The League

Zach Leibowitz
Sideline Reporter

Zach Leibowitz

A former sideline reporter for ESPN

Put a Bounty Suggs


It's time for Roger Goodell and the league office to issue its own bounty on Terrell Suggs for actually using the term "bounty" on Hines Ward and Rashard Mendenhall. If you're out to intentionally injure someone, and idiotically decide to also announce it nationally, you should be suspended indefinitely. Ward has a reputation for getting under the skin of his opponents and has some career fines under his belt to prove it.

Is he a dirty player? I've never thought so. He plays the game hard, occasionally too hard, but never maliciously. There's no denying he seems to often hit his opposition when their attention is focused elsewhere. But his hits appear legal, such as the jaw-breaking shot on Cincinnati's Keith Rivers. It's above the waist and not from behind.

It's a tricky issue because it's football, it's a violent sport with injuries possible on every play. Playing the game includes hitting the opposition and hitting them harder than they hit you. But as professionals, it should be their duty to play this violent game passionately and intelligently.

When bounties are declared, then the line has been crossed. It's a lawsuit in the making if it weren't on a football field where there's an assumption of risk when stepping between the lines. We don't know how many bounties are issued in private. We hope there are none, but you can never officially know, unless someone actually declares it publicly.

That's where Suggs crossed the line and should be disciplined. Consider a suspension bounty on Suggs and you can be sure he'll change his approach knowing the league eyes are watching. Goodell needs to enforce his commitment to the safety of his players by holding these same players accountable. Maintain your league's credibility, Roger, crack down on the bounties and you can crack down on potentially career-ending injuries.

By Zach Leibowitz  |  October 24, 2008; 12:34 PM ET  | Category:  NFL Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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