When players say bounties are something that have been a part of professional football for many years, they are apparently telling the truth. Pro Football Talk obtained a copy of the latest filing in the Saints bounty case, and in it the NFLPA talks about a deal that former Packers defense lineman Reggie White made with his teammates that the NFL approved of. It was called “Smash for Cash” and consisted of paying teammates $500 for big hits.
According to the NFLPA, the league approved the program at the time “as long as players use their own money, amounts are not exorbitant and payments aren’t for illegal hits.” The NFLPA’s argument is that allowing the Packers to do it then shows inconsistency now that the NFL has suspended four Saints players for partaking in a similar program.
“The fact that the NFL has a different agenda today than in 1996 can’t change the unequivocal language of the NFL Constitution and Bylaws, which has never prohibited this behavior,” the NFL said in the filing.