NEW YORK (WFAN) – Giants quarterback Eli Manning says there’s no place for players seeking to intentionally hurt opponents in the National Football League.
Last week, Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams admitted to — and apologized for — rewarding his players with cash for inflicting injuries on targeted opponents, a program that has been in effect for the past three seasons.
“Obviously it is a big deal what’s going on,” Manning said Monday at the Super Bowl XLVI DVD premiere in Times Square. “It is not good for football and can’t be a part of football. I know Roger Goodell will do a good job of figuring all this out and making sure this doesn’t happen again.”
Williams met with NFL officials in New York City on Monday. According to a league investigation, between 22 and 27 defensive players on New Orleans were participating in the bounty system.
The NFL’s probe said “knockouts” were worth $1,500 and “cart-offs” paid out $1,000.
“I hear what Coach Coughlin tells our defense about getting hits and I’m kind of sitting there and I know the opposing team is saying the same thing about me,” said Manning. “But when you start talking about injuring a guy and carting him off and trying to possibly end a season or a career, that is not what this game is about.”
“We have more respect for the game than that,” he added
Saints safety Isa Abdul-Quddus delivered a big hit to Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks during Week 12. Nicks said “you would probably think” a bounty was on Abdul-Quddus’ mind due to the way he celebrated.
“I really have no feelings. I just know that’s something we don’t do,” Nicks said. “It’s a respect for the game you have. If you look at the reality of it, we’re all a part of this game together. So I think guys just have their own motives.
“But we play New York Giant football, which I believe is fair football.”
The NFL hasn’t yet doled out punishment for the cash-for-smash program, which could include suspensions, fines and forfeited draft picks for New Orleans.
“I’ve never been a part of that,” said Giants safety Antrel Rolle. “It is kind of unfortunate that something like that has been brought upon this league. You never want to go out there with the intention to injure another opponent. That is people’s livelihoods. There’s no price you can put on the health of another opponent.”
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