ESPN NFL analyst and former Minnesota Vikings All-Pro receiver Cris Carter claims he placed “bounties” on opposing players. He says he did this as a form of protection and stated that he placed a bounty on Bill Romanowki to protect himself and other teammates.
Carter stated, “I’m guilty of [placing bounties] – 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!”
The NFL recently placed heavy penalties on numerous New Orleans management, coaches, and players when NFL Roger Goodell Commissioner found the team guilty of using a bounty program to injure opposing players.
Wednesday morning Carter appeared on ESPN SportsCenter to clarify his statement. He emphasized there was no intent to injure opponents and protection was the only intent. He stated, “The difference is people going out of their way to hurt a player. Hitting a spot that we as players know is off limits, like his knees. You’re not telling them to go out and get someone, you’re telling them to protect you, run down the field to protect their skill guys.”
Carter added, “Bill Romanowski – he told me he was going to take me out before the game, warm-ups. 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 that I grew up in.”
Bill Romanowski is a Pro Bowl linebacker who was with the Denver Broncos at the time.
When asked if Carter was the only player to create bounties, he replied, “Hell, no. Listen, on the football field, you only got certain protection, and your teammates are part of that protection. It’s built in, and if I’m playing a certain position where I can’t protect myself – how can the quarterback protect himself? But for his teammates to stand up and do something, there are certain positions you can’t protect yourself.”
“But you have to realize the league we grew up in, the bounty was based on protection, or a big hit, excitement, or for helping your team win. It wasn’t to maim or hurt the dude,” said Carter, who retired from the NFL following the 2002 season.”
The big question here is this: The subject of bounties in the NFL is very toxic right now, so why would a player want to associate himself with the practice of offering bounties? It seems the best course of action would be to keep your trap shut. Carter is on television every Sunday and on various ESPN broadcasts several times a week throughout the NFL pre-season, regular season, and playoffs. Is he really wanting for attention in the off season so badly that he’ll talk about anything to get in the news? This was a really poor decision by Cris Carter, especially when there are Hall of Fame votes at risk.
Cris Carter has been a Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist for the past five years. It will be interesting to see if these statements affect the Hall of Fame voting. For many years has been a great ambassador of the sport of American Football by displaying outstanding character and expert analysis. It would be a shame to see his reputation tarnished.
How do you believe this will affect Carter’s ability to enter the Hall of Fame? Should have kept quiet about offering bounties?