You knew it was only a matter of time before NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell would lay down the law to a handful of New Orleans Saints staff members who were involved in bounties being paid out for big hits over a three-year span from 2009-2011.
Wednesday morning the sheriff arrived with a laundry list of suspensions, fines and valuable forfeited draft picks.
Reports say former New Orleans defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who was suspended indefinitely, targeted four quarterbacks: Aaron Rodgers, Brett Favre, Cam Newton and Kurt Warner.
Warner was victimized by a questionable hit by defensive end Bobby McCray following an interception during the Saints 45-14 NFC divisional playoff game in New Orleans in January of 2010.
The second quarter collision knocked him out of the remainder of the game.
One guy who had an up close look was guard Deuce Lutui.
“It was totally uncalled for,” Lutui told ‘Big Guy on Sports’ Wednesday. “It was something that just came into my peripheral vision…Warner going down. It [hurt] the pride of our offensive line. Our quarterback is our baby, even though Warner was old enough to be our daddy. It’s like we got five guys and we have a hit on [McCray].”
The hit turned out to be the last Warner would take as he announced his retirement just a few weeks later.
Warner later admitted the hit was clean as he was blind-sided by McCray pursuing the play following an interception. Little did anyone know at the time the future hall-of-famer was just one of the players targeted by Williams, head coach Sean Payton, assistant head coach Joe Vitt and even Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis.
Lutui said everyone involved in “bounty gate” got what they deserved,
“We’re not out there to hurt anybody,” Lutui explained. “We’re out there to compete. We’re out there to make a living. Goodell is one tough guy. You don’t want your name ending up in his office.”