Kurt Warner #13 of the Arizona Cardinals warms up prior...

Kurt Warner #13 of the Arizona Cardinals warms up prior to the 2010 NFC wild-card playoff game against the Green Bay Packers. (Jan. 10, 2010) Credit: Getty Images

Former Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner was one of the targets of Saints’ defensive players who intentionally tried to hurt him, according to an NFL investigation into a bounty system the Saints used during the 2009-11 seasons. Which comes as no surprise to Warner himself, who thinks that the Saints aren’t the only team to have used a bounty system to encourage defensive players to hurt opposing players.

“It’s definitely disappointing, but I won’t say that I’m completely surprised,” Warner told Burns and Gambo of KTAR in Phoenix.  “And, again, not necessarily the Saints, but I’m not surprised that there were teams out there doing those kinds of things behind closed doors.”

Warner said he didn’t know of any bounty systems while he played in the NFL, but he added that “there’s no doubt” players are aware of the injury report and want to send players out of the game.

“I think that’s part of the game, and I think that’s part of the mindset,” he said. “And I’m not going to tell you that I haven’t believed that there was probably defensive players that got together and said, ‘Hey, you know, a thousand bucks for the first guy to knock Kurt out of a football game.’  I’m sure that’s been a part of our league for a long time.”

Warner was hit by Saints defensive lineman Bobby McCray and was briefly knocked out of action late in the first half of the Cardinals’ NFC divisional playoff round loss to the Saints in New Orleans. He returned in the second half, but was later removed in the fourth quarter.

“It was a violent hit, no question,” Warner said.  “But I also believe it was a legal hit.”

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