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Allen applauds decision on bounty discipline

The Sports Xchange
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--The most unusual move of the offseason was a quiet one that probably won't pan out, but would be a credit to the team's scouting department if somehow it did.

Nick Taylor, a former point guard at Florida International University, caught the team's attention while working out at FIU's pro day.

Two days later, Taylor was at Winter Park going through a private workout. The team signed him to a three-year deal after the workout.

Taylor's only notable football experience came last year in a minor arena football league. But he also ran the 40-yard dash in 4.34 and 4.27 at FIU's pro day.

The Vikings are looking at him as a potential cornerback, return man and possibly receiver. At 5-10, 165 pounds, he's obviously a very long shot.

--Vikings All-Pro defensive end Jared Allen applauded the harsh punishment that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell dealt to Saints management for their bounty program that went on from 2009 to 2011.

The Vikings' loss to the Saints in the NFC Championship Game in January 2010 played a big role in this story. The NFL's investigation revealed that Saints linebacker and defensive captain Jonathan Vilma placed a $10,000 bounty on quarterback Brett Favre.

Favre wasn't knocked out of the game, but was roughed up throughout the game and did badly injure his left ankle on an illegal hit by lineman Bobby McCray. McCray wasn't penalized on the play, but the league later fined him $20,000 and said he should have been penalized for the hit.

Allen doesn't believe the bounty played any role in the team's loss. But he was glad to hear the commissioner came down hard on the Saints.

"I think it was necessary because there needs to be strong punishment any time a coach or a player thinks they can take someone else's career into their own hands and purposely do something that could end it," Allen said. "We all play hard. But to give bonuses for carting someone off the field? Man, that's just wrong. There's no place for that in the NFL, and I think it's now safe to say you won't be hearing about bounties in the NFL ever again."

--Punter Chris Kluwe, the team's leader when it comes to clever and overly enthusiastic Twitter participation (@ChrisWarcraft), went on a colorfully-worded tweeting rant the day the commissioner handed down his punishments. Kluwe praised the commissioner, ripped those who criticized bounty whistle-blowers and reminded his followers that the Saints' attempted cover-up needed to be factored into the equation.

"Commish sent the right message. It's one thing to break the rules. It's a completely different one to consistently lie about it for 3 years," Kluwe tweeted.

--Defensive end Brian Robison also praised the commissioner, but told Vikings fans to blame the loss on the team's five turnovers and other mistakes rather than the bounty on Favre.

"I know people have said we lost the game because of the bounty, but I disagree," Robison said. "You can say there were some iffy calls, like the pass interference on Ben Leber in overtime. ... But as far as the bounty being a factor? Nah. I just think there were a lot of other reasons we lost that game."

QUOTE TO NOTE
"We turned the ball over five times, we had 12 men in the huddle at the end. We did all kinds of things to ourselves that had nothing to do with bounties or anything like that." - All-Pro defensive end Jared Allen, when asked what he thought about the growing argument that the Vikings lost the NFC Championship Game during the 2009 season because the Saints had placed a bounty on quarterback Brett Favre.

Copyright (C) 2012 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

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