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Porter joins Broncos, puts Saints' 'bounty' scandal behind him

DENVER -- The defensive back who once helped deny Peyton Manning his second Super Bowl title now wants to help the veteran quarterback hoist another trophy.

Tracy Porter picked off a Manning pass in the Super Bowl two years ago and raced 74 yards for a touchdown, sealing the win for the New Orleans Saints.

That solidified Porter's legacy as a playmaker.

But the ensuing bounty scandal might just ultimately tarnish his tenure with the Saints.

Porter is looking to turn the page on the controversy in New Orleans and start fresh in the Mile High City, even if he maintains the Saints were simply playing the game. The choice of the word "bounty" still perturbs Porter.

"The thing that I will say about it is the whole label of 'bounty' is absurd," Porter said Friday in an introductory conference call after signing with Denver. "There's definitely no bounty on any player out there in the game. We were just playing football. For that term to come out, 'bounty,' I definitely think it was a bit harsh. But the league investigated and they felt they made the right decision.

"Who am I to come in and say they didn't make the right decision in issuing out the consequences for what they investigated?"

The league cracked down harshly on the Saints in the wake of their illegal program that rewarded players financially for trying to injure opponents. Head coach Sean Payton was suspended without pay for next season and general manager Mickey Loomis for eight games. Former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, now with St. Louis, also was banned indefinitely.

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Any fear of more repercussions by the league down the road?

"I don't know if they brought it to any players or not, but I was not one of them," Porter said. "The only thing I can do is focus on free agency and moving on, you know, to get in the best situation for myself. I did that by coming to Denver."

On his visit to the Broncos facility earlier this week, Porter ran into none other than Manning, who was hard at work in the weight room as he continues to rehab from a series of neck surgeries.

Porter thought about casually mentioning the interception in the Super Bowl following the 2009 season, but figured it was still a sore subject. He didn't want to get off on the wrong foot with the new leader of the team.

That's a conversation for another time.

"I'm sure (the interception) will eventually come up," Porter said with a laugh. "First visit, I wanted to find out where each other's focus was, as far as helping this club win."

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press

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