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In an interview with ESPN Radio’s “Hill & Schlereth,” Cris Carter admitted to placing bounties on opposing players.
“I’m guilty of it,” Carter said. “…I put a bounty on guys before. I put bounties on guys. And the guys tried to take me out, a guy tried to take a cheap shot on me, I put on bounty on him, right now.”
Carter claimed to have used the bounty system as a way of protecting himself against players that would be attempting to hurt him, citing Bill Romanowski as one of these players.
He explained how he would offer some “change on his head,” when describing how he would ask one of his offensive lineman teammates to take care of an opposing defensive player.
A day later, Carter appeared on ESPN’s SportsCenter. He explained that his bounties were never meant to hurt or harm an opposing player.
He supposedly wasn’t “telling them to go out and get someone, you’re telling them to protect you.”
It sounds as if Carter is justifying his own bounty system by claiming his offensive lineman needed compensation to motivate them to…block? Do their job? Play football?
The last time anyone checked, the single most important thing an offensive lineman can do is protect. Protect the quarterback, protect the ball carrier, and protect their teammates.
If any offensive linemen are asked (and we hope they are) whether or not they need their own teammates to pay them to “protect,” then they should be more than insulted.
Clearly Carter was backtracking over his original comments, but in the process he managed to seemingly insult every offensive lineman that has ever played the game of football. Paying offensive lineman to “protect?”
The team pays offensive linemen to protect. Wide Receivers pay offensive lineman to harm.
In a transparent attempt to distance himself from the depths of the crimes of the New Orleans Saints bounty system, Carter did nothing but give the NFL another headache.
Not only are defensive players placing bounties on opposing skill players, but now those same skill players are placing bounties on the defense.
Perhaps even more troubling is that it’s not just one team, and it’s not just one era in which this type of thing happened. While there’s been speculation that bounties have been commonplace in the NFL for many years, even decades, it’s never been stated in such a fashion.
But as Carter says: “That’s the league I grew up in.”
It was common then. It’s common now. It’s not going away for the NFL.