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Arizona Cardinals

Updated May 2, 2012 - 12:46 pm

Warner didn't feel like target of cheap shot

The football world shook Wednesday morning following the announcement of the suspensions to four players in the wake of the New Orleans' Saints pay-for-performance/bounty program.

The NFL's official release made public Wednesday made reference to a $10,000 bounty put on Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner during their 2010 NFC Divisional Playoff game, won by the Saints 45-14.

In that game, following an interception thrown by Warner, Saints' defensive tackle Bobby McCray laid out the quarterback, knocking him from the game in the second quarter.

Warner eventually returned in the second half, but that proved to be his last game in the NFL as he announced his retirement two weeks later.

Warner joined Arizona Sports 620's Burns & Gambo Wednesday to discuss the findings that he was indeed a target of the Saints' bounty system.

"Were they hitting me hard? Sure they were," Warner said. "Were they trying to make it physical? Were they trying to knock me off my game? No question.

"But were they doing it within the realm of the game and was it any worse than any 10, 20, 30 other games that I played in where I really felt like players were going the extra mile to try to hurt me? I never felt that with the Saints' game. It never felt like those players were taking cheap shots at me to try to knock me out of the game."

It should be noted that no penalty was called on the play.

Warner also said things similar to this scandal have been going on for a long time in the NFL, but not this severe.

"I believe there's been defensive linemen in the locker room many a time that say 'first one to knock Kurt out of the game, I'm buying dinner.'

"I believe that stuff has gone on for years and years and years, and it wasn't the intention of taking a cheap shot. It was the intention of giving their team a benefit by knocking out a good player on the other team."

Commissioner Roger Goodell handed out an unprecedented one-year suspension to Saints' linebacker Jonathan Vilma, who offered the bounty reward on Warner.

"I was definitely surprised by the extent (of the suspensions), but at the same time I take a step back and say that I really shouldn't be surprised with the way Commissioner Goodell has made his impact on this league.

"I think all of these moves and all of these suspensions and everything he's doing in that regard is for the sole purpose to protect our great game moving forward and to make sure the integrity stays intact."


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