Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 11/10/14
Saints-vikings-carter

Former eight-time Pro Bowl receiver Cris Carter dropped a bombshell on Tuesday when he admitted using bounties throughout his NFL career.

The former longtime Vikings receiver told ESPN Radio’s Mike Hill and Mark Schlereth that he did it mostly for protection.

“I’m guilty of it,” Carter said. “It’s the first time I’ve ever admitted it. But I put a bounty on guys before. I put bounties on guys. And the guys tried to take me out, a guy tried to take a cheap shot on me, I put a bounty on him, right now.”

“A money bounty?” Schlereth asked.

“Absolutely,” Carter responded.

“You told one of your teammates that if ..” Schlereth began before getting interrupted by Carter.

“Protect me,” Carter said he told his teammates. “Protect me from him … Especially if he’s playing a different position where I can’t protect myself.”

“So if you played a linebacker you would …” Hill began, before Carter interrupted.

“I’d tell one of them guards, ‘Hey man, this dude is after me, man. Bill Romanowski.’ He told me he’s gonna me out before the game, in warmups. No problem. ‘I’m gonna end your career, Carter.’ No problem. I put a little change on his head before the game. Protect myself, protect my family. That’s the league that I grew up in.”

Asked whether he was the only one to do that, Carter was emphatic: “Heck no!”

“How can the quarterback protect himself but for his teammates to stand up and do something? There are certain positions you can’t protect yourself,” Carter said.

Carter said he didn’t have any regrets. “Matter of fact, if I see a couple of them dudes that was trying to cheap shot me walking through ESPN, I’d put a bounty on them right now!”

Carter explained that the bounty was “based on protection or big hit, excitement or helping your team win. It wasn’t to maim or hurt the dude.”

He also said the Vikings protected guys like Randy Moss, and quarterbacks like Daunte Culpepper and Randall Cunningham.

Carter reminded the hosts that he played for the Eagles during the 1989 Bounty Bowl, and that he was present when former Eagles coach Buddy Ryan “put the bounties on the guys.” Though Carter didn’t take part in the bounties that game, he says he saw other “guys getting wiped out, guys going for the money.”

Even though Carter says he used bounties for protection, he doesn’t justify what the Saints allegedly did. He says anyone who offered $10K to knock Brett Favre out of a playoff game deserved to be suspended for a year. Mike Hill termed what Carter did as having a paid bodyguard on the field. An important distinction between what Carter did and what defensive guys for the Saints did, is that he was acting out of defense, whereas New Orleans players were initiating.

Helmet knock to Pro Football Talk

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