Turley wants to know what Brees knows about bounties

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Former Saints tackle Kyle Turley, who left the team long before quarterback Drew Brees arrived, made an interesting point on Monday regarding Brees’ potential connection to the now-dismantled Bayou Bounty Bureau.

What did Drew know, and when did he know it?

“I would like to know personally what he knew about this bounty system because he’s not only in charge of the safety of his players in that locker room in New Orleans, he’s supposed to be in those meetings responsible for all players across the league as it pertains to those types of issues,” Turley told Craig Shemon of Yahoo! Sports Radio.  “That’s what I would like to know.  Where has the union been in all of this and that’s what really needs to be found out.”

So far, the union has kept its head low, vowing only to study the league’s report on the recently-revealed three-year system of bounties.  Brees should be studying it close, since he is a member of the NFLPA Executive Committee.

Also serving on that body is former Saints (and current Browns) linebacker Scott Fujita, a member of the 2009 Saints defense that, as the league has determined, used a bounty system.

It’s an interesting point from Turley.  Though Brees wasn’t in defensive meetings, he was on the practice field and in the locker room and anyone who has ever been in a setting like that knows that at some point there will be a stray comment or a joke or something that will shed some light on what may be happening.  In those moments, we either become curious about what we just witnessed, or we say to ourselves, “I don’t know what they’re talking about, and I don’t wanna know.”

But while Turley may have found a way to nudge this story in a slightly different direction, he also fell into the predictable pattern that routinely is displayed by former players whose anger overlooks the fact that they were active participants in the very things about which they are now complaining.

“It’s an attitude that has been perpetuated by the league and the union and the way they’ve negotiated collective bargaining agreements,” Turley said.  “To the layman out there, that basically means the NFL and the teams have no responsibility to the players health and safety.”

It’s a confusing allegation that points a sawed-off shotgun at pretty much everyone — including Turley himself.  The players are the union.  They appoint their leadership, and their leadership sets the agenda.  And if player health and safety isn’t at the top of the agenda, that ultimately falls on the players.

Maybe that’s why the union doesn’t have much to say on matters of this nature.  Through the existence of a bounty system in New Orleans and anywhere else, and through much of the time that the league allegedly concealed the long-term consequences of concussions and failed to take steps to protect the players from concussions, the players were represented by a union that had the ability to push these issues, and an even greater duty to protect each of them than the NFL has ever had.

The players are the union.  The union is the players.  And that includes Brees and Turley and every player who ever tried to knock a guy out of a game for a little extra cash, and every guy who ever was a target for such intentions.

That’s the one thing we all need to keep in mind when assessing this situation.  The mentality that attracts grown men to play football for money has a dark side to it that the players have a shared responsibility in harnessing and controlling.  To the extent that the league and/or any of its teams have failed in this regard, the players have failed, too.

41 responses to “Turley wants to know what Brees knows about bounties

  1. If Williams actions were found to be criminal (criminal battery – intentionally injuring outside of agreed workplace rules) and Brees knew about it wouldn’t that make him an accessory after the fact?

  2. Of Coarse Brees’ knew…
    The only one who had no clue what was going on was Joe Gibbs.
    He didnt even know they started 10 players to Honor Sean Taylor.
    DC Needs Gibbs Back

  3. The players want it all… They want to act like they are these brave warriors taking on these violent hits and sacraficing their bodies for the game they love. But as soon as their careers are over, they hop into a variety of lawsuits claiming they didnt know how dangerous it was and no one was there to protect them.

    What a joke.

  4. That is a very interesting angle.

    The players accuse the NFL of fining them but not really caring about concussions too much. Yet these same players also put up money to knock people out and give concussions. Then they complain when the NFL tries to stop those hits. On a long stretch you could erroneously claim that the players ar eupset not about the fines, but that the NFL is trying to take away the hits that let them collect bounties.

    And shouln’t the QBs on the teams trying to collect bounties be upset about possible retaliation against them and getting knocked out of a game and possibly a career?

  5. “…they were active participants in the very things about which they are now complaining.”
    I really don’t know how much as an offensive lineman, Turley was involved in bounty talk, but if he was, that certainly calls into question, what part or at least knowledge, Brees may have regarding the matter. This is the first intelligent thing I’ve ever heard from Kyle, as the plot thickens.

  6. Interesting and Powerful Story I’m not a Turley fan but he raises many many great points here.

  7. Shut up turd ley. Mind your business. You can’t just go and say oh
    I wanna know PERSONAlLY what brees knows about this bounties.
    I wanna know hows the angermanagement class going for you turd

  8. I really dont like the Saints and hope they get punished pretty harsh…….but at what point is this going to stop and the blame falls on payton, williams and loomis and not much else. Is Turley implying he wanted Brees to rat the saints out? Maybe Brees was part of that when the NFL informed the saints a few years back to stop this behavior. I can honestly say if I was a defender on the Saints, I would not partake in the bounty program, but I would not have pulled a Mangini either.

  9. The same Kyle turley who grabbed a guy by his helmet out of the pile, ripped it off, and threw it down field.

    Hello pot, meet kettle

  10. Of course Skidmark knew what was going on……He’s the teams leader. Losing respect for the feel good story of the Aints……….Which is what they will become again after all these fines and suspensions take place!!!!

  11. Turley is the man, I’ll never forget him standing up for his QB the way he did.

    Maybe the Jets had a bounty on Brooks, lol.

  12. Turley is whining because he sucked so bad he never got a SB ring. Bounty smounty, muchado about nothing. Anybody that don’t like the vilolent-if-you-aint-cheating-you-aint-trying mentality of pro football then i suggest you switch to watching a girl sport like say, Golf. Ha Ha. All the other 31 teams are just jealous cuz the Saints have the best offense in pro football history. Goodell will fine the Saints like he did the Patriots for cheating. Hell the Pats won 3 SBs by cheating and nobody got suspended. Even if Goodell suspends coach Payton and a few defensive players that might still be hanging around the Saints will still host and win the SB this year in the Superdome. Turley is a whiney little girl trying to snitch out Brees. Ha Ha. Geaux Saints!

  13. The players are the union, but only so many players are truly above average intelligence. Sounds a bit harsh, but it’s true. They make up the union, but the hire someone to head the union with no connection to them at all. Sounds more like Turley would someone, possibly himself, more closely tied to the league, who feels for the players, to head things up, instead of D-Smith. I know Upshaw ran it, but he hadn’t played in an eternity, and had been closer to the corporate side of the league, which could have swayed the info he chose to pass along. Turley actually seems like a fairly smart guy, who cares about the players, and has dealt with major injury issues before. Maybe he SHOULD be considered as the top guy for the players.

  14. How is the so-called bounty controversy any different to a manager giving a prize fighter a bonus for a win by K.O. over a T.K.O.?

    It’s NOT ILLEGAL in football to knock a guy out of the game, or to try to do so.

    Rather, guys are supposed to try to knock each other out of the game — within the rules — which is all that seems to have been going on with the Saints and almost certainly with every other team in the league.

    If the Saints were paying bonuses for unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, we’d have a problem, but that’s not the case!

    The refs do a good enough job policing the game on the field, without need of dragging the league through the mud over a common practice that grown men have knowingly chosen to undertake together.

    These sorts of witch hunts are just bad for the sport.

  15. “What we have here is…failure to communicate ”
    [ Cool Hand Luke]…On the one hand… the League doing every thing they can think of to promote player safety, including making rule changes that emasculate the defense….and on the other hand, a bounty program in place that…. pays players to cripple and maim their fellow cohorts, which is illegal and many would say criminal ! Once this bounty system is proven to exist with payouts to players who make illegal hits that indeed DO cripple players…then we are going to see just how far some of these player law suites filed against the NFL, are going to fly !The Commish has to do something about this or his NFL Safety program is going to be a complete sham !

  16. “The players are the union. The union is the players.”
    “Einhorn is Finkle! Finkle is Einhorn!”

  17. Turley fails to realize that he, Drew, Jonathan Vilma, anyone…. they are just players. I’d like to see a player that’s getting paid to play a game go to a coach and shake his finger. That’s a pretty quick way to get yourself in to some messy front office situations. This lies on the coaching staff solely. I love Sean Payton, and hate that he was involved. I understand the “bounty” system. It’s a way for underperforming coaches to get their players motivated to play harder. Gregg Williams was never that great of a coach. Even when the saints won the super bowl, they were about the 20th best defense. Note that you don’t have to pay those guys like Brees, Colston, Meachem, Moore, Henderson, Nicks, etc. when they score touchdowns; they just go out and do their job, and the offensive coordinator and offensive play caller have built one of the most elite offenses to ever play football. Gregg Williams, and his defense? They never lived up to the hype. So he tried to motivate them to play better, in turn resulting in him keeping his job. He was trying to save his own butt, but who is a player to go to a coach and say “what you’re doing is wrong and illegal, and I refuse to continue to play for an organization that cheats”? If someone had, you could bet that whole getting paid to play a game thing would be gone in a heartbeat.

  18. Every player and ex-player not worth the grain of salt will now complain that this bounty system hindered their professional career!

    What a bunch of cry-babies!!

    The NFL is done…..the Golden Billion Dollar Business is near total collapse!

  19. This is a good point. Scott Fujita is one of the people that represent the players, who in the last CBA talked about player safety. However wouldn’t it be ironic if he was collecting bounties on other players?

    The lawsuits from the former players are ridiculous to begin with, however if teams and players are setting bounties that makes it 10x worse.

  20. Some way shape or form…almost every team has some type of bounty….though many not done thru coaches. Wouldn’t surprise anyone if HC’s such as Rex Ryan & Fisher did same.

    But mainly amongst the players.

    Pollard has 3 notches in his belt..Brady, welker, and Gronkowski now. That must have been some serious gas money.

  21. jacunn2000 says:
    Mar 6, 2012 7:36 AM
    As far as I am concerned, both Turley and Brees are class A D-bags.

    Goobs, As far as I am concerned, vous is a class A+ D-bag.

  22. @truthfactory:The players want it all… They want to act like they are these brave warriors taking on these violent hits and sacraficing their bodies for the game they love. But as soon as their careers are over, they hop into a variety of lawsuits claiming they didnt know how dangerous it was and no one was there to protect them.


    Precisely. The same players who are warriors and who don’t mind ending someoen else’s career then want to cash in long after they have left the game and find themselves in daily pain.

    I’ll say it again — if the union was really interested in the long-term financial problems of the players, they would structure a CBA so that a portion of all contracts include deferred annuity payments so that no player who stays in the league for at least a few years can possibly run through all of their $$.

  23. Why does the union seem to completely stay out of the fine, suspensions etc.?? It always seems like its just the players agent speaking out, but I think the union should at least be complaining about how arbitrary and inconsistent the whole process is.

  24. Idk ’bout pots or kettles, but Warren Sapp acting like an angel and calling out the saints for “dirty” hits on the nfl network is making me wish Mike Sherman repels from the ceiling and karate chops him in the throat or something…
    For Clifton!

  25. Of course Brees knew. No way he could have avoided knowing for 3 years. He’s competitive, says he’d do anything to win. He knew and is a player rep. He should have shut it down. What a hypocrite. The NFLPA needs to remove him as a rep. Now. Lying is cheating.

  26. @mikemcdoirman……and having fans like you is even worse for the sport. Get your paper bag ready, the aints are coming back. Enjoy your ASTERISK Superbowl.

  27. mikemcdorman says: Mar 6, 2012 8:53 AM

    ~~ “Rather, guys are supposed to try to knock each other out of the game — within the rules which is all that seems to have been going on with the Saints… ~~~

    Key here is WITHIN THE RULES – you going to tell me that all those shots on Farve were within the rules? If I am not mistaken there were personal fouls called

    ~~ If the Saints were paying bonuses for unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, we’d have a problem, but that’s not the case!” ~~

    Only those who read the report know who allegedly got paid and what they got paid for

  28. I dont understand why people are still arguing what is wrong or right. THe man himself (Williams) came out and said he was running one. Point Blank, I mean what else do you need to know. We all know that football is a violent sport and we also know people get hurt. I mean it is what it is. But to go out and try to hurt someone outside of the rules for money is bad for everyone. We’re not talking about hits that are deem legal. We’re talking about what goes on under the pile. The late hits. The driving of the player to the ground. Example. I dont know if it was on purpose or not, But the Guy from KC hit Forte on the knee with his helmet. Knock him out for the year. Thats the type of hits that are in Question…

  29. @jonny42671:

    C’mon kid, I’m not a Saints fan (at all), and neither is my fanhood bad for the sport. You didn’t address anything I said.


    “Key here is WITHIN THE RULES – you going to tell me that all those shots on Farve were within the rules? If I am not mistaken there were personal fouls called”

    Sure they were called, as they should have been. But no one — to my knowledge — is claiming that players were rewarded for those illegal plays. And players should be allowed to reward one another for big, legal, defensive plays, including those that knock a guy out of the game. Why? Because getting knocked out of the game, as in rugby, boxing, UFC, judo, etc., is part of it.

    It’s always been part of it.

    I haven’t seen anything that conclusively shows that people were rewarded for illegal plays.

    Short of that, I don’t see the problem.

    Full disclosure: I was an All-State middle linebacker in high school and played a year at a small college before getting serious about studying and so giving up the game. Now I’m a lawyer; hence my emphasis on the LEGALITY of paying for performance.

    I actually agree with Darren Sharper or Mike Golic can’t remember on ESPN yesterday, when they said the word “bounty” — with it’s dark connotation — has as much to do with all the media hype as anything. (That and the fact that most media types never played the game, and so have very little idea of what playing defense is really like.

    You try to knock guys out. Legally. I see no problem in rewarding guys who do so. Legally. That’s it. (Rewarding for penalties, that’s a different story.)

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