Joe Horn: Falcons had bounties, too


Will Roger Goodell have another investigation on his hands with the Falcons? No, says this writer.

Joe Horn is a New Orleans Saint.

No matter who Joe Horn played for at the end of his overrated career, Joe Horn will always be a New Orleans Saint.

So when Joe Horn allegedly spilled the beans today, confessing that the Falcons had a bounty system in 2007 for defensive knockouts, it’s really hard to see anything other than the Joe Horn who proclaimed, while with the Saints in the early-2000s, that the Falcons and Saints didn’t have a rivalry, because the Falcons’ mediocrity kept it from becoming such.

First of all, this seems like interesting timing, considering the Saints were just drawn and quartered by the NFL today, finding out that head coach Sean Payton would be suspended for the entire 2012 season due to their bounty system.

Now, Horn was with the Falcons in 2007 after spending many, many years before that with the hated Saints. I was never a huge fan of the awkwardness that ensued, but I guess I got some twisted happiness out of that, because we had one of their guys. We were holding Joe Horn hostage from the Saints.

I guess we should have never let him out of our sight.

The 2007 season was a bad one for the Falcons. They found out Michael Vick would be heading for jail, and cut him. They hired Bobby Petrino, but he bailed on the franchise in the middle of the season.

And we had to deal with Horn, who never seemed like the best apple in the batch.

But, as the report suggests, this isn’t the same situation as the Saints because this happened five years ago. They can’t punish the coach or players who were involved in the alleged bounties because they don’t work for the Falcons anymore. It seems like the Falcons were in a bad way with worse people — they employed Joe Horn for god’s sake — but they are in a much better place these days.

We really can’t say the same for the Saints, no matter how much quarterback Drew Brees proclaims he knew nothing of the bounty program.

My personal belief is that the bounty system accusations were sour grapes by Horn, and even if they were actually doling money out for injuring players, I doubt that defense was making a lot of extra cash because they were horrible.

Who knows if any of the Saints were on the Falcons’ bounty list anyway (and it doesn’t sound like there were Falcons players on the Saints’ bounty list that obviously carried into last season, since Cam Newton was one of the players listed). And … and … 2007 was years before the recent studies came out that showed how devastating head injuries were to players who suffered them. The most shocking thing about any bounty program that still occurs is the fact that they’re doing it with the knowledge of how dangerous those hits are.

Nice try, Joe. Hopefully, your snitching of the Falcons will land you in the Saints Hall of Fame, because it’s the only Hall of Fame you’re ever getting into.

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