According to Yahoo! Sports' Michael Silver, a pair of New Orleans Saints players were each offered $200 as a reward for hits that occurred during the team's playoff victory over the Detroit Lions. The two players in question, Roman Harper and Jo-Lonn Dunbar, apparently turned down the cash, which was offered by then-Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.
News of this latest revelation comes from a source who had knowledge of a meeting that recently occurred between NFL security officials and documentary filmmaker Sean Pamphilon, who released audio of the speech Williams gave to his players before the Saints played the 49ers in the playoffs. In the portion of the audio released, Williams reportedly called the Lions "weak-ass, phony-ass motherf--kers," and that apparently wasn't the only mention of something related to the Saints' game against the Lions.
Below is the sequence that includes mention of cash rewards for "whack" hits against the Lions. Whack hits, by the way, are considered "forceful yet clean and legal," according to Silver. As a result, it's unlikely that either of the two players will be subject to discipline from the league. While this is "pay-for-performance," it's not considered to be as severe as putting a bounty on opposing players or paying for cart-offs. Anyway, here is the sequence:
When Williams tells the group that the "first envelope" will go to "JD" – who, according to Pamphilon and another person who was in the meeting, was Dunbar – the linebacker appears to refuse the money, instead putting it back into the pot for the current week's game.
"You want it?" Williams asks.
"[Expletive] no," a voice answers, as others in the room applaud.
"OK, it's $200 – you got it for a 'whack,' " Williams says. The rest of his words are drowned out by loud cheers.
Williams then singles out Harper by uniform number, saying, "41, one whack, $200." Others in the room yell, "Give it back," and Harper, like Dunbar, seems to comply – a common practice among Saints defenders.
It's not clear which specific plays resulted in Harper and Dunbar receiving the cash rewards, but I'm sure if you went back and watched the game, it wouldn't be too difficult to figure out.
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