Uh-oh. "Bounties" have been a hot topic in the NFL for the last couple of months now, ever since the New Orleans Saints were accused of putting them on opposing players back in March. However, most of the bounty systems that we've heard about thus far have involved defensive players putting up a few dollars in exchange for hard hits. But, Cris Carter blew the lid off the whole bounty controversy last night when he appeared on ESPN Radio's Hill and Schlereth and admitted for the first time that he too is guilty of offering bounties to his teammates in exchange for protection on the football field.
"I'm guilty of bounties," he said. "I mean, first time I've ever admitted it, but I put a bounty on guys before. I put bounties on guys. If a guy tries to take me out, a guy takes a cheap shot on me? I put a bounty on him right now!"
He also broke down one particular incident that involved him putting a bounty on former Denver Broncos linebacker Bill Romanowski after he threatened Carter during pregame warm-ups. "Bill Romanowski, he told me he was going to take me out before the game, warm-ups," he said. "No problem. He said, 'I'm gonna end your career, Carter.' No problem. I put a little change on his head before the game. Protect myself. Protect my family. That's the league I grew up in."
Carter's explanation sort of makes us feel differently about the concept of NFL bounties. If there's an element of protecting yourself involved, it doesn't sound nearly as bad. But, it's also gotta give NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell a huge headache. Because while we'd argue that what the Saints did is not the same as what Carter is talking about here, the word bounty is still being thrown around. And, as long as it is, the NFL has a problem on its hands. Good luck with it now that this has gotten out, guys.