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Gregg Williams is Being Sued But What Does it Mean?

Former NFL linebacker Barrett Green has sued Gregg Williams and the Washington Redskins over an alleged "bounty" hit. What does it mean and does he stand a chance? Let's take a look.

Gregg Williams remains the face of the bounty scandal
Gregg Williams remains the face of the bounty scandal
Chris Graythen

Titans defensive coach Gregg Williams has been named a party to a lawsuit filed by former NFL linebacker Barrett Green per reports from sports law attorney Gabe Feldman. Also named in the lawsuit are the Washington Redskins and former Redskin Robert Royal. A copy of the lawsuit is not yet available, but I will post a link when it becomes public.

The lawsuit arises from the 'bounty" scandal uncovered while Williams was defensive coordinator of the New Orleans Saints. Multiple punishments were issued as a result of the NFL's investigation into the scandal, and Williams would go on to serve an indefinite suspension from coaching in the league until he would be hired by the Titans on February 8, 2013. Williams was the defensive coordinator for the Washington Redskins in 2004 when Green suffered his alleged injury.

Green was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the second round of the 2000 NFL Draft. He played for the Lions until 2003 when he left to join the New York Giants where he played from 2004 to 2006. It was while he was playing with the Giants that he suffered the 2004 knee injury that is apparently the subject of the lawsuit. That injury allegedly occurred in week 13 against the Redskins on December 5, 2004.

Robert Royal is a tight end and either injured him on special teams or during a play on which he played defense. These allegations are not yet clear. Williams is alleged to have influenced all the coaches to teach illegal hits designed to injure players. As I have not yet seen the lawsuit, these are allegations gleaned through multiple reports.

Green did miss some playing time that year due to injuries as well as discipline issues but that occurred prior to the alleged injury. The week before the alleged injury, he was ejected from a game against the Philadelphia Eagles for throwing a punch at Eagles linebacker Jeremiah Trotter. Green would play in week 14 against the Baltimore Ravens and register 1 tackle. It appears he was active in week 15 but he did not register any stats. I am looking for injury reports from that time and will update if I find any evidence of a reported injury.

He would play the first 6 games in 2005 before ending up on injured reserve on October 26, 2005 for an ankle injury. He would be signed by the Houston Texans on May 23, 2006 to a one year deal but he would be released on August 28, 2006 after another injury this one to his groin. During his career, Green sustained a variety of injuries including the knee injury, ankle injuries and a recurring groin problem.

According to his foundation website. The Barrett Green Foundation, he is a 2005 graduate of the Entrepreneurial Educational Program at Harvard. It appears he is active in the Miami-Dade Community. Former mayor Roscoe Warren is listed as one of the Board of Directors for his foundation.

Regarding the lawsuit, I find it unlikely this lawsuit will survive or be successful. For one thing, the delay in filing could be fatal. There are timelines for filing and in Maryland it is 3 years and his injury occurred on December 5, 2004. He is arguing that he can file since he first learned of the bounty program in 2012. That may be true but he allegedly knew he had an injury in late 2004. He would be out of the league due to injuries by 2006. Did he ever ask for an injury settlement? Did he ever receive one? I have so many questions.

Whether or not he asked for one the process through which he would have been compensated for any injury was though the Collective Bargaining Agreement. This issue arose several years ago when David Givens sued the Titans and that lawsuit was ultimately dismissed just for this same reason. In my humble opinion, his remedy was through the CBA and if he failed to take advantage of that remedy then he would appear to be out of luck.