Lots of discussion at the Journal-Sentinel’s Packer blog about a report from ESPN yesterday morning that has been hyped by the guys at profootballtalk.com.
Here is the PFT post from just before noon.
LEAGUE LOOKING AT WHETHER PACKERS ARE VIOLATING BOUNTY RULES
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello tells us that the league is looking into the question of whether members of the Green Bay Packers have violated the league’s rules against bounties.
On Sunday, Bob Holtzmann of ESPN reported during Sunday NFL Countdown that a couple of Packers defensive backs had promised to pay each of the team’s defensive linemen $500 if there were able to hold Vikings running back Adrian Peterson under 100 yards rushing in Week Ten.
For Week Eleven, another $500 per lineman was promised if the Packers held the Panthers to under 60 yards rushing.
We asked Aiello whether these extra payments counted against the salary cap, given that they were coming from teammates and not from the team. Aiello said that it’s not a cap issue, but he explained that the league is looking at whether such promises are impermissible bounties.
The classic bounty is an offer of money or other benefits in exchange for injuring a player. But to the extent that limiting a player’s production can be satisfied in part by, for example, tearing the player’s LCL, it’s probably not a good idea for incentives of this nature to be dangled in front of NFL players.
It’s a post that is sadly typical of the stuff at Profootballtalk.com: Great newsy nuggets layered with irresponsible speculation. I’m talking specifically about this line. “But to the extent that limiting a player’s production can be satisfied in part by, for example, tearing the player’s LCL, it’s probably not a good idea for incentives of this nature to be dangled in front of NFL players.”
The implication is obvious: Al Harris may have taken out Adrian Peterson at the knees to keep Peterson under 100 yards. Of course, as Greg Bedard smartly points out, doing so would have meant that Harris PAID the bounties, not collected them. Ah, details, details. It’ll be interesting to see if the guys at profootballtalk.com have the cojones to report on their own website that their reasoning on the Peterson injury was exactly backwards. Stay tuned, as someone might say.
If the league prohibits player-to-player bonuses, as it seems to, and Packer players did this, it was wrong. The league is looking into the allegations and should punish the offenders. That said, it seems like an incredibly minor offense. When you’re talking about a payout of $500, thatt hardly seems consequential. It’s a rounding error for one of Al Harris’s accountants and certainly not the kind of money that would cause a professional football player to attempt to injure an opponent. To make such a suggestion is ridiculous.