Former NFL Player Sues Redskins Over Knee Injury
By Jessica Gresko
WASHINGTON — A former NFL player is suing the Washington Redskins and former assistant coach Gregg Williams, saying a career-ending knee injury is the result of a bounty program where Redskins coaches encouraged players to intentionally injure opponents.
Barrett Green, a linebacker who played for the Detroit Lions and the New York Giants between 2000 and 2005, says a career-ending knee injury during a game on Dec. 5, 2004 was the result of a bounty program and a ”unusual, outrageous, and an obvious cheap shot.”
After leaving the Redskins and spending one season with Jacksonville, Williams became defensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints in 2009 and was considered the mastermind behind the bounty scandal that led to unprecedented sanctions from the NFL. He was suspended for one year by the league and is now a senior defensive assistant with the Tennessee Titans. The lawsuit also names former Redskins player Robert Royal, the tight end who hit Green.
Redskins coaches and players told The Associated Press in 2012 that Williams also offered cash rewards for big hits and other plays – a violation of NFL rules – when he was coaching Washington’s defense from 2004-07. But they differed on whether it was a true bounty scheme that targeted specific players. The NFL investigated Williams’ conduct with the Redskins and with other teams where he had coached, but he was sanctioned only for his actions while with the Saints.
Green was playing for the Giants when he first injured the knee Oct. 31, 2004 in a game against the Minnesota Vikings. He missed nearly a month then returned to play in three more games, including Dec. 5 against the Redskins.