Report: Williams put $15,000 bounty on Brad Johnson in 2006
Everyone’s attention has been focused this week on the Saints after head coach Sean Payton and former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams were banished for the team’s bounty program. But the accusations that Williams doled out bounties aren’t limited to his time in New Orleans, and a new report offers some new details about the bounties that he allegedly oversaw during his time in Washington.
Citing multiple anonymous players, David Elfin writes at the Washington, D.C., CBS affiliate that when the Redskins opened the 2006 season against the Vikings, Williams (who was then the team’s defensive coordinator) made a specific point of telling his players to go after Brad Johnson, the Vikings quarterback who had previously played for the Redskins.
“Gregg came in and dropped $15,000 on the [table] and said, ‘Brad Johnson doesn’t finish this game,’” one player said.
Greg Blache, who was a defensive line coach under Williams at the time and later succeeded Williams as the team’s defensive coordinator, has said that he disliked and discontinued the bounty program. But Elfin quotes that same unnamed player as saying that in reality, Blache was offering players money to compensate them for any fines they got for illegal hits.
“Greg Blache said, ‘If you get fined, it will be taken care of,’” the player said.
Another unnamed player offered similar memories about Williams targeting Johnson before that Week One game in 2006.
“I can’t say for sure it was $15,000, but I definitely remember that happening before that Minnesota game,” the second player said. “And I can’t say for sure that those were G-Dub’s exact words about Brad Johnson, but that was certainly the message. I had never heard anything like that before from a coach, but I wasn’t shocked because that was G-Dub’s character, so in your face. His language was always X-rated and our meetings were usually pretty nuts.”
As it turned out, Johnson was not knocked out of the game, and he led the Vikings to a win over the Redskins. So Williams didn’t get what he wanted, and no players got that $15,000.