GREEN BAY, Wis. -- NFL officials are investigating whether Green Bay Packers players offered payments to teammates for achieving specific defensive goals.

League rules prohibit teams and players "from offering or accepting bonuses to a player for his or his team's performance against a particular team, a particular opposing player or players, or a particular group of an opposing team."

League spokesman Greg Aiello confirmed the investigation Monday.

ESPN reported that Packers defensive backs offered to pay the team's defensive linemen $500 each if they were able to hold Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson under 100 yards rushing two weeks ago, and another $500 for holding Carolina to under 60 yards rushing as a team on Sunday.

Peterson was held to 45 yards rushing before he left the Vikings' Nov. 11 loss to the Packers with an injury. But the Panthers rushed for 131 yards in Sunday's loss to Green Bay.

Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Monday morning he was not aware of the situation, but had not yet spoken to general manager Ted Thompson.

"I have no knowledge of that," McCarthy said. "I have not been made aware of that. I haven't talked to Ted today, so if it's something that happened this morning, we have not spoken." Packers players were not available to the media on Monday after their 31-17 victory over Carolina.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.

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