The beauty of books; they offer a lot of room to reveal information.
Artis Hicks was an offensive lineman for the Minnesota Vikings in the late 2000s. He said that they had a system to reward players financially for causing harm to opponents.
Deadspin released an excerpt from Jeff Pearlman’s biography on Brett Favre, “Gunslinger,” and Hicks said that the Vikings had a system similar to the one that got New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton suspended for a season.
“It was part of the culture,” Hicks said in the book. “I had coaches start a pot and all the veterans put in an extra $100, $200, and if you hurt someone special, you get the money. There was a bottom line, and I think we all bought in. You’re there to win, and if taking out the other team’s best player helps you win, hey, it’s nothing personal. Just business.”
The Saints’ Bountygate scandal had to do with their defense being rewarded for making big hits and causing harm to opposing players. During the playoffs they hit former Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner so hard that he was forced to retire. In the next round they seemed out for blood against Brett Favre and the Vikings. The Saints hit Favre every chance they got and left him with a severely swollen ankle.
Their defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was suspended indefinitely. He was reinstated after a year and is currently the defensive coordinator for the Los Angeles Rams.