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Ex-Skins: Gregg Williams put up $15K cash to knock out Brad Johnson

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer
Gregg Williams celebrates a big block by the late Sean Taylor. (Getty Images)

Though the Saints have received their suspensions from the bounty program that run under former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, this story isn't going away any time soon. To wit: we now have a story about Williams (allegedly) throwing $15,000 on a table in order to take out then-Vikings quarterback Brad Johnson.

Said story comes from David Elfin of CBS DC and it quotes two anonymous players from the 2006 Redskins defense (we assume they're former players; only Lorenzo Alexander remains from that defense) that Williams oversaw.

"Gregg came in and dropped $15,000 on the (table) and said, 'Brad Johnson doesn't finish this game.'" one played told Elfin. "This is Wednesday and the money will go up later in the week. It could double or triple by the end of the week. A couple of guys kinda got excited. [Defensive line coach] Greg Blache said, 'If you get fined, it will be taken care of.'"

A second anonymous Redskins couldn't confirm the precise amount of cash smacked on the table, but did corroborate the "message" that Williams got across in the meeting. Reportedly, Johnson was targeted because he and Redskins owner Dan Snyder had a falling out as a result of Johnson departing Washington via free agency.

But he wasn't the only one: Seattle running back Shaun Alexander was also allegedly targeted.

"The same thing happened before our playoff game the year before against Seattle," a player told Elfin. "Gregg wanted us to get Shaun Alexander. Now it happened that [linebacker LaVar Arrington] knocked Shaun out of the game, but he was just playing hard. Unless it's a free shot at the quarterback, you have a really hard time trying to hurt a guy when you're making a play on the ball."

The interesting thing about these two instances is that no one was ever paid. (Allegedly? Still?) That's because Johnson was unhurt and, perhaps even more sadistically, the Redskins lost to the Seahawks.

So the message was: take out your opponents for cash, but you're not getting that cash if you're not man enough to win the game. Or something.

People keep talking about Williams as a "great motivator," but if that's the case, why did he need to drop $15,000 on the table to get his players pumped up? (And, where the hell did he get $15,000 cash anyway?)

Whatever, there are more important answers: namely whatever Williams will say to the NFL when they inevitably grill him about this situation and decide how it plays into his long-term fate as an NFL coach.
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