NFL investigating Packers for having bounties; Peterson was one target

  • Article by: ASSOCIATED PRESS
  • Updated: November 19, 2007 - 11:45 PM

NFL officials are investigating whether Green Bay Packers players offered payments to teammates for achieving specific defensive goals.

NFL officials are investigating whether Green Bay Packers players offered payments to teammates for achieving specific defensive goals.

League rules prohibit teams and players "from offering or accepting bonuses to a player for his or his team's performance against a particular team, a particular opposing player or players, or a particular group of an opposing team."

League spokesman Greg Aiello confirmed the investigation Monday.

ESPN reported that Packers defensive backs offered to pay the team's defensive linemen $500 each if they were able to hold Vikings running back Adrian Peterson to fewer than 100 yards rushing two weeks ago, and another $500 for holding Carolina to under 60 yards rushing as a team on Sunday.

Peterson was held to 45 yards rushing before he left the Vikings' Nov. 11 loss to the Packers with an injury. But the Panthers rushed for 131 yards in Sunday's loss to Green Bay.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Monday morning he was not aware of the situation.

General Manager Ted Thompson later said the team was cooperating with the inquiry and thought the players might not have known about the rule.

"We, certainly in management, knew of the prohibition on something like that," Thompson said. "We're not convinced the players knew about it, and that would be a communication snafu and that would be my responsibility."

Former Packers great Jim Ringo dies

Jim Ringo, a Hall of Fame center who played 15 seasons for the Packers and Philadelphia Eagles, died Monday morning after a short illness. He was two days shy of his 76th birthday.

The Packers drafted Ringo out of Syracuse in the seventh round in 1953. He played for Green Bay until 1963, then was traded to Philadelphia by Packers coach Vince Lombardi after bringing an agent with him to Lombardi's office to negotiate a new contract.

Ringo played for the Eagles from 1964-67. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1981. Ringo was voted to 10 Pro Bowls and was chosen for the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 1960s. He started in a then-record 182 consecutive games from 1954-67.

Etc.

• Donovan McNabb's knee is getting better, but he has other problems now. The five-time Pro Bowl quarterback is uncertain to play for the Eagles at New England next Sunday because of a sprained right ankle and swollen thumb. "Both are day-to-day situations," coach Andy Reid said.

• Tampa Bay linebacker Cato June was arrested early Monday and charged with drunken driving several hours after the team returned from a victory in Atlanta.

June, who turned 28 Sunday, was stopped by police shortly before 3 a.m. because they said he was driving above the speed limit. He refused to take a breath test and was booked into the Hillsborough County Jail, where he remained for more than seven hours before being released on $500 bond.

• Broncos running back Travis Henry missed his second consecutive game Monday night against Tennessee because of a partially torn posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. The Titans were without two starters on defense in tackle Albert Haynesworth (right hamstring) and cornerback Nick Harper (concussion).

• Seattle coach Mike Holmgren said quarterback Matt Hasselbeck (sore ribs) is unlikely to practice this week before Seattle (6-4) takes its NFC West lead to St. Louis (2-8) on Sunday, but he will start against the Rams.

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