Uh-oh. There's another new wrinkle in the NFL's case against the New Orleans Saints and their so-called "bounty program," and it might just be the most interesting development yet.
The NFL Player's Association is pulling out all the stops in order to try and get Jonathan Vilma, Will Smith, and several of their former Saints teammates off the hook for taking part in a system that allegedly paid players for making big hits and knocking opposing players out of games. And, to do so, they've just filed some paperwork in federal court that could be really damning to the NFL's case against them. Specifically, they've pointed out that, back in 1996, Reggie White and his Green Bay Packers teammates put a similar system into place called "smash-for-cash" that paid defensive players up to $500 for making big hits. And, the NFL knew about it. Not only did they know about it, they actually supported the Packers doing it and put some guidelines into place for it (namely, that the hits had to be legal and that all money paid out had to come directly from players). Players from other teams, like the Philadelphia Eagles, are also quoted in the report as saying that their teams had programs like "smash-for-cash" set up, too.
So, what does this all mean? Well, it means that the Roger Goodell and NFL may need to rethink their position on the Saints. After all, if the league supported bounty programs in the past, aren't they being sort of hypocritical by stepping in now to try and stop them? We can't wait to see how this plays out in court.
[via FOX Sports]