Current Seahawks defensive end Anthony Hargrove has released a statement to SI.com in reaction to his name surfacing in connection with the league's investigation of a bounty program within the New Orleans Saints organization from 2009 to 2011.
Hargrove was a member of the Saints in 2009 and 2010, and played in the 2009 NFC Championship Game against Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings that ultimately led to the NFL opening its investigation into the Saints. Hargrove was fined $5,000 for a hit on Favre in the game, and in a recent story by SI's Peter King was reportedly overheard saying, "Favre is out of the game! Favre is done! Favre is done!" after the Minnesota quarterback suffered a sprained ankle.
The full text of Hargrove's statement appears below:
First of all, the purpose of this statement is simply to address the comments that have been made about me in the media. I will not address anything to do with anyone else but myself.
In regards to the hit I made on Brett Favre that has been talked about: it was one of about 5 times I got to him and the only one that was late. I agree it was a late hit, but in the heat of the moment I was simply trying to make a play. I can assure you that when I got up, I was thinking 2 things, one, that I cost my team, and two, that I might have just cost myself some money if the NFL fined me. To put things in perspective, I received a game ball for my play that day and yet got fined while receiving nothing and expecting to receive nothing for the play some keep referencing. Kudos to Brett, he even asked me if that was all I had! Gotta love him.
And in regards to my comments that have been talked about where I say that Favre is done, I readily agree that it sounds bad in retrospect. A lot of things look bad when we look back and realize how they sound. Trust me, I've said much, much worse. Heck, I probably say worse every day. But did I personally want Favre INJURED? Absolutely and categorically NO! Did I feel like we, the Saints, had a better chance of being in the Super Bowl with Favre on the sideline? Of course. Would the Patriots and their fans have probably been excited to see Eli on the bench with his foot up whispering that he was done? Would players on the sideline have made comments to that effect? Right or wrong, I'm guessing yes. Probably every Saints fan, player and coach got an adrenaline rush when thinking Minnesota might be in trouble. I said what many people were probably thinking, though maybe I said it in a way that sounded a bit too excited. Those who know me best know that I lean toward the animated side a bit. Okay, a lot! It's who God made me. I do regret saying it, though.
I have made many mistakes in my life and have paid dearly for some of them, and the late hit and the comments were both mistakes, in my opinion. But 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.