Favre bounty was $35,000; video surfaces of Saint saying "give me the money" after hit
|Saints players stood to gain the equivalent of a middle-class salary for taking out Favre.|
First, though it was initially reported that Saints captain Jonathan Vilma offered $10,000 to any player who hurt Favre, it turns out the pot was significantly richer than that. The total bounty on Favre's body during that game was "at least" $35,000, with contributions made by Vilma, defensive lineman Charles Grant, current Saints interim coach Joe Vitt, and Saints marketing official Mike Ornstein, the NFL says.
Second, the NFL provided an in-game sideline video clip of Vitt coaching up his players after Favre was hit in the legs and limped off the field during the third quarter. The clip suggests Saints defenders were well aware of the bounty on Favre and perhaps motivated by the windfall they stood to gain if the could take him out.
In the clip, Vitt tells his players, "A new quarterback is gonna come out. I think Favre broke his leg." Defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove then turns to teammate Bobby McCray and says, "Hey, Bobby, give me the money." Hargrove was later fined $5,000 for an illegal hit on Favre.
The video clip, which is regrettably un-embeddable, can be seen here. Fast-forward to about the four-minute mark to see the footage of Hargrove apparently claiming his bounty.
Lastly, the NFL revealed that the first to come forward with allegations that the Saints were running a bounty program was former Vikings coach Brad "kick-ass offense" Childress. Childress told the league he heard about the championship-game bounty on Favre from a player.
Ah, the days when the Vikings were actually interesting because of things happening on the field. Seems so long ago!
Previous Bounty-gate coverage:
-- Cris Carter says Vikings had bounty system
-- Saints dealt stiff punishment for Favre bounty
-- Chris Kluwe blasts Saints for Bountygate scandal [Q&A]
-- Saints were paid bounty to injure Brett Favre during 2010 NFC Championship