NFC West: Marcus Williams
May, 9, 2012
By Mike Sando | ESPN.com
A young Bill Romanowski famously infuriated teammate Harris Barton and others by taking undue shots at Jerry Rice during San Francisco 49ers practices.
With that in mind, it should come as no shock to hear that an opponent might have slapped a bounty on Romanowski's head back when NFL mayhem went largely unregulated.
That doesn't mean it happened.
To review, Cris Carter says Romanowski threatened to injure him early in a game.
Carter says he bought protection for himself by offering free dinners for offensive linemen if they could get him through the game unscathed.
It's the latest opportunity to misapply the word "bounty" to an NFL scenario, and it's predictably happening.
Carter's comments have brought Romanowski, a two-time Super Bowl winner with the 49ers, back into the news as a corollary to the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal. I'm struggling to see the connection. How about you?
Offering cash for intentionally inflicting injuries on specific players bears little relation to one teammate looking out for another in the manner Carter described.
While Romanowski has denied he made injury threats, Carter would have been justified taking seriously any promises Romanowski might have made.
Romanowski's reputation as a dirty player had roots in his days with San Francisco. "Romo" left little doubt through subsequent actions while with Denver and Oakland, including the time he spit in J.J. Stokes' face and attacked teammate Marcus Williams.