By Michael Donovan


Philly fave Brian Baldiner got hammered by the NFL Network —suspended for six months without pay for suggesting the Eagles put a “bounty” on Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott.

The 57-year old Baldinger made the remark to on 97.5 the Fanatic before the Cowboys’ 29-23 win over the Eagles Sunday night.

Said Baldinger about the rookie Cowboys running back:

“This is the guy that that we’ve got to hurt. This is the guy that we’ve got to take out of the game. There’s got to be 10 guys that want to hurt him every single play. In fact, we may even put a little bounty on Ezekiel Elliott.”

He even echoed the Saints former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, saying “you want to cut off the head to kill the body.”

Baldinger, a former Cowboy, was immediately roasted on social media. Particularly by Cowboys fans.

He tried to laugh off the criticism on Twitter by saying his comments were “tongue-in-cheek.”

Then he tried to explain himself in a subsequent interview with 97.5 by saying he was playing the role of a “fictitious coach” — and that the remarks were taken out of context.

But criticism of Baldinger continued to grow given the severe punishment handed down to the Saints by Commissioner Roger Goodell over “Bountygate” in 2012. Not to mention the league’s emphasis on the threat to players from concussions and CTE.

Apparently, Baldinger’s explanations fell on deaf ears with his bosses at NFL Network, which is owned by the $13 billion league.

“If you work for the NFL Network … you are actually an NFL employee,” noted Mike Greenberg on ESPN2’s “Mike and Mike in the Morning” Tuesday. “The NFL went after the Saints and basically destroyed the franchise for Bountygate and all the rest of that. Now here you have an NFL employee saying, ‘Well, what I think the Eagles need to do is put a bounty on Ezekiel Elliott.’ That’s a very interesting thing to me.”

Elliott was not bothered by the pregame hype. The NFL’s rushing leader ran for 96 yards on 22 carries and picked up another 52 yards through the air.

Baldinger, who played for both the Cowboys and Eagles, has been an analyst for NFL Network for the past six seasons. A former Fox analyst, he currently works on the NFL Network’s “Playbook” show as well as “NFL Total Access.”

His suspension is believed to be the longest in the 13-year history of the NFL Network.

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