Cris Carter says Vikings had bounty system

The New Orleans Saints are in big trouble over an illegal bounty system their defensive players and coaches organized and operated from 2009 to 2011.

But according to Vikings legend Cris Carter, the Purple weren't strangers to bounties during his playing days, which ended in 2002.

In an ESPN interview, Carter says he put bounties on defensive players. "If a guy tries to take me out, a guy takes a cheap shot on me? I put a bounty on him right now!"

When a defensive player told Carter he was out to hurt him, CC would "tell one of them guards, 'Hey, man, this dude is after me, man," he said.

Carter cited the example of a game against the Denver Broncos and wildman linebacker Bill Romanowski. Before the game, Romanowski approached the Vikings and said 'I'm gonna end your career, Carter,' CC told ESPN.

"I put a little change on his head before the game. Protect myself. Protect my family," Carter said. "That's the league that I grew up in."

Carter makes it sound as though bounties were a common occurrence during his playing days. He suggests they were especially popular means of protection for players who have a hard time protecting themselves on the field, like offensive linemen and quarterbacks.

But the bounties he's familiar with from his playing days didn't involve payments for injuries, Carter said. By contrast, according to the NFL, Saints defensive captain Jonathan Vilma offered up to $10,000 to any player who hit Brett Favre so hard he couldn't return to action during the 2009 NFC Championship Game.

Said Carter: "The league we grew up in, the bounty was based on protection, big hit, excitement or for helping your team win. It wasn't to maim or hurt the dude."

Since none of Carter's teams ever made it to the Super Bowl, perhaps in hindsight it would've been a good idea for him to open his wallet a little wider for those "helping your team win" bounties. We bet Vikings fans could've found it in their hearts to forgive him.

Related coverage:
-- Saints dealt stiff punishment for Favre bounty
-- Chris Kluwe blasts Saints for Bountygate scandal [Q&A]
-- Saints were paid bounty to injure Brett Favre during 2010 NFC Championship
-- Cris Carter calls Randy Moss quitter; Moss fires back on Twitter
-- Cris Carter: Snubbed by Pro Football Hall of Fame, again [VIDEO]

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