Former New Orleans Saints defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove released an extensive statement today, refuting the allegation that the Saints' bounty program motivated him to put a late hit on Brett Favre in the 2009 NFC title game.
Hargrove said in the statement that "the late hit and the comments were both mistakes," according to ESPN, but denied the role of a bounty system. He added that he "absolutely and categorically" did not want Favre to be injured and received "nothing for the play some keep referencing."
Hargrove's Saints beat Favre's Minnesota Vikings, 31-28 in overtime, on Jan. 24, 2010 to win the NFC and advance to Super Bowl XLIV. Favre threw two interceptions, including a key one late in regulation to blow a potential win.
Hargrove apologized for hitting Favre and later gloating about it, but resented the extra scrutiny his hit has received lately because of the Saints' bounty scandal.
"Players all over the league do the same thing every Sunday, make late hits and say stupid things," he said. "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." Hargrove played for the Seattle Seahawks last season. He is currently a free agent.