A former Minnesota Vikings defensive lineman denies he was an informant on bounty scandal after the New Orleans Saints allegedly put a bounty on Vikings quarterback Brett Favre.
Yes, the twisted (and neverending) scandal took another curvy turn on Wednesday when Jimmy Kennedy, the former Viking, denied he was one of those who turned in the Saints for trying to whack Favre. Confused yet?
In a memo distributed by the NFL, the league states: “Brad Childress, then Head Coach of the Minnesota Vikings, informed us that he believed that Saints players had placed a bounty on Vikings quarterback Brett Favre. In subsequent discussions, Coach Childress said that a Vikings player, Jimmy Kennedy, had told him that the Saints defensive unit had offered a $10,000 bounty on Mr. Favre and that Mr. Kennedy had identified Anthony Hargrove, then a defensive player for the Saints, as the source of his information. During the NFC Championship game between the Saints and the Vikings there were an unusual number of penalties for unnecessary roughness due to hits on Vikings quarterback Brett Favre, and fines of $30,000 were subsequently imposed on Saints players. "Our office promptly investigated this matter. We interviewed Coach Childress and Mr. Kennedy."
It certainly sounds plausible, right?
Well, Kennedy denied it all Wednesday night via his Twitter handle, according to Larry Holder of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, something that will only fuel conspiracy theorists out there. Why would the NFL make up the story? Good question. Why would Kennedy change his story? Good question.
Here is what Kennedy had to say about the matter in the Twitterverse:
“It's really starting to bother me. How can the NFL continue to say I told them about Bounty & they interviewed me? THIS DID NOT HAPPEN!"
"A memo sent to ALL 32 Teams, Stating I Snitched & said something about N.O bounty program. How can I do that as a VIKING?"
"This Sucks! I NEVER interviewed with anyone from #NFL, No NFL Security, Not Goodell, NO ONE!"
"My Integrity & Character means the world to me. I respect this game & my fellow players. I have always been a loyal Friend & Teammate."
"It bothers me that the respect of my Peers & Coaches is in Jeopardy because of this. So for the last time, I NEVER INTERVIEWED WITH THE NFL!"
"I NEVER TOLD ANYONE ABOUT A BOUNTY PROGRAM THAT I DIDNT/WOULDNT KNOW OF. I NEVER TALKED TO HARGROVE OR ANY SAINTS PLAYER ABOUT THE PROGRAM."
"HOW WOULD I KNOW IF SUCH A PROGRAM EXIST? I was a Viking at the time."
It wouldn’t be actually snitching, in our opinion, if Kennedy was trying to offer up information on an opponent. Maybe he doesn’t want to be viewed as a guy who turned in Hargrove? Who knows? It’s a shame the story has not been put to rest yet. The sense here is if the Saints were playing good football this season it would be much less of an issue. The Saints are stumbling at 1-4 and therefore the story remains front and center.
It’s a little difficult for us to imagine the NFL would fictionalize testimony from Kennedy and then share it with the NFL. But Kennedy is adamant.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune