Former Bills Coach Greg Williams Bounty Hunter?
Bountygate is the talk of the NFL after reports surfaced over the weekend that former Buffalo Bills Coach Greg Williams had a reward system in place for players who took out opponents. NFL investigators claim that as much as $50,000 was paid to Saints players during their 2009 playoff run. And Williams, now a coach with the Rams, openly admitted that the system was in place and apologized for it. He will meet with the NFL today.
As many as 27 players were alledgedly paid a “bounty” between 2009 and 2011. If investigators find the Saints guilty, the penalty could be large, including losing draft picks and fines as the NFL continues to emphasize player safety.
Was there a bounty system in place in Buffalo? The NFL is looking back at Williams time in Buffalo and Washington as well. Former Bill Coy Wire told the Buffalo News that there was a culture of “malicious intent” and that the playersBills were rewarded financially for performance. He added that there was no bounty put on individual players heads, but there was a reward for “knockout shots”. Wire added that Williams never told players to go out and hurt someone. He described it as a players system to increase motivation. Think of the money payed out as a kitty that players contributed to. Get a big interception, tackle, touchdown…or take out a players knees… and get rewarded.
It’s one thing to enforce your will on an opponent, but have these players no respect for each other. Even if Williams wasn’t the one issuing the bounty, it was wrong if he knew about it. This sounds like a play right out of the “The Longest Yard”. Something tells me that Bountygate is more widespread than just Greg Williams coached teams. And if it turns out that other NFL teams are rewarding for kill shots, this could become a big problem for the league.