The Washington Post

Cris Carter, Bill Romanowski square off over NFL bounties

Cris Carter (right) with Reggie White in a 1995 game. (JIM MONE / AP)

“I’m guilty of it,” Carter said on ESPN Radio’s “Hill & Schlereth” show on Tuesday. “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.”

Carter described placing a monetary bounty on opponents as a self-preservation move.

“Protect me. ... Protect me from him. ... especially if he’s playing a different position where I can’t protect myself,” Carter, a former wide receiver, said. “I’d tell one of them guards, ‘Hey man, this dude is after me, man. Bill Romanowski.’ He told me he’s gonna me knock out before the game, in warmups. No problem. ‘I’m gonna end your career, Carter.’ No problem. I put a little change on his head before the game. Protect myself, protect my family. That’s the league that I grew up in.”

Romanowski called the comments by Carter, who played for the Philadelphia Eagles in the famous 1989 Thanksgiving Day “Bounty Bowl,” a fabrication.

“It is absolute fiction,” Romanowski said on “The Dan Patrick Show.” “If he could read my mind in pregame, yeah, maybe he had it right. But I didn’t talk before games. I was in the zone. I was focused. I was thinking everything I had to do to help our defense, to help our team win a football game. That’s all that mattered.”

And what did Romo say?

“I’d say something like ‘You’re going down,’ ” Romanowski said. “That’s about as much as I would say to a guy like that. Cris Carter, to me, at that point, he didn’t really mean anything. If it was a tight end or somebody that I really had to battle in the trenches with on every play it’s a different story, but he was a receiver.”

Bounties continue to be a topic of debate in the league, for many reasons. “If he put a bounty on me, it wasn’t very good because it didn’t work,” Romanowski said. “I just think this is his way of trying to make himself relevant for what is going on now.”

Follow us: @CindyBoren | @MattBrooksWP

More from Washington Post Sports

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Jason Reid: Bounties flourished in warped football culture

Mike Wise: Another player sheds light on ‘an ugly tradition’

Redskins offered bounties for big hits under Williams

Joe Gibbs: “I would never ask a player to hurt another player’

How widespread are bounties in the NFL?

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.

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