Notebook: Carter says he had bounties

Former Vikings receiver Cris Carter said he put bounties on players to protect himself and teammates. He explained the process while he was with the Vikings. Plus, the Spygate fallout continues, Suggs has surgery and even first-round picks are signing.

Former NFL wide receiver Cris Carter admitted in an interview on Tuesday that he put bounties on opposing players during his playing career.

"I'm guilty of it," Carter said on ESPN Radio, according to NBC Sports'

"It's the first time I've ever admitted it. But I put a bounty on guys before. I put bounties on guys. And the guys tried to take me out, a guy tried to take a cheap shot on me, I put a bounty on him, right now."

The league has handed out a number of suspensions recently for alleged involvement in a bounty system with the New Orleans Saints. Saints coach Sean Payton and linebacker Jonathan Vilma have been suspended for the entire 2012 season, and former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was suspended indefinitely.

Carter said that when he was with the Minnesota Vikings the bounties weren't used "to maim or hurt" opponents, only to protect the Vikings' stars, such as quarterback Daunte Culpepper and wide receiver Randy Moss.

Carter said if he heard a defensive player was going after him, he would "put a little change on his head before the game" so his team's guards would "protect" him.

Carter mentioned former linebacker Bill Romanowski as an example.

"Protect myself, protect my family," said Carter. "That's the league that I grew up in."

Carter said other player used bounties when he played.

Carter played for the Philadelphia Eagles in 1989 when Eagles coach Buddy Ryan allegedly put bounties on Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman and kicker Luis Zendejas. The league never found proof bounties were involved in that game.

"I saw guys getting wiped out, guys going for the money," Carter said of that game

Ravens' Suggs has Achilles surgery

Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs had successful surgery on Tuesday to repair his torn Achilles tendon.

"Terrell (Suggs) had a successful surgical procedure done on his Achilles tendon this afternoon by Dr. Bob Anderson in Charlotte, (N.C.)," Ravens general manager Oxzzie Newsome said in a statement. "After some recovery time, 'Sizzle' will begin the process of rehabbing the area. We know he will work hard to get back on the field with his teammates as soon as the doctors and trainers allow.

We're confident that he can make a full recovery."

It is anticipated that it will take Suggs 4-6 months to recover, and it was speculated that he would miss the entire 2012 season. However, Suggs has said he wants to try to return by mid-season.

Suggs started 16 games last season and had 14 sacks.

Vitt denies instructing Hargrove to 'play dumb'

Saints interim head coach Joe Vitt denied instructing defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove to "play dumb" when questioned by NFL security about the team's bounty program.

Vitt told the New Orleans Times Picayune that conversation never took place.

"At no time did I ever tell Anthony Hargrove to lie or deny the existence (of the alleged bounty program)," Vitt said. "He can say whatever he wants to say. It just didn't happen."

Hargrove's signed declaration was published by Yahoo Sports on Monday. Vitt acknowledged the pay-for-performance program was in place but denied it was a "bounty" program.

"We had a pot for big plays, the same thing everyone else in the league has, now they call them pay-for-performance. But we never paid for dirty hits," Vitt said. "I'll say it again, the exact same thing I told the commissioner, our players never crossed the white lines with an intent to maim or injure. They never threatened the integrity of the game when they crossed the white lines."

Hargrove, now with the Packers, was one of four players suspended in the bounty scandal fallout, filed for an appeal by Monday's deadline. Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, defensive end Will Smith and Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita also filed appeals after being suspended. Hargrove's admission was reportedly signed on April 13.

In the document, Hargrove said that on approximately Feb. 24, 2010, he was called to a meeting with Williams and, after initially talking about him starting at defensive end, the conversation centered around denying that the team ever used bounties.

The signed document, a graphic of which was posted by Yahoo, said, in part: "Williams said he was going to deny the existence of any bounty on any player to the NFL, and I should deny it, too. Coach Vitt also said he was going to deny the existence of any bounties. Coach Williams said: "Those (obscenity deleted ...referring to NFL) have been trying to get me for years," and if we all "stay on the same page, this will blow over."

The NFL's investigation into the bounty scandal cited "multiple independent sources" who confirmed that Vilma offered specific cash bounties for any player who knocked Kurt Warner or Brett Favre out of their respective playoff games during the Saints' Super Bowl run following the 2009 season.

Hargrove signed with the Packers this spring after playing for the Seahawks in 2011. He was suspended eight games. In its May 2 statement, the NFL reported that Hargrove had been untruthful to investigators about the bounty program, but submitted a signed declaration to the league that established both the existence of the program and his participation in it.

Per the labor agreement between the NFL and the players' association, the appeals will go directly to commissioner Roger Goodell. If his suspension is upheld, Vilma will not be eligible to be reinstated until after the Super Bowl in 2013. Smith was suspended for first four games of 2012 and Fujita for the first three games.

Chargers sign Ingram, two other picks

Linebacker Melvin Ingram, defensive end Kendall Reyes and center David Molk signed four-year deals with the Chargers.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Ingram was the 18th overall pick in the NFL Draft last month after racking up 19 sacks over the past two years at South Carolina. His deal includes a team option for a fifth season, standard for first-round picks.

Reyes, a three-year starter at UConn, was a second-round pick. Molk, who won the Rimington Award at Michigan as the nation's top center last year, was selected in the seventh round.

Viking Update Top Stories