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Did Saints have bounty on Aaron Rodgers?

Nov. 6, 2013
 
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It was seemingly only a matter of time before the New Orleans Saints’ bounty-gate would have a Packers connection. Jeff Duncan of the New Orleans Times Picayune details the Saints’ association with marketing agent Mike Ornstein, who wasn’t a team  employee but reportedly pledged rewards of between $5,000 and $10,000 to the team’s infamous bounty pool from 2009 to 2011. Duncan cites a source familiar with the situation in reporting that among the thousands of documents NFL investigators looked at was an email from Ornstein to Saints' coaches last season in which he pledged money for a knockout blow to Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers before the NFL kickoff game. Duncan says that same source said Ornstein sent the message as a joke, and Saints coach Sean Payton reportedly told NFL investigators last week he did not read the email. Rodgers was sacked twice  in the Packers’ 42-34 victory over the Saints at Lambeau Field in their season opener but wasn't injured. The Saints are awaiting what will likely be severe penalties, including fines and suspensions, for their role in bounty gate. Former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has admitted running a bounty program in which players were rewarded with cash for injuring opposing players. Williams was offered the Packers’ defensive coordinator job following the 2008 season to replace Bob Sanders but went to New Orleans instead. Part of Williams' motivation to choose the Saints  was that Payton offered him an extra $250,000 out of his own pocket.

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