The Washington Redskins are asking a judge to dismiss a former NFL player’s lawsuit that accuses the team and former assistant coach Gregg Williams of running a bounty program that encouraged players to intentionally injure opponents.
The ex-player, linebacker Barrett Green, says he was targeted by the Redskins during a game on Dec. 5, 2004, resulting in a career-ending knee injury. Green was playing for the New York Giants at the time. He played for New York and for the Detroit Lions between 2000 and 2005. He filed a lawsuit earlier this year against the Redskins, Williams and the player who hit him, Robert Royal.
The team said in a response filed Friday in federal court in Greenbelt, Md., that Green’s claims are “utterly baseless.” But, even if they were true, his lawsuit is pre-empted by an NFL collective bargaining agreement and was filed too late, lawyers for the team wrote.
The team argues that an NFL collective bargaining agreement in place at the time required Green to exhaust grievance and arbitration procedures before filing a lawsuit, which he did not do. The team also says the statute of limitations for all Green’s claims is three years from the time of his injury. Green said in his lawsuit he was suspicious he may have been targeted when he was hit in 2004, and team lawyers wrote he had enough information then to pursue his claims if he wanted.
The allegations of a bounty program came to light more recently. Redskins coaches and players told The Associated Press in 2012 that Williams offered cash rewards for big hits and other plays – a violation of NFL rules – when he was coaching Washington’s defense from 2004 to 2007. But they differed on whether it was a true bounty scheme that targeted specific players.
Williams’ conduct in Washington was investigated, but didn’t result in sanctions. Instead, he was suspended by the NFL last year for being the mastermind behind a bounty scheme at another team, the New Orleans Saints, where he was defensive coordinator from 2009-2011. Williams is now a senior defensive assistant with the Tennessee Titans.
PACKERS: Put together another record financial year.
Team officials announced Tuesday they took in a record $308.1 million in total revenue over the last fiscal year, up 2 percent from 2012. The team also generated a record $54.3 million in profit, up 26.4 percent, and a record $43.1 million in net income.
BENGALS: Signed defensive end Carlos Dunlap to a five-year contract extension worth $40 million.
Dunlap’s contract would have expired after this season, but it now runs through 2018. His agent, Drew Rosenhaus, says Dunlap gets $20 million over the first two years in a deal with incentives.
Dunlap had 55 tackles and six sacks in 14 games last season.
OBITUARY: Jon Richardson, the oldest son of Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson and the former president of the team’s stadium, died Tuesday following a lengthy fight against cancer, the team said. He was 53.
In a statement, the team called Richardson “a great friend of many people throughout the organization” and said he played “an integral role in the history of the Panthers” in the construction of Bank of America Stadium.
Richardson was president of Panthers Stadium LLC from its inception in 1994 until his resignation in 2009.