Hargrove says Favre hit not bounty-related

Former Saints DL Anthony Hargrove said in a statement that he received "nothing" for his part in a high-low hit on then-Vikings QB Brett Favre in the 2009 NFC Championship Game, despite comments he reportedly made after Favre was injured on the play.

Former New Orleans Saints defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove released a statement Thursday in response to reports about his role in the now scrutinized 2009 NFC Championship Game between the Saints and Minnesota Vikings.

Under then-defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, the Saints had an organized bounty system that rewarded players for knocking Vikings quarterback Brett Favre out of the game. Hargrove was penalized and later fined for a late hit. A Sports Illustrated report said Hargrove celebrated by saying: "Favre is out of the game! Favre is done! Favre is done!"

While saying in the statement that "the late hit and the comments were both mistakes," Hargrove denied that either were motivated by a bounty. He said he "absolutely and categorically" didn't want Favre to be injured and received "nothing for the play some keep referencing."

"Players all over the league do the same thing every Sunday, make late hits and say stupid things. But I can say with absolute certainty that neither the late hit nor the comment have anything whatsoever to do with the issue being so hotly discussed in the media," the statement said.

Hargrove is a pending free agent after spending last season for the Seattle Seahawks.

The NFL's investigation became public Friday, and Williams admitted to running a bounty pool that rewarded players for knocking certain opponents out of games. The league is seeking to discover whether Williams, now the defensive coordinator of the St. Louis Rams, ran similar systems while a head coach or assistant with the Tennessee Titans, Washington Redskins, Jacksonville Jaguars and Buffalo Bills

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