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Was Seahawks' Then-MVP RB Shaun Alexander Targeted In Bounty System?

Fairly interesting reports coming out of Washington DC this week if you're Seahawks fan, as CBS DC's David Elfin published some quotes that indicated former-Redskins and Saints defensive coordinator Gregg WIlliams had put a bounty on then-MVP running back Shaun Alexander. The Seahawks were facing the Redskins in the playoffs that year on their eventual run to the Super Bowl in 2005.

In Elfin's story, he explains some player accounts of Williams' persona and style when it came to the bounty system he ran, which paid players a purse for taking an opposing player out of the game, as long as it came in a win.

"The same thing happened before our playoff game the year before against Seattle," the player recalled. "Gregg wanted us to get (Seahawks MVP running back) Shaun Alexander. Now it happened that (linebacker LaVar Arrington) knocked Shaun out of the game, but he was just playing hard. Unless it's a free shot at the quarterback, you have a really hard time trying to hurt a guy when you're making a play on the ball." Besides, the player added, the veterans didn't take Williams' over-the-top tactics very seriously.

The payout was never given though, as the Seahawks won and continued rolling through the playoffs.

ESPN Seahawks blogger Mike Sando did a little investigating.

I've re-watched the game this morning and found nothing unusual about the hits Washington put on Alexander. Alexander didn't seem to take a significant blow to the head on the play in question, though he remained on the ground for an extended period. Arrington appeared to land a more significant blow to Alexander's head area on a draw play earlier in the game, but Alexander popped up instantly and appeared fine.

"That last play was kind of the finisher," Alexander said at the time. "It was one of those plays where you're not sure whether it was a shoulder or a knee. I just got hit in the right spot. That's the thing about football; it is a game of inches."

An interesting development, though ultimately water under the bridge. One more anecdotal piece that shows pretty much every team was somehow involved in this whole scandal.

For more on the Seahawks, head over to Field Gulls.