Friday, March 23, 2012
Another Viking rips on Saints
By Pat Yasinskas
Minnesota punter Chris Kluwe isn’t the only member of the Vikings to say that New Orleans linebacker Jonathan Vilma should be permanently banned by the NFL for his role in the Saints’ bounty program.
NFC North colleague Kevin Seifert reports Minnesota center John Sullivan agreed with Kluwe on Vilma and also said former Saints Darren Sharper and defensive end Bobby McCray also should receiver harsh penalties. Sullivan was a first-year starter in the 2009 season, when the Vikings played the Saints in the NFC Championship Game. In its report announcing the Saints’ punishment, the league said Minnesota quarterback Brett Favre was a specific target of New Orleans defenders in that game.
"If you want to offer money to knock somebody out of a game on a clean hit, fine," Sullivan said. "But the guys that went after it in the wrong way, that's the exact opposite of sportsmanship. It's just disgusting. To think that you're going to take money to hit someone illegally and hurt them out of the game, I can't even fathom that somebody would do that."
Sullivan talked about McCray’s hit on Favre after a second-quarter handoff and implied that at least one of Sharper’s hits on Favre was illegal.
"I really think if you go back and look at that game, anybody who took a shot at Brett illegally and you can see with the intention of trying to injury him [should be banned]," Sullivan said. "And the big two that come to mind are Sharper and Bobby McCray. They've got to do something to those guys too, whether it's no Hall of Fame [or] you're not allowed to be associated with the NFL anymore. I have a hard time talking about it. It just disgusts me that you would go out there and try to hurt somebody and take away their livelihood. It' s just gross."
Sullivan also questioned the suspension of New Orleans general manager Mickey Loomis for the first eight games of the season. Loomis will be allowed to continue in his job throughout the offseason, including training camp and most of the preseason. Loomis’ suspension will start when NFL rosters are cut down to 53 players just before the start of the regular season.
"Seems like it would be more effective as a punishment during the draft," Sullivan said.