It's been more than a year since NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended defensive coordinator Gregg Williams for his role in the Saints bounty scandal, and five months since Williams was reinstated -- and promptly hired by the Titans.
And on Monday, we saw the first lawsuit related to the bounty scandal: According to Tulane law professor Gabe Feldman, former NFL linebacker Barrett Green is suing Williams -- then the Redskins' defensive coordinator -- and former Redskins tight end Robert Royal for a knee injury Green suffered during a 2004 game between the Giants and Redskins.
According to the complaint (via Feldman), "Redskins coaches directed their players to disregard criminal and civil laws, as well as NFL rules, to intentionally injure opponents."
Specifically, the lawsuit claims that Royal “intentionally lowered his helmet and dove into” Green's knees “at full speed.” Green claims that Williams' pay-for-performance program was the impetus for Royal's low hit that ultimately ended Green's career. Green called the hit an “unusual, outrageous and an obvious cheap shot.”
Royal was lined up at tight end on the play but, according to the suit, had played some defense and had been coached by Williams.
There has been no proof that Williams had a bounty program anywhere other than New Orleans, but in September 2011, former Colts coach Tony Dungy traced a Peyton Manning neck injury to a 2006 game. The opponent? The Redskins. And the defensive coordinator? Gregg Williams.
Coincidence isn't proof, of course. More via Feldman:
Complaint doesn't contain any new evidence of bounty scheme. Green alleges he was "suspicious that Royal may have purposely targeted him."— Gabe Feldman (@SportsLawGuy) July 8, 2013
Crux of Green's claim: "Vicious and unprecedented battery was outside the rules of the game and was in violation of criminal & civil law"— Gabe Feldman (@SportsLawGuy) July 8, 2013
Players consent to violent contact as part of playing football. Green has to connect a lot of dots to have any chance of case surviving— Gabe Feldman (@SportsLawGuy) July 8, 2013
According to CBSDC, both the Redskins and Green's attorney declined to comment on the suit.
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