Suggs The Bounty Hunter: The Issue Of Targeting Players In The NFL

Eddie RossellCorrespondent IOctober 25, 2008

There are certain players in the NFL that others around the league want to get a hit on. One of these players is Hines Ward, one of the toughest to play the game.

Recently, Ward has been in the spotlight because of some fines he received from the commissioner concerning a few unnecessary roughness plays he was involved in. Some thought these fines to be uncalled for, namely Troy Polamalu.

But since Ward has always been known to play hard all the way until the whistle and sometimes deliver big hits on opposing defenders, he has become sort of a target for many players around the league.

On an Atlanta radio station this past week, Terrell Suggs of the Baltimore Ravens was asked if the team had a bounty out on the Steelers' Rashard Mendenhall who had been talking trash in the week that led up to the Steelers Monday Night matchup against the Ravens. "The bounty was out on him and the bounty was out on (Ward). We just didn't get him between the whistles." said Suggs.

Terrell Suggs did issue a statement in which he said that he did not have a bounty on Ward or Mendenhall and that he misspoke when he was talking about the bounty.

This still brings up the issue of bounties in the NFL.

A bounty is any payment or reward (especially by a government) that is given for doing a special job like hunting a dangerous animal, catching a criminal, or enlisting in the military.

This means that no player may receive money for doing something in a game like going after a specific player or knocking someone out.

There is no place in sports for bounties. Period. If you are going to go out and purposefully injury someone or possibly end someone's career then go and get money for it, that's ridiculous.

I am not saying that the Ravens' defense wanted to end Mendenhall's season, which they did, but that if there was some sort of bounty on him for talking trash they should be heavily punished.

If Hines Ward was fined $15,000 for unnecessary roughness penalties, then how much do you think they'll penalize for bounties?

Hines Ward was on PTI on ESPN and was asked about Terrell Suggs' comments concerning bounties. Ward is known well for always being happy and having a smile in his face. Hines didn't get upset at all for Suggs' comments, he actually was joking about it. Ward joked about the rule and said that Terrell Suggs should read it and he had piece of paper with a fake rule on it. It was sort of comical.

But all joking aside, the only place for bounties is when it involves a criminal. It would be completely uncalled for a coach or owner to pay a player to hit another player on purpose. There is absolutely no place for things like that in sports, at any level.