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Friday, March 9, 2012
Examining the tape of Saints-Packers

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

Earlier Friday, we noted an email New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton received from marketing agent Mike Ornstein that offered a $10,000 bounty for knocking Green Bay Packers quarterback out of the teams' season-opening game in 2011. I invited you to take a second look at the game in search of evidence that Saints players followed through on a bounty, and Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel beat all of us to it.

Silverstein notes that Rodgers got good protection from his offensive line while also throwing off three-step drops for much of the game. But, Silverstein writes: "[T]here was no sign the Saints went out of their way to hurt him."

There are two distinct issues here. One is whether Saints players tried to hurt Rodgers illegally. Another is a friend of the franchise offering money to a head coach, even if it was in jest, for knocking Rodgers out of the game. Neither instance should be acceptable to the NFL.