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Manning says so-called bounties 'can't be a part of football'

New York GiantsEli Manning sounded off on the New Orleans Saints' "bounty" program Monday, saying such things "can't be a part of football."

"I know the importance of a defense trying to get to the quarterback, get sacks, get hits on the quarterback. That's part of the game," Manning said, according to the New York Daily News.

"But when you start talking about injuring a guy and carting him off and trying to end his season or career, that's not what this game is about. I think we should have more respect for the game than that. It can't be a part of football."

"Obviously it is a big deal, what's going on," Manning continued. "It's not good for football and can't be a part of football. I know (NFL Commissioner) Roger Goodell will do a good job figuring all this out and making sure this doesn't happen again."

Manning and his teammates were out on the town in Times Square on Monday night to watch the premiere of the Giants' Super Bowl championship DVD.

Safety Antrel Rolle said the Giants have no bounty system, and called the Saints' alleged actions are "not good character."

"You never want to go out there with the intention to actually injure another opponent," Rolle said. "You do what you've got to do within the fine lines of football."

Manning didn't have a problem with any hits during the Saints' 49-24 victory over the Giants in Week 12 last season, but veteran Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks mentioned a hit by Saints safety Isa Abdul-Quddus that left him with bruised ribs.

"The way he was celebrating you would probably think that (there was a bounty)," Nicks said, before adding that he believes there probably wasn't.

"Some dudes thrive off big hits like that and it gets the momentum going," Nicks said. "They're going to do it. I don't think that's going to change in this game."

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