Ex-Vikings OL Says They Had Bounty Program Like Saints Rewarding Players For Injuring Opponents
It seems like yesterday the NFL dropped the hammer on the New Orleans Saints when it was revealed that they had a bounty program that rewarded players with cash for injuring their opponents.
The game that most stands out above them all was the NFC Championship Game where the Saints defeated the Minnesota Vikings during the 2009 season.
Years after the outrage, a former Minnesota Vikings offensive lineman is speaking out that the team he played for had a similar program in place, just like the New Orleans Saints.
Via Pro Football Talk:
“Artis Hicks, an offensive lineman on the 2009 Vikings, told Jeff Pearlman, the author of a new Brett Favre biography, that the Vikings were doing the same thing that got the Saints busted.
“It was part of the culture,” Hicks said, in a book excerpt published by Deadspin. “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.”
Brad Childress was the head coach of the Vikings for Hicks’ entire four-year stint with the team. Childress informed the NFL after that NFC Championship Game that he had heard that the Saints had a bounty on Favre, and Childress testified in former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue’s appeals hearing on Bountygate. He has stayed quiet about the matter publicly, perhaps not wanting to say anything that could see him accused of hypocrisy, given Hicks’ accusation.”