Suggs tries to clarify use of word 'bounty' in interview; is warned by NFL

Updated: October 25, 2008, 7:08 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs says he "misspoke" when he used the word "bounty" in a radio interview about the Ravens' defense targeting members of the Pittsburgh Steelers during their Week 4 game.

The NFL has warned Suggs any further comments or on-field actions indicating participation in bounty activity could result in "significant disciplinary action," a league spokesman told The Baltimore Sun.

The Ravens linebacker was notified in a letter Friday from Ray Anderson, the NFL executive vice president of football operations.

In an interview earlier this month on the "2 Live Stews" nationally syndicated radio program, Suggs used the word "bounty" to describe how the Ravens were going to go after Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall and wide receiver Hines Ward.

Mendenhall injured his shoulder on a hit by the Ravens' Ray Lewis during the game, which the Steelers won, and is out for the season.

But despite Suggs' comments on Wednesday explaining what he meant, the issue has not gone away. The NFL, which does not allow bounties on players, said it would investigate the situation.

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"When I did the ["2 Live Stews"] radio show in Atlanta, that's what I meant and I thought that's what I said," Suggs said, according to the statement issued Friday by the Ravens. "I did repeat the word bounty early in the interview after the guy asking me the question used the word. That was a mistake. I misspoke, and I'm sorry for that. "

During the "2 Live Stews" show on Oct. 17, when asked, "Did you all put a bounty out on that young man [Mendenhall]?" Suggs replied: "Definitely. The bounty was out on him and the bounty was out on [Ward] -- we just didn't get him between the whistles."

Friday, Suggs said he and his fellow players do not put out bounties on other players.

"We, the players, don't pay each other to take another player out of the game. And you know coaches don't do that," Suggs said, according to the statement. "As I said before, we prepare to stop the other team's best players every week. Those are the players who can beat you with big plays.

"For example, we've focused all this week on stopping the Raiders' running backs. We've focused on them in practice and in meetings. They are marked men by our defense -- we have to know where they are on every play, and we can't let them get rolling on Sunday."

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