Tony Dungy Claims Tennessee Titans Had a Bounty on Peyton Manning

Jeff ChaseSenior Analyst IIMarch 2, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS - OCTOBER 22:  Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts lost his helmet after getting hit while he threw a pass  during the NFL game against the Washington Redskins on October 22, 2006 at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Colts won 36-22.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Well, leave it to former Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy to continue to find the root of the cause of Peyton Manning's lingering neck injury.

In the wake of the whole New Orleans Saints "bounty program"—one in which former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was running a "pay-for-performance" system that gave benefits to players for hurting their opponents—many more situations are starting to link together.

The Tennessee Titans, back in 2000 under Jeff Fisher, apparently also used bounties. Williams was a part of that coaching staff as well.

According to NBC Sports' Mike Florio, in reference to the Titans having bounties on players, Dungy texted him: “I know they had them in Tennessee.”

The connection goes even further, as Dungy reported earlier this year on Football Night in America that the injury that may have resulted in Manning's neck problems came in a game against the Washington Redskins back in 2006.

Williams ran that same Redskins defense, which apparently was running a similar system to that of the Saints and Titans.

While Dungy wasn't sure if they used the system in Washington as well, he feels pretty confident that it was used in Tennessee.

That said, Dungy emphasized that he doesn’t know whether the Redskins were using bounties under Williams.  But, Dungy was clear in his belief that the Titans used such a system.

While Dungy wasn't so sure about the Redskins' use of the system, the continued release of new information tells otherwise.

According to The Washington Post's Marke Maske:

The Washington Redskins had a bounty system for big hits on opponents under former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams that was similar to the one revealed by an NFL investigation of the New Orleans Saints, four players who played under Williams said Friday.

The reports will likely continue to pile on, but it is interesting to see the connection between this situation and Manning's. Williams obviously made a point to make sure his players took stars like Manning out of the game, and perhaps he has ended a man's career as a result.

Williams has a lot more explaining to do, and it remains to be seen how the NFL's investigation will go.


Jeff Chase is a Featured Columnist for the Chicago Cubs and Arizona State football.