Call me crazy or cruel if you want, but I don’t see the big deal with the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal. Football is a game where players put on pads to hit one another. What is the big deal if coaches or players put out bets to try to see who can knock out the other team’s players? It may sound wrong, but think about it. The object is to win football games at any cost in the NFL, so teams and players can win Super Bowl titles to make more money. Winning is the name of the game and if that means bounties may be put out then so be it. It’s been happening for a long time in the NFL and this shouldn’t come as a surprise.LaDainian Tomlinson gives a real candid response to the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal that shouldn’t be shocking to anyone and also sheds some light on his free agency plans in the following interview.
LaDainian Tomlinson joined XX 1090 Sports Radio in San Diego with Darren Smith to discuss his free agent plans right now, the importance of going to a winning team with a chance to contend for a Super Bowl, his take on the New Orleans Saints bounty program, bounties not being a form of cheating, his reaction if someone put a ‘bounty’ on him, and bounties being a compliment for an opposing player.
What is your mental state right now? What do you think about your own future on the field?
“Well as of right now obviously you know I am a free agent. I am just going to take the best opportunity. If that opportunity is doing something off the field well then who knows what it may be? That’s what I am going to do. If I have the best opportunity to continue to play football then I am going to do that as well. I want to continue playing, but if it is not going to work out and it’s just not the right situation then I won’t play.”
What’s the most important thing for you in terms of a free agent decision? Winning?
“Winning. I am 11 years and every year chasing a title. Two AFC Championship games and never gone to the Super Bowl. To me that is the only thing I can go play for is having a chance to win, so absolutely a team has to be a contender.”
What do you make of this whole story with the New Orleans Saints and bounties? Are bounties a part of football? Is this an idea that is completely foreign to players? Is this an idea that has been around more than we may realized?
“Well I think on certain teams you may have a defensive coordinator or a linebackers coach or whoever it may be to find a way to challenge their players and that’s just one way to try to get the best out of their players. Now I don’t know if there was ever a rule that said it couldn’t be done, but I am sure this is not the first time, trust me. This is not the first time this happened. It’s just now coming out that this type of stuff happened, but I’m not surprised at all. We’ll have to wait and see what the commissioner does as far as discipline, but in all honesty I mean I think it’s kind of part of the game. I mean to be honest with you I don’t think you can discipline them guys too much.”
Do you think it’s cheating to put out bounties?
“I don’t think it’s cheating at all. Absolutely not. Because like I said it is a form of motivation. If I’ve got a group of guys and they are going against the top offense in the league – if I want to challenge my guys – I say, ‘Guys if we pick off this guy twice I’m giving somebody such and such. Whoever does it. Hey! That is not cheating!’ That is just motivating your players to play a little bit harder and play a little bit better.”
How would you feel if someone told you that you were a target and they put a ‘bounty’ on you during a game?
“I’m sure it has happened before. Think about this? Do you mean to tell me that guys are not naturally saying you know what I want to LT out of the game. He is that focus of that offense. I want to put him out of the game. They saying that anyway, so if a coach says it and they are going to put some money on it…I mean it is the same thing to me to be honest with you.”
Unless they do something dirty I would say it’s almost a compliment to you if a team puts a ‘bounty’ on you because you are such a big part of the offense that they want to get you off the field:
“I agree. I agree. As long as they are not doing anything dirty after the play or anything like that then I think it is totally legal.”