According to David Elfin of CBS DC, a Washington D.C.-based CBS affiliate, in 2006, after Brad Johnson left the Redskins and returned to the Vikings for his second stint, Williams put a bounty on him. Williams, who was the Redskins' defensive coordinator at the time, dropped $15,000 on a table with the instruction that "Brad Johnson doesn't finish the game," according to an unnamed player source in Elfin's article.
In the debut of new Vikings head coach Brad Childress, Johnson was making his first start as a reunited member of the Vikings and Williams was looking to make an impression in the season-opening Monday night game.
As it turns out, nobody collected on the bounty. Johnson led the Vikings to a 19-16 win in the season opener and Johnson finished the game. Perhaps Williams knew what he was doing, because Johnson had a solid game and led the Vikings to the win.
Elin said another player couldn't confirm that it was $15,000, but did confirm that Williams offered the bounty – which the player said he had never heard of prior to that.
As the backlash of the Williams suspension comes forward, it's becoming clearer all the time that the bounty program not only existed when he was in New Orleans, but had ties back to his days in Washington and Buffalo. It's one thing to target elite quarterbacks like Favre, Kurt Warner, Aaron Rodgers and Cam Newtown, but also players like Johnson, who was a former teammate of many of the Redskins on the roster at the time.
It can only be imagined that, as more former Williams players come forward, the implication is going to be even more damning.
For now, Williams is under an indefinite suspension and can likely apply for reinstatement after one year. After more information comes to light and the depth of his bounty program gets fleshed out, the question before commissioner Roger Goodell may end up being, , will the NFL ever want him back in the fold?
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.