NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- The NFL Players Association filed papers in federal court pointing out that the NFL permitted a 1996 incentive program for big hits funded by then-Green Bay defensive lineman Reggie White.
In papers filed Thursday in U.S. District Court, the union questioned why NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell should now be able to suspend former Saints linebacker Scott Fujita for offering then-New Orleans teammates rewards for big plays during the 2009 season.
The filing cited media reports about White's "smash-for-cash" program that paid 500 for big plays, including big hits.
The reports, now nearly 16 years old, include players from other teams discussing similar pools climbing into the thousands of dollars. In one report by ESPN, Troy Vincent, then a defensive back with Philadelphia, discusses a similar player-funded incentive program run by Eagles players.
Vincent now works for the NFL as a vice president overseeing player engagement.
In the reports, an NFL spokesma...