A situation viewed as a major NFL scandal has been, according to former Chicago Bears defensive lineman Dan Hampton, "part of doing business in the league since I got there 30 years ago."
Speaking during a promotional event at Jumer's Hotel and Casino on Thursday morning, Hampton said the bounty program constructed by the New Orleans Saints defensive unit is nothing new.
In fact, he said "it's part of the league."
Before rushing to judgment on those statements, Hampton said bounties reportedly orchestrated by the Saints were different than the ones he encountered during his career.
"They were basically amongst the players," said Hampton, a 2002 Hall of Fame inductee. "If we knock (former Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan) Marino out this week, we've got a lot better chance of winning."
A reward for that, Hampton said, was a meal after the game, not cash. The bounty also was not organized by coaches or management, but those inside the locker room.
"There was no ill-intent, no injury stipulation," Hampton said.
What has caused the biggest controversy since the Saints' defensive bounty was reported last week is the fact the players funded the program with the intention of knocking targeted players from the game. Hampton, like most players who publicly have made comments on bounties, said most were designed to limit the opposition's top player.
"Last time I checked, all the great players always knew who they had to stop. In essence, it was an undisclosed bounty," Hampton said. "That's the way it went."
Hampton was outspoken on the topic and did not shy away from offering his opinion. The frustrating part, from his perspective, is what's happened since the news broke.
"All these players that won a championship two years ago want to run out like rats off a ship, spill their guts, starting turning state's evidence and pointing to (former defensive coordinator) Gregg Williams and saying he's the guy," Hampton said. "I just think the integrity of the whole locker room maxim -- what happen's here stays here -- has been violated."
Has the NFL's image been violated with the controversy and subsequent chatter? Given that question, Hampton offered some humor.
"The last time I checked, these so-called 'trained killers' who were offered bounties couldn't stop (San Francisco 49ers tight end) Vernon Davis (in the NFL playoffs)," Hampton said. "Maybe they should have started giving bounties for making a tackle because Vernon Davis gutted them and beat them and kept them from advancing maybe to the Super Bowl. That defense ... could you tell they had a bounty system the way they played? I'd say, 'It ain't working. They need to up the bounty because they weren't hitting anybody.'"
Investigations made by the NFL suggest the bounty system did happen this year and the previous two. With so much emphasis being put on player safety during that span, most believe the Saints and those associated with the program will be punished severely.
"You've got to think what the purge that (commissioner) Roger Goodell has had with the NFL with violent conduct, that he's going to do something about this," Hampton said. "There's going to be a price to be paid."
That does not necessarily mean the so-called bounty system will get eradicated. Asked if bounties still were prevalent in the NFL, Hampton said, "sure it is."
"It's a tongue-and-cheek way of identifying the best players on the opposition," Hampton said. "If you knock out some third-stringer, nobody cares. It's the really good players. The good players are aware of it."
Today is Monday, May 20, the 140th day of 2013. There are 225 days left in the year. 1863 -- 150 years ago: A petition is being circulated asking the city council to order awell bored in Market Square. It would be a great accommodation to the public. 1888 -- 125 years ago: At 1 p.m. on May 18 the Mississippi River flooded its banks atRock Island and destroyed the warehouse of the Rock Island Lumber Co. and damagedRock Island Arsenal power plant. Total loss is estimated at $100,000. 1913 -- 100 years ago: Residents of Sough Rock Island Township are circulating apetition favoring the annexation of that area to the City of Rock Island. 1938 -- 75 years ago: A group of state members of the National Grandmothers Clubmeeting in Rock Island are making plans to petition for the observance of a NationalGrandmothers Day. 1963 -- 50 years ago: Deere and Co. reported today that its U.S. and Canadian sales forthe first half of the 1963 fiscal year set an all time record of $323,716.628. 1988 -- 25 years ago: William G. Lawrence, first administrative director, has retired fromPECO Enterprises, Inc. Prior to his service at PECO, Mr. Lawrence was the civilianpersonnel officer at the Rock Island Arsenal.