Four years after the NFL cracked down on the Saints for running a bounty program, the league has cracked down on one of its in-house analysts for advocating a bounty program.
Brian Baldinger, the NFL Network analyst who said in a radio interview that the Eagles should put a bounty on Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, has been suspended by NFL Network.
NFL Network told PFT today that Baldinger will be suspended for six months without pay. That’s a longer suspension than media companies typically hand out to commentators who get themselves in hot water, and a strong indication that the league was embarrassed to have one of its own employees advocate for intentionally injuring a player.
Baldinger’s comments were a textbook example of exactly the kind of bounty that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has insisted will never be tolerated in the league.
“This is the guy that that we’ve got to hurt,” Baldinger said of Elliott in a radio interview last week. “This is the guy that we’ve got to take out of the game. There’s got to be 10 guys that want to hurt him every single play. In fact, we may even put a little bounty on Ezekiel Elliott.”
Baldinger was an NFL offensive lineman for 11 seasons in the 1980s and 1990s, at a time when bounties were not unheard of in the NFL. But the league has changed as the times have changed, and in today’s NFL, even talking about a bounty will result in severe repercussions.