Former NFL player Barrett Green is suing the Washington Redskins and former assistant coach Gregg Williams, alleging a career-ending knee injury is the result of a bounty program where Redskins coaches (including Williams) encouraged players to intentionally injure opponents.
Green played linebacker for the Detroit Lions and the New York Giants from 2000-2005, and said a career-ending knee injury during a game on Dec. 5, 2004 was the result of an “unusual, outrageous, and an obvious cheap shot.”
Williams, a native of Excelsior Springs, Mo., became defensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints in 2009 and was considered the ring leader of the bounty scandal that led to one year suspension by the NFL prior to last season, when Williams was hired by Jeff Fisher to run the defense for the Rams.
Redskins coaches and players reported that Williams offered cash rewards for big hits and other plays – a violation of NFL rules – when he was coaching Washington’s defense from 2004-07. The league investigated Williams’ conduct with the Redskins and with other teams where he had coached, but he was on punished for his actions while with the Saints.
Green’s lawsuit also names former Redskins player Robert Royal, a tight end who hit Green and caused the injury. The lawsuit claims Royal “intentionally lowered his helmet and dove into” Green’s knees “at full speed,” during that 2004 game. Green had to be helped off the field, and the lawsuit claims the alleged bounty program would have rewarded the hit as “either a `knockout’ or a `cart off.’”
Despite the fact that Royal played on offense, the suit also cites that he played on some defensive plays and therefore would have been coached by Williams.