Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Packers Defensive Backs May Have Violated NFL Bounty Rule

The NFL has been void of scandal for a while now. It's been months since a player has been caught fighting dogs or a coach has been caught filming opposing teams playcalling. But we are trying our best to make do. Terrell Owens waving around a touchdown towel, I guess we can try and make that work. Referees reviewed a field goal, which is technically not reviewable. It was a bizarre play, but not exactly an earth shaking scandal.

But the Green Bay Packers defensive backs have stepped up to the plate. It appears that by offering their own teammates, more specifically the defensive linemen, $500 a head to hold Adrian Peterson under 100 yards, they have violated the "bounty law". Possibly. Maybe.

The NFL is investigating the charges, but it's not even certain if the players violated the rule. In fact I'm not even sure if an actual complete NFL Rulebook exists. Unlike the MLB, NHL, or NBA the NFL does not offer anything more than the "for dummies" look at the rules online. Plus there's the whole Tuck Rule thing.

The intention of the bounty rule is thought to be to prevent the organizations or staff from offering bounties on injury opposing players. And it appears that the practice of motivating teammates performance with a reward, such as a couple hundred dollars, while illegal, is and has been a common place practice in NFL locker rooms.

Detroit Lions quarterback Jon Kita, who will face the Packers this Sunday, doesn't seem to find anything wrong with it, granted there is no intent to injure.

Although Adrian Peterson was in fact injured in the game against the Packers, there is thus far nothing to indicate there was a bounty for anything more than holding Peterson to under 100 yards.

The most famous instance of the Bounty Rule was when Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones claimed following a 1989 match-up with the rival Philadelphia Eagles, that Eagles coach Buddy Ryan offered his players a bounty for knocking out Cowboys QB Troy Aikman or kicker Luis Zendjas.

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