Years ago, the NFL came down hard on the New Orleans Saints after an investigation revealed the team was participating in a bounty program -- where players were given bonuses for injuring certain opponents.
And perhaps one of the biggest examples -- or at least the most memorable for Vikings fans -- was the NFC Championship game during the 2009 season that saw then-QB Brett Favre taking his share of big hits.
The investigation later revealed that the Saints were targeting the quarterback as part of that bounty system. And now, according to Favre's new biography, they weren't alone.
In " Gunslinger: The Remarkable, Improbable, Iconic Life of Brett Favre" (authored by Jeff Pearlman), excerpts claim "piles of money were regularly collected—then distributed as rewards—for injuring opposing stars."
Artis Hicks, a Vikings offensive lineman in 2009, is quoted as saying, it was just "part of the culture."
“I had coaches start a pot and all the veterans put in an extra $100, $200, and if you hurt someone special, you get the money. There was a bottom line, and I think we all bought in: you’re there to win, and if taking out the other team’s best player helps you win, hey, it’s nothing personal. Just business.”
Former Viking LB Ben Leber spoke out against the claims on Twitter, saying he never witnessed that kind of system when he was on the team.
To refute the rumor, I never heard of any bounty program existing within #Vikings locker room. We had incentives for big plays, not injuries— Ben Leber (@nacholeber) October 26, 2016