Reports Out of Minnesota Show a BountyGate in 2009
From 2009 to 2012, the New Orleans Saints were involved in a huge scandal involving bounties where players would get money for injuring a player. After thorough investigation, the New Orleans Saints were fined $500K, lost their 2nd round pick in 2012 and 2013, head coach Sean Payton was suspended for the entire season, defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was suspended indefinitely and could reapply for reinstatement in 2013. General manager Mickey Loomis was suspended for eight games and assistant head coach Joe Vitt was suspended for six. The players who were involved also faced punishment, including fines and suspensions.
What is Happening in Minnesota?
Former offensive lineman of the 2009 Minnesota Vikings Artis Hicks told Jeff Pearlman, the author of Brett Favre’s new biography, that the team was also doing a bounty like the Saints did.
“It was a part of the culture,” said Hicks. “I had coaches start a pot and all the veterans put in an extra $100, $200, and if you hurt someone special, you get the money. There was a bottom line, and I think we all bought in: you’re there to win and if taking out the other team’s best player helps you win, hey, it’s nothing personal. Just business.”
The Vikings released a statement on Thursday saying, “There is no truth to it.” Brad Childress, the head coach of the Vikings in 2009, came out and said “I had a great opportunity to coach a lot of great people there, including Artis Hicks, at the Minnesota Vikings. I have too much respect for the Wilf family, professional football to have anything to do with a bounty system. I’m going to let it stand at that.”
How Does This Affect the Division
Looking back at the injuries in 2009, only two players seem to have gotten an injury after playing the Vikings. Now, we can’t say for sure that these players received this injuries because the Vikings were out to get them, but it could be possible. Offensive guard Stephen Peterman and wide receiver Derrick Williams suffered injuries after playing the Vikings in 2009, so that is something that will need to be investigated as the NFL will probably jump into this situation.
This affects the NFC North as the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears could of had players injured in that season as well. We don’t know how long the bounty lasted, if it was just in 2009 or longer. The NFL will need to investigate to what has happened and what facts could come out of an investigation. This could affect the Vikings and people who were involved who are still in the organization from the 2009 year and they could receive a suspension or fine.
While it is unlikely that people are still with the organization, but the Packers, Bears and Lions could benefit if they lose a draft pick, get a cap penalty or any sort of punishment.