“It caught me by surprise. But with me knowing some of the guys on the Saints, I know they are good guys,” Newton said on the Times’ video. “So you can’t really believe all what the media makes of it. But it’s still, golly, why is this being mentioned? Like they say, where there’s smoke there’s fire. But I just can’t understand it.”
Newton also mentioned concern about the livelihood of players who were targets of the bounty system.
“If I’m a running back, if I’m a receiver, if I’m a linebacker, if I’m a D-tackle, you always have to respect that other person’s career because they’re feeding families just like I’m trying to feed my parents,” Newton told the Times.
“And if you take those joints, those ligaments away by taking a cheap shot, it’s bigger than one, little ‘Yes, we took down their starting quarterback.’ This quarterback can’t even throw no more because you took a late hit on him. Yeah, it’s 15 yards. But you’re limiting this guy’s whole career.”
The Saints were flagged for hits on Newton 3 times in their two games against the Carolina Panthers, and Newton was not injured during either game. Some player and coach reactions to the Bounty penalties has been that the punishment of Sean Payton’s year-long suspension was deserved, although he is appealing the decision next Wednesday.
I tend to agree with those coaches, after reading the March Sports Illustrated story on the Bounty Scandal, and hearing that Sean Payton not only allowed the program to continue, but then lied to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and then told his staff to cover it up. When you lie to the commisioner of the league about an issue regarding player safety, you cannot expect him to be lenient toward you in his punishment.