Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Berry should be careful with bounty talk
By James Walker
Bounties are a very sensitive subject in the NFL. Pretty much the mention of the word from any pro football player is sure to capture headlines.
That was the case with Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry. He injured his knee in Week 1 and was lost for the season against the Buffalo Bills when receiver Steve Johnson blocked him low. The block was deemed legal and didn't draw a flag.
But following the discovery of the New Orleans Saints' bounty scandal, Berry recently tweeted "Sometimes I sit [and] wonder if they had a bounty out on me ... oh well ... who cares. Either way [you] can't hold me down."
Berry this week was asked about the tweet by reporters.
"They got the tape out there, you can make your own opinion," Berry said. "I mean, my opinion is my opinion. People are going to take it how they want to take it anyway."
Regardless of Berry's stance, he needs to be more careful with bounty talk. He shouldn't make public accusations against Johnson or any player unless he's absolutely sure. For example, the NFL did a thorough investigation into the Saints that took years to uncover.
Johnson is not known to be a dirty player and denied the hit was intentional in the past. Hopefully, Berry isn't setting a new and dangerous precedent, where every NFL player who suffers a significant injury will publicly accuse an opponent of trying to collect a bounty.