Apparently, Williams has been using bounties a lot longer than that.
And he used them in Buffalo.
Coy Wire told the Buffalo News--along with three players who requested anonymity--that Williams offered cash bonuses for hits that injured opponents.
"That's real," Wire said. "That happened in Buffalo."
The NFL announced Friday that Williams rewarded Saints defensive players not only for big plays such as interceptions or quarterback sacks, but also with bounties -- knocking opponents out of games. Williams admitted to the allegations and apologized in a statement late Friday.
"There were rewards," Wire said of his stint in Buffalo, which began in 2002 during Williams' second season as head coach. "There never was a point where cash was handed out in front of the team. But surely, you were going to be rewarded. When somebody made a big hit that hurt an opponent, it was commended and encouraged."
Neither Wire nor the anonymous players admitted to receiving any payments and none revealed any details of the payment system.
One of the anonymous players told the News he believed bounties were happening on many teams and for a long time.
Wire says the Bills did not have bounties under Mike Mularkey or Dick Jauron and he realized the bounties were wrong after Williams left and the regime changed in Buffalo.
"What Williams did was wrong, and I know that now," Wire said. "My sense of normalcy was warped. I thought what I was doing was right."