Former NFL Lineman Chad Eaton: Bill Belichick Paid Me to Start Fight in Practice
That Bill Belichick is one bad, bad man. Not only is he known for videotaping opponents signals and being short with the media, he has now been accused of giving illegal benefits to amateur players. Wait, Belichick coaches in the NFL and always has? Sorry, scratch that then.
One of the big news stories from the NFL that is circulating today comes from a Dayton Daily News report, in which former NFL defensive lineman Chad Eaton claims Belichick used to pay him to start fights during Cleveland Browns practices in the 1990s. Belichick was the coach in Cleveland at the time, and Eaton was then with Bill for one season in New England in 2000 when Belichick was the head coach.
“If practice was going slow, he’d look at me and just say, ‘It’s time,’” Eaton said. “He wanted me to get on somebody’s [case] and start a little fight. I was known for that and it paid off on Fridays. There’d always be some extra money in my locker. Practice players don’t make much, so I really appreciated it.”
Let’s hold off on calling Belichick a regular Cecil Newton for now, shall we? Yes, that would be against the rules if it were true. There are salary cap implications that prevent coaches from being able to just hand extra cash to players. But these are the types of things that happen with every team, in every training camp. Belichick asked a guy — a professional athlete mind you — to stir the pot a little to get his team motivated. In reality, that’s the job of a practice player anyway.
Chest bump to Pro Football Talk for passing the story along.