Steelers safety Ryan Clark says he has never heard of any bounties being paid for injuring opposing players, anywhere he’s been — including during his two seasons playing for Gregg Williams in Washington.
Clark played for the Giants in 2002 and 2003, then played for Williams with the Redskins in 2004 and 2005 before signing with the Steelers in 2006. Now that Williams has admitted paying bounties to players in New Orleans (and stands accused of doing the same in Washington) Clark is saying he never saw any indication of that.
“I have never in my career, at the New York Giants, the Washington Redskins nor the Pittsburgh Steelers ever had a defensive coach come in a meeting, single out a guy and say, ‘If you knock out this guy we will give you a certain amount of money for it.’ Whether it was my head coach Joe Gibbs, whether it was Gregg Williams, I was never, ever approached to take a guy out,” Clark said on ESPN.
If he had been approached about such a thing, Clark says, he would have spoken out against it. Clark has a different take than Charles Barkley, who thinks that whoever reported Williams is a punk and a snitch. In Clark’s view, reporting a coach who was running a bounty system would be the right thing to do.
“If these things are going on, you speak up while they’re happening,” Clark said. “If you’re in a meeting and a coach comes in and says, ‘Hey, No. 16, whoever he is, if you knock him out of the game we’re going to pay you x amount of dollars.’ Then you blow the whistle then and say, ‘Look, I’m not going to be a part of this. If we continue to do this, I will report it.’ To me, that’s making a statement, that’s making a stand and that’s being loyal to all the players in this league.”
But Clark has never blown the whistle, because he says it has never happened in his presence.