. I’m sorry, but shouldn’t their be some criminal sanctions for this? Offering money for someone to injure someone else is solicitation to battery.
    I guess the hitting is consensual, but I don’t think to this extent.

  3. sportsmeccabi says: Mar 2, 2012 8:39 PM “Offering money for someone to injure someone else is solicitation to battery.”

    Evidently, you never read the job description of a defensive lineman. Learn the game.

  4. Hey sportsmeccabi…you make a good point, but think of it like this

    When you are a defensive player, and you sign a contract…it’s basically the same thing.

    Your being paid to tear someone apart.

  5. Gregg Williams should be kicked out of NFL forever. Dirty A**hole. Someone needs to hit him and hurt his ass.. What a dirty bastard.

  6. Not surprised. Look at Favre and Warner, each taking cheap shots in a playoff game, never to be the same again.

  7. Seriosuly ?? This is how stupid people are getting….. I am pretty sure if you go back throoughout the history of the NFL… that certain money/ bets were exchanged for whomever knocked someone else out or sent someone to the sidlelines. This is a joke and rediculous … now PFT and ESPN will be reporting this for a week and every hit and inmjury in the NFL blamed on a bounty.. Hell, one was put on Hines Ward by the Ravens just a few years ago….. Where is/ was the outrage from PFT.. ESPN for something so recent. Or does it just matter if it is a high profile player who makes a certain amount of money ?

  8. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard Jeff Fisher mentioned in this light. I can’t remember who, but a current football analyst/retired player told a story about being taken out during a game, and looking up after the cheap play and seeing Jeff Fisher and company laughing at him. Good player, wish I could remember. Ring a bell for anyone?

  9. So here’s a hypothetical – Drew Brees, frustrated with the way his contract negotiations and probably offended by some slight by the management, who knows about the bounty system decides to tell the League.

    His goal – turmoil for NO to the point where it would become likely he would be able to go elsewhere. At very least the fines imposed on the Saints might have an effect on the cap space, thus affecting how much the Saints would be able to offer him. At best, the team loses draft picks for the next couple years, which encourages the Saints to put the non-exclusive tag on Brees then allow him to be traded, getting two 1st rd draft picks back (at some point).

    The havoc now unleashed (as evidence by the 12 stories about Bountygate on PFT) allows him to make some calls and shop some offer sheets. This allows him even more leverage against the Saints who will probably end up priced-out of his market.

    I might just be high on the fumes these stories are giving off.. but WHAT IF?!?!


  10. the Colts should be awarded the 2009 superbowl title after this fiasco has been exposed

  11. This has huge ramifications. The penalties will be severe because no one will want Fed involvement. Bases on the extent of what we have heard, are there not tax implications? Sharper said it was basically the same as incentives in a contract? I think you might see Williams done for a year or more.

  12. If it were up to me Williams would be banned from coaching in the NFL.

    He’s been doing this for YEARS. Goodell needs to come down hard and make a statement.

  13. Between the shortened careers, damaged legacies, chronic pain, and loss of potential income suffered between Favre, Warner, and Manning, they should be safe filing a $100 million lawsuit against the teams, coaches, and players involved. Minimum.

  14. Yeah, it would be what they call a “unilateral contract” where one accepts the offer by performance. That’s irrelevant to the tax code anyway, because you are basically taxed on all income, regardless of source (subject to listed exceptions).

  15. I don’t care if “everybody does it” or not, Williams got caught and he should be banned from the NFL forever. The league is struggling right now with past player lawsuits for injuries and the injuries may change the game forever as we formerly knew it. He got caught. Ban him. He was a head coach and knows the rules. As far as Buddy Ryan goes, I remember that game against the “Boys”. When Zendejas(sic) kicked off, 3 Eagles ran right at him and mauled him instead of setting up a return like one would expect. Its cheap shot tactics from cheap shot people. If you get caught, you get banned fo life. Alex Karras and Paul Hornung were kept out of the HOF for 25 years for betting 10 dolars on their OWN teams. This is much, much worse. Don’t agree? Go tell players in their forties and fifties who can’t walk or remember anything.

  16. Wow. A must-suspension of Williams for this instance. Something rough that deters this in the future league-wide. The game is far worse off in terms of TV rating dollars if elite players like P. Manning are being targeted for injuries. That’s enough for Management to collectively squash this now.

  17. Ironic. It was Peyton and his (usual postseason) choke job that gave the Saints their SB with his Pick 6. Funny that his name gets brought up in this story.

  18. 1). Manning takes a hit in 06′ vs Skins that tweeks his spine
    – DC G. Williams
    2). Saints have bounty on Manning in SB 44
    – DC G. Williams
    3). NFL finds that Saints violated “bounty rule” during 09′ playoffs – DC G. Williams

    I just don’t see the common denominator of the above 3.
    Is it Manning…. the Colts???
    I give up!!!

  19. Good Job by pft on this one. that hit was nasty and you can clearly see the intent with the way the lb twists Manning. Suspend Greg Williams for 10 games.

  20. Yeah, I was in Cincy the night the Steelers came in for the playoff game in ’05. Big bounty on Palmer that night! It’s everywhere.

  21. mikehockhurtz says: Mar 2, 2012 8:37 PM

    All of this darn bounty talk….

    Like my old man used to say when I was a kid…

    If women didn’t have a vagina, there would be a bounty on them

    I bet Mom spent a lot of time outside the house.

  22. clayton43 says:
    Mar 2, 2012 8:49 PM

    Seriosuly ?? This is how stupid people are getting….. I am pretty sure if you go back throoughout the history of the NFL… that certain money/ bets were exchanged for whomever knocked someone else out or sent someone to the sidlelines. ………….


    Theres a big difference between a couple of players making a few side bets and a teams leadership turning a blind eye to it or even supporting the organization of said bets.
    Don’t you think?

  23. @vanderwerf

    … and Rodney Harrison’s knee on a cheap shot block. Fisher gave the player a wink and a smile after the play. Pretty sure it was the “you just earned $10,000” smile and wink. There better be some stiff fines and forfeited draft picks here.

  24. AHHHHHHH!!!!!!! ok, I see where this is going! Williams=Fisher=Schwartz and there it is! Lions will get penalized over this! And then the NFL will be in balance again.

  25. Everybody’s making a big stink about these bounty stories, take it from a cowboys fan…I would love it if our defense played with ferocity and aggressiveness. You gotta play with bad intentions this is not freeze tag.

  26. The case for litigation on the part of Favre is pretty clear cut. The assaults were clearly illegal and pre-meditated. A calculated and expostulated plan to injure was set out. In his work place. Illegal acts (albiet, called and enforced after the fact by the NFL) were used to accomplish the task. There is no disputing the severity of the injuries he suffered as a result. The deliberate injuries cost him and his team unfathomable dollars and prestige. His performance in the league fell off dramatically following that game, leading to his subsequent retirement. Many more dollars, and much more prestige was lost by himself and the team in the following season, as a result of his loss of physical capability. Even Mr. PFT could win this case in a civil court.

  27. The only time the bounty system was effective was 2009. Certainly not the 2010 and 2011 Saints defense. Who feared them? Didn’t everyone make fun of them? But now they are the maelstrom??? Doesn’t make sense. Where are the illegal hit fines and flags??? OK for SF to concuss Thomas, break Romo’s ribs, Kellen Clemons ankles, and knock out how many RB’s. Just don’t pay each other any money. OK, I agree that should not happen but this is not about safety. Or else everyone would be mad at SF for their record of hurting someone. Williams paid the Saints to be ineffective????

  28. vanderwerf says:Mar 2, 2012 8:56 PM

    If I remember.. it was the Titans who took out Shawn Merriman’s leg too.

    The assassination of Shawn Merriman was one of the most blatant cheapshots in football history

    Ben Hartsock motion across the line just before the snap dives right into Merrimans legs and cuts him down resulting in the knee injury he has never recovered from

    One of the most blatant cheapshots I’ve ever seen

  29. Wasn’t Williams head coach at Buffalo once? Didn’t seem to help them. Bounty? What bounty?

  30. This investigation is quickly narrowing the problem down to one defensive coach; Gregg Williams. The bigger question is whether this practice of placing bounties on offensive players is widespread or limited to a small number of defensive coaches or perhaps just one.

    I don’t believe that Williams is the only defensive coach guilty of this infraction. The penalty should be severe. This really distorts the game and is indicative of a loss of focus on what is important. The goal is to win. Not to hurt the opponent. The moment the game is over it moves from being the most important thing in a player’s focus to just a game.

    The beauty of football is its immediacy and the incredible focus it requires for the very few moments a play takes place. Once the play is over and then once the game is over: they are meaningless. Football channels the immediacy of a game into the immediacy of an individual play in a manner that is different from any other sport. That is why it is such a compelling spectator sport. Coaches have a responsibility to keep things in perspective. If the cannot then they should not be coaching.

  31. catskinnerd11r says: Mar 2, 2012 9:25 PM

    Well, we have ESPN’s programming for the next two weeks, or until Tebow does something

    Apparently he went out with a date with Taylor Swift (lucky SOB). But I guess talk about that kind of stuff is for a different program.

  32. So Tony, I’m sure Bill Belichick had a bounty on Manning as well, right?

    This is what Roger Goddell’s moralistic stupidity is bring to the game – people are treating the fundamdentals of the game as some kind of war crime. Pay players to knock opposing players out of the game? What in the name of Buddy Ryan are we coming to?

    Here’s a novel idea – TRUST IN THE TOUGHNESS OF THE PLAYERS.

  33. Oh my god. Grow some nads. Are we now going to ruin the game of football even more by saying pre-organized game plans of playing intense defense and minimizing players effectiveness should be met with battery charges ?? Clearly you don’t cherish the game of football.

  34. In a day or two this will grow into more and more teams accusing each other of bounty hunting. Wow, I’m surprised at Dungy making these accusations, but I’m sure he believes it.

  35. Buddy Ryan did this before. The Bounty Bowl is well known in the NFC East. I don’t recall him, or the Eagles, getting a severe punishment. Granted the time has changed…but I believe the punishment is not going to appease many of the posters here. Call me a cynic, but Goodell along with the NFLPA havent led me to believe their tripe

  36. The assassination of Shawn Merriman was one of the most blatant cheapshots in football history

    Ben Hartsock motion across the line just before the snap dives right into Merrimans legs and cuts him down resulting in the knee injury he has never recovered from

    One of the most blatant cheapshots I’ve ever seen.

    Merriman was “assassinated”, but that wasn’t the play where it happened, blue18hutthutt.

    Merriman laughed that play off as Hartsock ran a CFL man in motion play where he ran into Merriman with a running start before the ball was snapped. However, Harsock hit him in the chest, so no damage done. Merriman was still going 100% after that play finished.

    Where the injury happened was a couple of plays later on a screen pass to Lendale White. Merriman rushed the passer on the play, turned around to chase as the screen pass was completed and was about 10 yards away from any action as White was being tackled. Right at that time, RT Stewart was tying up Merriman around the chest with a block when center / NFLPA President Kevin Mawae dove directly into Merriman’s knee.

    The next snap, Merriman didn’t move from his two point stance as the Titans converted on a 3rd and short dive play. The next play, Merriman was gone from the game.

    If you watch the “NFL Replay” version of the game, you can kind of see a skirmish of bodies going on at the bottom left corner of the screen and can’t see the hit. However, if you watch NFL Films’ “NFL Game of the Week” telecast, they use the coach’s tape and show the hit clearly.

    Fisher is guilty as sin over that one – and Lions current head coach Schwartz was Fisher’s defensive coordinator at the time it happened. The Titans were by far the dirtiest team in the league during the mid to late ’00’s.

  37. Dungy has a biased against the Titans as division rivals so his opinion is skewed and blurred. First of all, Williams had left the Titans prior to Dungy’s start with the Colts. So Dungy is accusing Fisher and Schwartz by association or he is making stuff up. Either of these makes Dungy look like a witch hunter. Secondly, Manning is famously difficult to blitz or even touch in the pocket. While he’s basically gone uninjured most of his career, Steve McNair’s injuries are as long as a 6 year old ‘s Christmas list. It’s more likely McNair was subject to bounties. Perhaps even by the saintly Colts. More likely, its football and inflicting pain is the objective and any hitother can bethey seen asthe along bounty shot. Analysts like Dungy shouldn’t be throwing allegations of bounties around without proof. He seems to be starting a witch hunt.

  38. So much gossip… We get it “someone paid their players extra to injure people”. But he publicly apologized so why write so many columns about it? Back to football now.

  39. Wonder why Mr. “IT’S A DARK DAY FOR THE NFL” doesn’t seem more disturbed over this? Maybe because he threw a game to him back in 07? Browns fans know what I’m referring to. It’s outrageous that Fisher is on the Competition Committee helping form rules suggestions and he hires Williams…TWICE???? Not one person in the world is naive enough to think Fisher has no idea what’s going on.

  40. So Dungy’s been withholding evidence (assuming he has evidence) all these years eh? OK, suspend HIM for 1/2 a season of SNF, no pay.

    If he has no evidence, then he’s guilty of a false accusation.

    He’s just another lapdog for the Manning family who has gotten quick on the Twitter draw.

  41. Jeff Fisher is the common denominator when you consider he’s a disciple of the original Bounty Bowl coach, Buddy Ryan.

    Gregg Williams and Chuck Cecil are Fisher underlings who are just carrying on the tradition.

    Ironic that Fisher has been on the NFL Competition Committee for so long. He just hasn’t been caught.

  42. What a whiner! St. Anthony. His teams NEVER did anything wrong or against the rules. It gets tiring listening to “Mr. Lily White” chastise every other team in the league except the Colts. Personally, I see no value to his being on TV as he adds NOTHING to any discussion.

  43. mikehockhurtz says:Mar 2, 2012 10:21 PM

    21 thumbs down to my joke….?

    Sorry to offend all 21 of you ladies


    Proof again that the apple doesn’t fall from the tree.

  44. Who cares there is no morals or ethics most guys in the league are criminals anyway..its just entertainment…. i think its good cause makes them try harder….they could use the extra cash being as they all make so little…#bountygood #bountyon6 #bountyonbrady

  45. Even Rodney Harrison and his teammates thought that Fisher was a dirty coach and taught his guys to go low and try and take out knees. Harrison had just come back from a previous injury in 2008 I believe and one of the Titans slapd*^k WRs dove into Harrison’s knees. The entire Pats defense was incensed. I remember Tedy Bruschi just about going over the deep end after that play.

    Think of that for a second…Rodney Harrison thought THAT coach was dirty.

    I dunno…while I think Dungy comes off on the righteous-good guy side of too many NFL issues, I think he’s kind of onto something with indicating there’s something to what the Titans were doing on their sidelines. If you follow the trail of bread crumbs, I think you end up finding a real old-school NFL practice that had been “thought” lost to the ages.

  46. Let’s have special jerseys for all QB’s. The jersey’s will have areas that they can get hit and hooks for flags. If and when a defensive player gets near him, he can both take a flag and hit him in the designated area yada yada and so on.

  47. Curious: finnegan was drafted under his tenure, right? He’s a head-hunter. He didn’t seem to mind finnegan’s antics. Might be something to this “contract” on Peyton Manning.

  48. The reporters/commentators are doing a poor job of piecing this together. The common denominator isn’t Jeff Fisher, it’s Buddy Ryan. Go back to the Eagles’ infamous “Bounty Bowl” game, and then map the Buddy Ryan coaching tree — Fisher and Gregg Williams both are Ryan disciples. And then figure out what Rex and Rob are up to.

    (FWIW: I don’t doubt that other coaches — guys not connected to Buddy Ryan — are offering bounties, but the Buddy Ryan connections are becoming awfully suspicious.)

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