Like many, former NFL quarterback Kurt Warner believes there’s no place in the game for anyone intentionally trying to injure opposing players.
He also knows it’s not a rare occurrence, and said as a high-profile player at a high-profile position, players tried to knock him out of games throughout the course of his 12-year career. Warner isn’t convinced, though, he was necessarily targeted for injury.
“I don’t want to say that there was an attempt to injure, but I definitely think there were games where I could tell you that it seemed that they went beyond what was normal in regards to when they were going to hit me or how they were going to hit me,” Warner told NFL Network on Friday. “Again, not with the intention, necessarily, of hurting me, but again, knocking me out of my game to get me to think about things differently, and if by chance they hit me and knock me out of the game, maybe that’s a benefit for them.”
Warner was made aware Friday that the Saints were using a bounty system during his final NFL game in January of 2010, when he took a bone-rattling hit from defensive end Bobby McCray, who was with the Saints at the time.
As part of the investigation, Goodell said allegations were made that the Saints defenders had targeted Warner, then with the Cardinals, during New Orleans’ run to the Super Bowl in the 2009 season.
Warner made it a point to say the hit by McCray was legal.
“You go back and look at that hit by Bobby McCray on me, and it was a violent hit, and I felt it for weeks afterwards, but I cannot go back and look at that and say, by any means, that was an illegal hit,” Warner said. The hit, he said, “was in the confines of the rules, that he hit me square on, he didn’t hit me in the head, he hit me in the chest.”
Warner added that he “wasn’t looking and (McCray) got a great shot on me and it was a violent hit, but it wasn’t a cheap shot from that standpoint. So I look at that and say, well, it was what it was. It was part of the NFL, it’s part of the violence of the NFL and the hits that we take.”
When asked if he would have a problem with McCray having been paid extra for the hit, Warner said that he would.
“Whether you get paid or not, I definitely think there’s been players throughout the course of history that have gone out with the intent of trying to hurt someone, and I don’t think that is right,” Warner said. “I don’t think there’s any place in our game for that. You go out, you play hard.”