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Four suspended for Saints’ bounty program, Vilma for all of 2012

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has lowered the hammer on four New Orleans Saints players who were involved in the team’s bounty scandal, with Jonathan Vilma leading the way and getting one of the most significant suspensions in NFL history.

Vilma has been banished for all of 2012, effective immediately and through the Super Bowl, for his role in the bounty scandal. Vilma reportedly put $10,000 cash on the table in the team’s meeting room and said the cash would go to anyone who could knock Brett Favre out of the NFC Championship Game in January of 2010.

Anthony Hargrove, who’s now with the Packers, was given an eight-game suspension after the NFL said that he, too, targeted Favre in the NFC Championship Game. The NFL says that Hargrove eventually admitted his role in the team’s bounty program, but that at first “Hargrove also actively obstructed the league’s 2010 investigation into the program by being untruthful to investigators.”

Will Smith was suspended four games. The NFL says he worked with former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams in setting up the bounty program.

Browns linebacker Scott Fujita is no longer in New Orleans, but he was given a three-game suspension for his role in the bounty program when he played for the team.

“It is the obligation of everyone, including the players on the field, to ensure that rules designed to promote player safety, fair play, and the integrity of the game are adhered to and effectively and consistently enforced,” Goodell said in the league’s statement. “Respect for the men that play the game starts with the way players conduct themselves with each other on the field.”

Goodell has said he believes players were not just participants at the behest of Williams, but were actively encouraging and celebrating the bounties. The NFL Players’ Association has signaled that it does not agree with Goodell’s assessment. Vilma, Hargrove, Smith and Fujita all have the right to appeal.

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272 Responses to “Four suspended for Saints’ bounty program, Vilma for all of 2012”
  1. bigwinintx says: May 2, 2012 11:59 AM

    You knew what you were doing was wrong and you did it anyway.

    No complaints about this, none from me at all.

  2. ubb44 says: May 2, 2012 11:59 AM

    Everyone should have got the gate for the season, not just Vilma.

    Nice team you got there New Orleans. The Taints.

  3. rooneyruleblues says: May 2, 2012 11:59 AM

    LOL. wow. What I would pay to see Drew Brees face right now.

  4. rushmatic says: May 2, 2012 11:59 AM

    Holy crap. I’m not sure what to think of that.

  5. moagecu says: May 2, 2012 11:59 AM

    All deserved

  6. dawkinseffect says: May 2, 2012 12:00 PM

    glad to see him drop the hammer

  7. iamwhodat says: May 2, 2012 12:00 PM

    That’s it, four players? What happend to the 27 that was reported? Roger Goodell is a joke.

  8. blacknole08 says: May 2, 2012 12:01 PM

    Serves them all right. Can’t wait to play the saints in week 2. Cam and smitty will be licking their chops.

  9. mf7krime says: May 2, 2012 12:01 PM

    Boom. F the Saints.

  10. canedaddy says: May 2, 2012 12:01 PM

    Excessive but not surprising. Goodell is a clown.

  11. cakemixa says: May 2, 2012 12:01 PM

    Is that all you’ve got, Goodell? Half the players aren’t even on the team anymore, and Vilma was likely to be replaced anyway.

  12. rolltide510 says: May 2, 2012 12:02 PM

    Sort of like seeing Fujita on the list. He tends to act pretty holier then thou with his Berkeley politics, glad to see its “progressive” to take out ACLs.

  13. rayburns says: May 2, 2012 12:02 PM

    Cue Saints supporters in 3..2..1

  14. thebigkahuna23 says: May 2, 2012 12:02 PM

    How does that line from Superbad go? Prepare to be f***ed by the long d*** of Führer Goodell?

  15. ubb44 says: May 2, 2012 12:02 PM

    Drew Brees needs an explanation please.

  16. blacknole08 says: May 2, 2012 12:02 PM

    Oh, and drew brees wants an explanation.

  17. pixelito says: May 2, 2012 12:02 PM

    Any Saints fans out there still want to predict this team for a Superbowl? :)

    WHO DAT!

  18. lolb23 says: May 2, 2012 12:02 PM

    Every game ever won with Vilma in the line up in an * including the Super Bowl.

  19. duanethomas says: May 2, 2012 12:02 PM

    One man is Judge, Jury and Executioner. The NFLPA if it wasn’t lead by a professional midget in a hat should have negotiated some of that power away from Goodell. Nevertheless they deserved it.

  20. clawledge says: May 2, 2012 12:02 PM

    Drees Brees wants an explanation…

  21. irishgary says: May 2, 2012 12:03 PM

    Hargrove is no longer in New Orleans as well.

    Hope Prima Donna Brees agrees with the suspensions.

  22. 513guy says: May 2, 2012 12:03 PM

    Vilma still got off easy.

  23. djrando7 says: May 2, 2012 12:03 PM

    I had a feeling Vilma would get a lot more than the 4 games all of the analyst said he would. He deserves EVERY bit of what the two coaches got. He carried out their acts. As the CAPTAIN of the defense, he should have put a stop to it INSTANTLY.

    I am in no way, or will I ever be, a fan of the Saints, but I feel bad for their fans. They didn’t deserve this. I know they Saints fan base loves Payton and Vilma, but if they were part of my team, I would never want them to be part of my team again. This is a major slap in the face for everyone that has played them in the last three years.

    Final thought, look for Brett Favre to take Vilma, Hargrove, Fujita, and Smith to court for criminal violations. These four players could end up getting jail time for this.

  24. saint4life says: May 2, 2012 12:03 PM

    not as bad as i thought, only two are current saints players. Goodell can still kiss my WHO DAT azz!!!!!
    Figured Vilma would get a year though

  25. nflsucker says: May 2, 2012 12:03 PM

    When you think of how much money and pain they could have cost another player by ending their careers, it actually seems like a light response.

  26. sdisme says: May 2, 2012 12:03 PM

    This tells us what we have been knowing things got carried away in 2009 and there is no evidence beyond 2009.

    Sean Payton, Mickey Loomis & Joe Vitt were disciplined for a different crime. Come on media do your due diligence.

  27. wludford says: May 2, 2012 12:03 PM

    More players should be involved in this.

  28. dat504 says: May 2, 2012 12:03 PM

    Lmao. This is some bull, but it won’t hurt us at all. These suspensions will be cut in half thru appeal

  29. ilovefoolsball says: May 2, 2012 12:03 PM

    Really not that bad for the Saints. They already signed replacements for Vilma, Will Smith will be a loss but not as bad as if they would’ve lost some players in the secondary.

    Still even with these punishments the question remains WHERE IS YOUR EVIDENCE?

    If you keep repeating something that doesn’t make it true. If Vilma “reportedly” did what you say then surely you have some kind of proof other than just someone’s word.

    AND DON’T SAY THAT G WILLIAMS AND S PAYTON ADMITTED TO BOUNTIES. That’s the biggest crock of you know what that’s ever been uttered. They admitted to a pay for performance system, which many teams have used before, but never did anyone admit to a pay for injury scheme.

  30. nunpuncher says: May 2, 2012 12:03 PM

    Drew Brees demands an explanation.

  31. tialen says: May 2, 2012 12:04 PM

    I can’t wait for James Harrison to give someone else a concussion with this precedent now set.

  32. lolb23 says: May 2, 2012 12:04 PM

    Where are all the inbred Saint fans still looking for evidence? Hint – it aint in your sisters pants.

  33. kathyisintheroom says: May 2, 2012 12:04 PM

    Go ahead and appeal. Now lets see just how much fight the union really has in them.

    Getting suspended for just doing your job? Puh-lease.

    EVERY player on defense around the league tries to put the quarterback out of the game, money or no money involved. If you say they don’t your naive or lying.
    Even high School teams try to get the opposing star out of the game.

    And for all the clueless nimits that say the Saints “cheated”……. please explain how they cheated?
    Name one player they knocked out of a game.
    Name one instance of illegal video taping.

    I have news for you, the PATRIOTS cheated, not New Orleans.

    Haters will always hate, but at least APPEAR to be an intelligent hater.

  34. jimbobobjr says: May 2, 2012 12:04 PM

    Whether the suspensions are deserved or not, GODell is drunk on his own power.

  35. dal24la says: May 2, 2012 12:04 PM

    I agree with iamwhodat, only 4 of the 27 got any punishment? Sounds like the players “not in leadership positions” came out of this whole scandal swimmingly. No one knows there name and they (allegedly) got paid for their bounties.

  36. kevpft says: May 2, 2012 12:04 PM

    Only four players, only three on the current roster? Sounds like the Saints got off light on this stage of the punishment. If they’re smart, they’ll take this without a peep and count themselves lucky.

  37. bigredjbird says: May 2, 2012 12:04 PM

    Message sent loud and clear. Good job Roger. Oh, and to the players, good luck on you appeals! LOL!

  38. matthewcarlson1 says: May 2, 2012 12:05 PM

    So can Sean Payton and Vilma have Saints viewing parties? Or is that illegal?

  39. 49erdynasty says: May 2, 2012 12:05 PM

    In comparison to the coaching suspensions this is relatively mild, but apparently “players were participants too.”

  40. fijabbersman345 says: May 2, 2012 12:05 PM

    100% deserved. Drew Brees wants an explanation.

  41. saint4life says: May 2, 2012 12:06 PM

    im sure they will appeal also and let the lawyers fight for them too

  42. longhairdontcare66 says: May 2, 2012 12:06 PM

    It’s not like we all didn’t see that coming. The problem is not the bounty- it probably happens all over the league. The problem is, they got caught Micky Loomis was personally notified to stop the bounty program and he did nothing. Roger Goodell had to make an example out of this situation- especially after the recording before the 49ers game.

  43. flavordave says: May 2, 2012 12:06 PM

    Major overeaction. commish gone wild.

  44. NationalFlagFootballLeague says: May 2, 2012 12:06 PM

    hahahahaha…that’s it???
    SWEET!!!!
    Vilma is washed up anyway. Barely played last year. Will Smith the actor is better at DE than the guy we overpaying now and the other two aren’t even with the Saints anymore.

    Way to go Mickey Loomis for signing all those LB’S in the offseason. We got it covered
    Now, sign Drew and we’re back in the Super Bowl in 2013

  45. djrando7 says: May 2, 2012 12:06 PM

    That is another thing. How long until The President of the United States of America Drew Brees (what he thinks he is in his own head) demands and EXPLANATION!????

    Such a moron.

    I wonder if Drew “King of New Orleans” Brees is even going to be playing this year. He won’t sign any contract that doesn’t say he is the highest paid sports athlete in the world. Looking for 39 million a year. All of it guaranteed. But, he is not greedy.

  46. glac1 says: May 2, 2012 12:06 PM

    Just as I thought… they got off with a slap on the wrist. The league continues to coddle the franchise and city of New Orleans.

  47. footballace says: May 2, 2012 12:06 PM

    The Saints got the NFL version of the death penalty.

  48. wezalo says: May 2, 2012 12:06 PM

    Sad only four players. Shows you can cheat and it doesn’t matter cause you still get your ring. Sad day for football. They all should be striped of their rings and never allowed to play again.

    How dat gonna stop them cheats!!!!

  49. rob0527 says: May 2, 2012 12:07 PM

    Good move by Goodell.

  50. stlsteelerfan says: May 2, 2012 12:07 PM

    Remember when Terrell Suggs accidentally admitted the Ravens had a bounty on Hines Ward? (and then said he didn’t mean to say it that way, which made the NFL go away). Now that the Saints happened, I wonder if the NFL is looking back into that….

  51. jackericsson says: May 2, 2012 12:07 PM

    Forever known as the Taints!

  52. davidbrookings1 says: May 2, 2012 12:07 PM

    @ iamwhodat – Goodell (RG1) is hardly a joke. He is a strong commissioner. He’s hardcore and made an example out of the Saints that nobody will forget. You don’t think teams will think twice before imposing bounties on players from now on? I do

  53. KIR says: May 2, 2012 12:07 PM

    How can you hold the employees to the same or higher standard as the supervisors?

  54. mcjon22 says: May 2, 2012 12:07 PM

    Another great role model from ‘Da U’

  55. whodat2 says: May 2, 2012 12:07 PM

    Lol, 4 players….2 on the current roster. #championship ……weak NFL, such a big scandal – so blatant – you found 4 guilty of 28….yahtzee!!

  56. kuantan97 says: May 2, 2012 12:08 PM

    I’ve often wondered what motivates the “punish them to full extent of the law” attitude that permeates the mass of yahoos out there. Is it because their lives are so pathetically insignificant that they long for anyone successful to be brought down, that they need a certain quota of heads to satiate their own inner sadist?

  57. frankrizzo51 says: May 2, 2012 12:08 PM

    Bang bang Maxwell’s silver hammer came down upon his head.

  58. ottomanismydog says: May 2, 2012 12:08 PM

    Only reason they’re suspended is because is a sue-able offense. Spyware was 1000 times worse.

    This NFL doesn’t care about player safety, they care about minimizing the legal action and the player payouts for medical bills in 2025.

  59. iseek11 says: May 2, 2012 12:08 PM

    It’s hard to contend that the bounty program was just a byproduct of a rogue coach when players are gleefully prancing around during games shouting “Give me my money! Give me my money!!” and “Favres out!! Favres out!!”

    Now the league can move on. The players can begin to put this behind them. They all know whether they tolerated, participated in, or actively encouraged the bounties. No doubt not all were punished. But now everyone can focus on football and moving forward.

  60. mcjon22 says: May 2, 2012 12:09 PM

    “I got 10 grand for whoever takes Goodell out”

    Jonathan Vilma

  61. str8cashomie2 says: May 2, 2012 12:09 PM

    Anthony Hargrove no longer with team either

  62. pastabelly says: May 2, 2012 12:09 PM

    Typical ESPN on this one. Bayless and Smith calling these suspensions egregious because all of the power was with the coaches. I’ll buy that up to the point that these guys were putting their own ante into the bounties. Once they start doing that, it makes their participation in this activity a bit more on the active side and not just taking orders from Williams. John Harbaugh will now blame the Patriots for this.

  63. breadslicer says: May 2, 2012 12:10 PM

    Drew Brees wants…ahh nevermind.

  64. armyofbastards says: May 2, 2012 12:10 PM

    Maybe just fines for the remaining 23 (of 27) players?

  65. dwreck21 says: May 2, 2012 12:10 PM

    I am glad to get a little redemption from that NFC Championship game. We all knew they were taking cheap shots at Favre and I’m so glad they are getting theirs. Suck it Saints..Skol!

  66. sisqsage says: May 2, 2012 12:10 PM

    The silly part of this whole thing is the Saints’ defense has just been average, at best, the last two years.

    I guess when you maliciously try to break someone’s ankle, or in Gregg Williams-speak “kill the head”, you end up missing the tackle too often.

    Also: never trust anyone who spells Gregg with two g’s.

  67. jetnotjets says: May 2, 2012 12:10 PM

    This is excessive, and I hope Goodell loses his job over it. He better have some proof to warrant these penalties, and he better share it with the public. Otherwise, he’s going down. His ego and faults are as bad as every ‘rogue’ owner that people complain about. The arrogance of this man is astounding, and the NFL would be better off without him.

  68. brenenostler says: May 2, 2012 12:11 PM

    I’m loving all these comments about Drew Brees.

    But as for the punishment, Goodell made the right call.

  69. kinggw says: May 2, 2012 12:11 PM

    While Goodell is at it he should change the name of the league to the National Flag Football League. By next year, tackling will be a 15 yard penalty.

    The pussification of football continues.

  70. kqole25 says: May 2, 2012 12:11 PM

    What people continue to forget is that they were warned several times and told to stop more than once. They ignored it and got burned plain and simple. The example needed to be set!

  71. mornelithe says: May 2, 2012 12:11 PM

    So, only 4 of the 27 implicated were punished. It certainly sounds like the NFLPA was successful in at least partially pushing the idea that coaches coerced this behavior.

    For those asking for evidence….STILL….please re-read the part where Anthony Hargrove admitted his role in the bounty program.

    Everyone should’ve expected this.

  72. cometophillyforthecrack says: May 2, 2012 12:11 PM

    Goodell is taking that whole team out to the woodshed…I’m sure the people of new orleans will blame bush.

  73. tatum064 says: May 2, 2012 12:12 PM

    ubb44 says:
    May 2, 2012 11:59 AM
    Everyone should have got the gate for the season, not just Vilma.

    Nice team you got there New Orleans. The Taints.

    =========

    Thanks. No less deserving of their ring than the equally tainted New England Spygate Patriots.

    And it was still a heart warming story to see New Orleans rally after Katrina.

    To hell with all you hypocrites. Who actually got hurt? So, they’ll do their time, but you are foolish to think this doesnt go on with other teams. It doesnt excuse it, but the Pats transgressions was more devious, because it was more nuanced, more subtle and ultimately effective, because their “evidence” was subsequently DESTROYED.

    Who Dat FOREVER.

  74. rushmatic says: May 2, 2012 12:12 PM

    kathyisintheroom says:

    I have news for you, the PATRIOTS cheated, not New Orleans.

    Haters will always hate, but at least APPEAR to be an intelligent hater.

    ______________________

    You could stand to take a little of your own advice, you tired, stupid hater.

  75. jordydean says: May 2, 2012 12:12 PM

    Goodell is starting to get scared.

  76. bchapman2011 says: May 2, 2012 12:12 PM

    Does anybody hear that noise? It is the sound of the Saint’s season going down the toilet.

  77. rushmatic says: May 2, 2012 12:13 PM

    A lot of teams probably have guys saying to themselves, “Well, no more of THAT next year.”

    Be careful what you wish for.

  78. nineroutsider says: May 2, 2012 12:13 PM

    4 players, 2 active Saints – Saints fans have to be happy. Lofton covers Vilma, Jordan and who ever else they have can cover Smith – not huge losses for them. The Saints will be right in the thick of it like they have been and we can stop hearing about this and move on.

    Very much looking forward to that 9ers/Saints game in November!

  79. jonasgrumbyoftx says: May 2, 2012 12:13 PM

    NO fan of Goodell at ALL … but I think he got this one right.

  80. hairpie says: May 2, 2012 12:13 PM

    Wait a minute!! The Patriots taped 6 plays and no one got suspended!

  81. bouwel92 says: May 2, 2012 12:13 PM

    As a saints fan i knew this was inevitable, but i honestly dont belive Scott Fujita was involved.

  82. doctorfootball says: May 2, 2012 12:13 PM

    Wow. A bad Saints defense just got worse.

  83. fusion3450 says: May 2, 2012 12:14 PM

    lolb23 says:
    May 2, 2012 12:04 PM
    Where are all the inbred Saint fans still looking for evidence? Hint – it aint in your sisters pants.
    ———————

    2nd time i’ve seen you use the word inbred. why don’t you come on down here with that trash. where are you from? and why do you come to comment on saints stories if you hate so much? these suspensions won’t hurt us much anyway

  84. elijason says: May 2, 2012 12:14 PM

    What a joke! Hope NFL doesn’t start investigating every team…or, there won’t be anyone left.

  85. tatum064 says: May 2, 2012 12:15 PM

    djrando7 says:
    May 2, 2012 12:03 PM
    I had a feeling Vilma would get a lot more than the 4 games all of the analyst said he would. He deserves EVERY bit of what the two coaches got. He carried out their acts. As the CAPTAIN of the defense, he should have put a stop to it INSTANTLY.

    I am in no way, or will I ever be, a fan of the Saints, but I feel bad for their fans. They didn’t deserve this. I know they Saints fan base loves Payton and Vilma, but if they were part of my team, I would never want them to be part of my team again. This is a major slap in the face for everyone that has played them in the last three years.

    Final thought, look for Brett Favre to take Vilma, Hargrove, Fujita, and Smith to court for criminal violations. These four players could end up getting jail time for this.
    =======================

    So they get jail time, and a would-be security guard gets out on bail FOR KILLING A TEENAGER (Trayvon Martin).

    WTF are up with people’s priorities!?

    Final thought – they wont get diddly squat. Favre isn’t that big of a tool to take someone to court for playing the game of football – what are you an idiot or something!? Their are freaking WAR CRIMINALS FREE….

  86. bangitfootball says: May 2, 2012 12:15 PM

    Drew Brees head is exploding right now lol

  87. andyreidisarrogantandfat says: May 2, 2012 12:15 PM

    Who’s your daddy?

    Roger Goddell-that’s who. You play games in the NFL and daddy gets the belt with the big buckle.

    This is good that it is cleaning the image of the sport, but it is also bad because it is bordering on a dictatorship. Get some checks and balances NFL before this gets out of hand.

    You cannot have the punisher be the arbitrator as well. Goddell is judge, jury, and executioner. This needs to be modified into a more democartic system.

  88. pastabelly says: May 2, 2012 12:16 PM

    nflsucker says:
    May 2, 2012 12:03 PM
    When you think of how much money and pain they could have cost another player by ending their careers, it actually seems like a light response.

    ===============================
    The League is scared sh!tless about concussions lawsuits from former players and Congressional involvement. So I agree that the League had to do something to show that they are not ambivalent to this “extra curricular” violence in the game. For people to anticipate no suspensions (like the ESPN talking clown heads) is a bit ridiculous.

  89. fusion3450 says: May 2, 2012 12:16 PM

    you people that say brees needs an explaination seriously need to come up with new material. people that talk about the saints moving obviously have NO CLUE.

  90. mp42245 says: May 2, 2012 12:16 PM

    All you Saints haters out there, the Saints prepared for this. They picked up 3 linebacks in FA. Vilma was a non factor last year, and it surprised me he didn’t get cut already. Will Smith pretty much is not an elite player. junior Galette will step in. He’s an animal.

    As far as getting to SB, it may have dropped their chances 5%. They are still one of the top 6 teams in the league.

  91. mrninetysixchamps says: May 2, 2012 12:17 PM

    No way we’ll keep Hargrove imo

  92. rexismybff says: May 2, 2012 12:17 PM

    When is Goodell going to announce the 1-year suspension of Tom Brady for using SpyGate stolen defensive signals to win games and Super Bowls?

    Oh wait – are you saying that powerful owners like Kraft get preferential treatment from Goodell for their coaches and players than guys like Benson???

    The NFL – a confluence of politics, money, gambling, drugs and sex, from the 3rd string quarterback all the way up to the billionaire owners’ luxury boxes — you got to love it… Amazing that these guys ever have time to actually play any games at all.

  93. southpaw2k says: May 2, 2012 12:17 PM

    I guess we can now add “Drew Brees wants an explanation” to the list of obligatory comments associated with a particular player’s or team’s article, e.g. Ray Lewis was a murderer (which wasn’t true anyways), Ben is a rapist, Rex Ryan is fat and has a foot fetish, etc.

  94. freakish213 says: May 2, 2012 12:17 PM

    I agree with the suspension of Vilma since he offered up money as a bounty. I’m just wondering how the commissioner managed to determine which hits during the course of the season were inspired by the bounties and which were just regular hits that happened. It seems that would be an impossible task and for that reason I’m don’t agree with the suspensions of the other players. I suspect appeals (that the commissioner presides over) and laws suits over the suspension of Hargrove, Smith, and Fujita.

  95. rabiddawg19 says: May 2, 2012 12:17 PM

    Cleveland and Green bay didn’t need to get screwed over in the process. the Browns especially considering they can’t afford to lose players to begin with.

    Hit them in the wallet, make them play and donate the checks to charity for the year or something, but don’t screw the teams that played by the rules.

  96. howiegtr says: May 2, 2012 12:17 PM

    kathyisintheroom says:
    May 2, 2012 12:04 PM
    Go ahead and appeal. Now lets see just how much fight the union really has in them.

    Getting suspended for just doing your job? Puh-lease.

    EVERY player on defense around the league tries to put the quarterback out of the game, money or no money involved. If you say they don’t your naive or lying.
    Even high School teams try to get the opposing star out of the game.

    And for all the clueless nimits that say the Saints “cheated”……. please explain how they cheated?
    Name one player they knocked out of a game.
    Name one instance of illegal video taping.

    I have news for you, the PATRIOTS cheated, not New Orleans.

    Haters will always hate, but at least APPEAR to be an intelligent hater.
    ————————————————–
    Thank you for you glueless insite. BTW, you know the ins and outs of the NFL pretty well. What team did you play or coach for? I thought so.

  97. myeaglescantwin says: May 2, 2012 12:17 PM

    @ kathyisintheroom

    the world is better off without fans like you..
    its obvious that you never played a competitive down of football in your life. Your opinion is trash and proves you have no idea about competition and sportsmanship..

  98. mvp43 says: May 2, 2012 12:18 PM

    So Will Smith helps set up the system, and only gets 4 games…….?

  99. pongonfl says: May 2, 2012 12:18 PM

    seems pretty balanced to me..

  100. hairpie says: May 2, 2012 12:18 PM

    kathyisintheroom says:
    May 2, 2012 12:04 PM

    And for all the clueless nimits that say the Saints “cheated”……. please explain how they cheated?
    Name one player they knocked out of a game.
    Name one instance of illegal video taping.

    I have news for you, the PATRIOTS cheated, not New Orleans.

    Haters will always hate, but at least APPEAR to be an intelligent hater.
    ———————————-

    uuummm, they cheated by accepting money from an outside third party funding an illegal bounty program that rewarded players for intentionally trying to injure other players and thereby change the out come of the game.

    how exactly did the Pats cheat since we know none of the video could be used in game and no affect on the outcome?

    please use your own logic when asking others to be smart.

  101. textexington says: May 2, 2012 12:18 PM

    Green Bay Packers are gonna win Superbowl XLVII!!!

  102. tommyribs says: May 2, 2012 12:19 PM

    Who Dat Say Gonna Beat Dem Saints?

    Who Dat? Who Dat?
    ——————————————————
    Apparently quite a few people in 2012, that’s who!!

    This is well deserved.

    People get on Goodell, but he is right on here!

    No place in the game for this garbage!!

  103. iseek11 says: May 2, 2012 12:19 PM

    Don’t know if Vilma had HoF aspirations, but pffftt.

    Was it worth it? Looked like it was fun at the time, but was it worth it?

  104. philwauke says: May 2, 2012 12:19 PM

    So they basically lost Will Smith for four games. Vilmas already been replaced and his salary for the year gets wiped off the books as opposed to cutting him and counting against the cap.

  105. marcinhouston says: May 2, 2012 12:19 PM

    Fujita was a surprise addition to the list for one reason and one reason only. Goodell targeted him as a senior NFLPA rep and saw it as a way to get revenge on the NFLPA for striking while giving a token gesture to suspending a non-saint without hurting a contending team other than the Saints. That is why Tracy Porter with the Broncos and former Saints defensive assistants now with the Broncos and Raiders were not suspended, the only contending team Goodell wants to target is the Saints, so he adds some token suspensions of coaches and players to the non-contending Rams and Browns.

  106. kriswd40 says: May 2, 2012 12:19 PM

    Only 4 players??? That’s all the were involved??? There HAS to be more than 4 players.

  107. dawsonleery says: May 2, 2012 12:19 PM

    Very disturbing to say the least.

  108. sirhulka says: May 2, 2012 12:20 PM

    Oh, I wonder if the same people (particularly Saints fans) are still bashing Polamalu and Ryan Clark for expressing their beliefs that Goodell has too much power? Oh well.

  109. giveseanpaytonhisjuicyfruit says: May 2, 2012 12:20 PM

    2 players suspended out of 27, I say that’s a win for the Saints:P

  110. 69firebird says: May 2, 2012 12:21 PM

    Heard this from 3 other sources before it showed up on here. 2 steps behind the others.

  111. murkcity32 says: May 2, 2012 12:21 PM

    Funny thing is, it was the worst bounty system ever because the def sucked. In three seasons only two people got hurt and the last targets they had against San Fran had career days.

  112. timentideblog says: May 2, 2012 12:21 PM

    This is pro football, and its apparent a lot of you so called football fans dont know squat about the game. On every play players are trying to hit the opposing QB and put him out of the game, thats just the way it is folks, doesnt matter wether or not someone gets a little extra cash. If Super Mario makes 23 sacks this coming yr, and in the process breaks a QBs leg, Mario will no dought get a raise in pay at the end of the yr. So tell me how this is different from what the Saints did? Its the word bounty that no one likes, well its there wether its “said”or not.

  113. hairpie says: May 2, 2012 12:21 PM

    rexismybff says:
    May 2, 2012 12:17 PM
    When is Goodell going to announce the 1-year suspension of Tom Brady for using SpyGate stolen defensive signals to win games and Super Bowls?

    Oh wait – are you saying that powerful owners like Kraft get preferential treatment from Goodell for their coaches and players than guys like Benson???

    ————————————

    how exactly did “stolen defensive signals” help Brady win anything? You realize the signal indicators change every play and the offense has to be set before the defense, right? It could be more easily argued that thinking you know the plays of another team is more detrimental since they can change them at the last minute while the offense cant.

  114. teague31 says: May 2, 2012 12:21 PM

    Look on the brightside aints fans,. at least Sean Payton has a buddy to watch games with every sunday with Vilmas suspension

  115. patriots123456 says: May 2, 2012 12:22 PM

    And when the Saint come marching in, there will be four more missing! LOL

    He had to drop the hammer.

    With the impending lawsuits this is really going to get ugly.

  116. baron30 says: May 2, 2012 12:22 PM

    Drew Brees needs more information.

  117. td40 says: May 2, 2012 12:22 PM

    rolltide510 says:
    May 2, 2012 12:02 PM

    Sort of like seeing Fujita on the list. He tends to act pretty holier then thou with his Berkeley politics, glad to see its “progressive” to take out ACLs.
    —————————————————

    Oh good- another political statement disguised as a football-related comment. One can only roll their eyes and wish people would stop trying to promote their political agendas on a football site. I mean really- who cares?

    I’m sure Fujita is disappointed in some respect that he’ll be suspended, but as a Browns fan, I can say only two things: 1) He’d be injured and off the field sooner or later (probably sooner) anyway because he’s made out of paper, so what’s the difference? …and 2) His backup (whoever that may be this year) is better. Has to be. Fujita is slow and does little but whiff on opposing players.

    In other words, Fujita *not* being on the field will actually be a positive for the Browns. So thanks, Mr. Goodell!

  118. Jon says: May 2, 2012 12:22 PM

    “The NFL says that Hargrove eventually admitted his role in the team’s bounty program”

    …….once they beat a confession out of him

  119. ralzdmann says: May 2, 2012 12:23 PM

    Is Goodell going to suspend the players throughout the course of history who said there was “bounty systems”? I would be worried Jim Brown…

  120. ralzdmann says: May 2, 2012 12:23 PM

    Is Goodell going to suspend the players throughout the course of history who said there was “bounty systems”? I would be worried Jim Brown…

  121. kathyisintheroom says: May 2, 2012 12:23 PM

    If hits were illegal then they would have been flagged and disciplined already.

  122. sdisme says: May 2, 2012 12:23 PM

    Still see no evidence of a 3 year bounty program.

    I see a 2009 playoff bounty program. Wrong yes, but punishment doesn’t fit crime.

  123. xxwhodatxx says: May 2, 2012 12:23 PM

    As a Saints fan it’s good to see that’s all. Vilma , while we love him has pretty much been replaced and Will Smith was gone 4 games last season to no effect so I don’t think the will have a neg effect on the team.

  124. mf7krime says: May 2, 2012 12:24 PM

    lolb23 says:
    May 2, 2012 12:04 PM

    Where are all the inbred Saint fans still looking for evidence? Hint – it aint in your sisters pants.

    ————————-

    Triple like.

    Isn’t it ironic that the two teams with the most scandalous shiz goings on have the most innocent sounding names: “Saints” and “Patriots?”

  125. purplegreenandgold says: May 2, 2012 12:24 PM

    WOW!!! four players. i guess it was not as wide spread as everyone against the saints thought. i see all the talking heads are ignoring the fact that it was not 20-27 players getting suspended as they hoped.

    GOOD NEWS for the SAINTS! now thats over lets play some football. but i know there will be countless more stories to follow… “what happened to the 20-27 players”, ” why did roger goddell wait so long with just four players in mine”, “50,000 pages and just four players some of which dont play for saints”………

  126. hey804 says: May 2, 2012 12:24 PM

    You know what’s original, witty and hilarious? “Drew Brees needs and explanation”. I hope to read it hundred more times on this thread.

  127. effedinLA says: May 2, 2012 12:24 PM

    Geaux away Saints apologists. This is barely a slap on the wrist for tainting such a great game. There is no place in the NFL or sports for actions such as you participated in. Sober up Doo Brees! Your team is guilty.

  128. myspaceyourface says: May 2, 2012 12:26 PM

    I don’t recall any Patriots players getting suspended for Spygate? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

  129. taintedsaints2009 says: May 2, 2012 12:26 PM

    darren sharper should get some sort of penalty too.

  130. ejmat2 says: May 2, 2012 12:26 PM

    kathyisintheroom says:
    May 2, 2012 12:04 PM

    And for all the clueless nimits that say the Saints “cheated”……. please explain how they cheated?
    Name one player they knocked out of a game.
    Name one instance of illegal video taping.

    I have news for you, the PATRIOTS cheated, not New Orleans.

    Haters will always hate, but at least APPEAR to be an intelligent hater.
    —————————————-
    You want me to tell you HOW it affected the NFCCG? I’ll be happy to. Last INT by Favre. If he was in the pain he was in he had about 20 yards to run down the sideline. He threw the ball because he couldn’t run well. So there is how it is considered “cheating”.

    Next the refs should be investigated for the ridiculous blown calls and non-calls throughout the game especially in OT. Haters are haters just as cheaters are cheaters.

  131. peytonwantsaflag says: May 2, 2012 12:26 PM

    Too harsh, way too harsh. Big difference between suspending a coach for a year and a player for a year. Goodells really showing his master mentality on this one.

  132. mdd913 says: May 2, 2012 12:27 PM

    LOL, this is nothing. Vilma and Smith are easily the two most overrated players on the defense and they already have multiple people to replace them.

    What these light suspensions tell me is that Goodell really didn’t have the evidence to support his assertions.

  133. caliangel08 says: May 2, 2012 12:27 PM

    Worthless

    Smith is the only player the Saints have not replaced and it only for 4 games …

    Pathetic

    All this drama for that ???

  134. patriotinvasion says: May 2, 2012 12:28 PM

    Once again proves BountyGate was a MUCH bigger deal than spygate…thwarting the salary cap with illegal bonuses in a scheme to pay under the table for injuries and “cart offs” affects games a lot more than taping hand signals that could be seen in plain view by every person in the stadium each Sunday.

    Sorry Pats hater….there’s a new “scandal” in town. Haha.

  135. cjepp says: May 2, 2012 12:28 PM

    Just because you didn’t see the evidence, does not mean there was none.

  136. kidpresentable says: May 2, 2012 12:28 PM

    “As far as getting to SB, it may have dropped their chances 5%. They are still one of the top 6 teams in the league.”

    That’s adorable. Keep your head up. Don’t stop believing.

  137. vikefan says: May 2, 2012 12:29 PM

    …….now if the entire organization was stripped of super bowl title & rings justice would be served

  138. lks311 says: May 2, 2012 12:29 PM

    Any fans complaining about this, still don’t understand the potential Billions of dollars in lawsuits hanging over the NFL office. Frankly, I’m surprised it’s not worse.

    Needed to be done.

  139. artielange says: May 2, 2012 12:31 PM

    It’s funny seeing the early comments on this page. It lets you know at exactly what time the special schools around the country give internet access to the retards.

    All this talk about “dropping the hammer”, “Saints season going down the toilet” and “Goodell giving the Saints the death sentence”. If you short-bus types haven’t been paying attention, the Saints upgraded the LB corps immensely by signing Lofton and Hawthorne (as well as Chris Chamberlain). Vilma will barely be missed. Will Smith is on the downside of his career. Hell, the shortened season might be a good thing at this point in his career. As for Fujita and Hargrove, who cares? That’s the Packers and Browns problem.

    A lot of dumb-asses are gonna be banging their heads against the wall at the end of this season when the Saints are still among the NFL’s elite.

  140. lolb23 says: May 2, 2012 12:31 PM

    Haters will always hate, but at least APPEAR to be an intelligent hater.
    _______________________________

    Kathy, no offense but you are a woman living in Saint country. Einstein would struggle trying to appear intelligent to you. Just cause you’re too dumb to get it doesn’t mean it’s not right.

  141. detroitcityryda says: May 2, 2012 12:31 PM

    Jonathan the bounty hunter
    season premiere tonight 8pm
    Only on A&E 👏👏👏👏👏

  142. dpinchot says: May 2, 2012 12:31 PM

    Ubb44 no one case what you think anyway. Crawl back into your hole.

  143. jasncondit says: May 2, 2012 12:31 PM

    Tiki Barber is so flabbergasted it made Ronde crap his pants. (Twins share the feelings ya know)…lol

  144. chandler1 says: May 2, 2012 12:32 PM

    Good to see the ain’ts now respected as much as Bin Laden and the Taliban are. Losers.

  145. iamwhodat says: May 2, 2012 12:32 PM

    Im a Saints and ill take this hit. Vilma gone for the season, that’s why you replace him with a Curtis Lofton. Will Smith is past his prime, and Fujita and Hargrove are gone. 50,000 pages of evidence to bust a total of 1 GM b/c he lied, a Head Coach bc he lied, Williams the brains behind it all, and Vitt. A total of 8 people and you claimed to have over 5,0000 pages of evidence. This is only about 1 thing and 1 thing only…. Player safety. Hahaha

  146. truths4all says: May 2, 2012 12:32 PM

    Where’s the 2012 suspension for BOBBY MCCRAY? He was one of the worst headhunters for the Taints? You can easily see that he was trying to seriously hurt Warner with that hit that knocked Warner out with a major concussion right into retirement. On that play, McCray could hve easily blindsided any of the Cardinals, especially linemen who have held him or hit him during the game, but noooo, he sought out and deliberately went after Warner to knock him out. McCray did the same when he kept going after other QBs’ heads and knees. The guy is a criminal and has no place in the NFL. McCray belongs in jail instead of enjoying the good life courtesy of his enormous paychecks from the crooked and cheating Taints.

  147. whatnojets says: May 2, 2012 12:32 PM

    I am so happy that The New York Jets got rid of Vilma years ago! BUT, I do not agree with the year suspension. Maybe four games, maximum 6 games but not the entire season.

    Way too harsh!

  148. jeziyo247 says: May 2, 2012 12:33 PM

    Watching sports center now and they’re saying vilma got hit the hardest because he was the ring leader of the bounty after Williams and he offer money for the hits. I don’t feel sorry for the saints at all and they’ve all deserve the punishment they received. Don’t bother appealing because it might make things worse. I like goodell because he’s not playing when it comes to players safety and it doesn’t matter who you are, if you do the crime, you’re gonna do the time, if brady or manning done something stupid, they would get punished also. If I were a saints fan, I would be mad but understand that what they did was wrong.

  149. eballa1 says: May 2, 2012 12:33 PM

    So much for the 22-27 players and the Saints defense being decimated by this. Vilma missed most of last season and Will Smith will follow the same pattern as last year, when he served his 4 games for Star Caps. The Saints defense will be just fine.

    There was a lot of speculation that Vilma wouldn’t be back with the Saints, but this really may be it for him. He’s 30 years old, coming off injuries and now he can’t participate in any workouts this year learning a new defense.

  150. dvdman123 says: May 2, 2012 12:33 PM

    This is what we had to wait almost 3 months for….come on now? The Saints will survive this easily.

  151. nola5712 says: May 2, 2012 12:33 PM

    Vilma can GTFO anyway, he was in major decline. But my real question is, why blow this out of proportion continuously claiming 22-27 players when only 4 (only 2 current Saints) are being handed suspensions?

    Looks like that “50,000” pages of evidence didn’t exactly provide what GODdell was looking for.

    Just because FOUR players and a shady D-Coordinator were involved doesn’t make the whole defense guilty, as evidenced by these suspensions.

    Our defense sucked anyway, thank god we got Lofton, Hawthorne, Chamberlain, and Buckley. With Will Smith being suspended, the draft pick spent on Nicks makes much more sense now.

    The positive here is that the suspended players cap space is freed up for those games, allowing Brees to be signed. Brees deal will be done fast now.

  152. nineroutsider says: May 2, 2012 12:34 PM

    @kathyisintheroom – Others can and will answer that question for you very succinctly. All I know is that tape focused on my team and Harbaugh and his guys aren’t going to take that lying down. Jim doesn’t say much in the media like his bro; he let’s on-field actions do his talking. So be ready for game time, because very legal and nasty hits will be leveled all day in New Orleans when the 9ers come to town.

    Saints fans have been very disappointing throughout this process and all NFL fans are learning what we 9er fans already know. Saints fans love to dish it, but they certainly can’t take it.

  153. dvdman123 says: May 2, 2012 12:34 PM

    They all will play this year because we all know the NFLPA will appeal,appeal,appeal………………….

  154. walleyejon says: May 2, 2012 12:35 PM

    Has anyone ever reported the number of late/illegal hit penalties and/or opposing players that have been injured while playing the Saints and compared those numbers to the league average? I am not condoning anything here, I’m truly curious what the stats are.

  155. bhindenemylines says: May 2, 2012 12:35 PM

    Worst use of $10,000 I have ever heard of.

  156. tv426 says: May 2, 2012 12:35 PM

    It is pretty obvious that society is made of a bunch of morons.

    I’ve been saying all along that anyone that thinks that NFL players, making about $100k per GAME, are somehow “extra” motivated by the promise of ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS, is a complete moron. That is the equivalent of Ohio State players getting a “buckeye” sticker on their helmets for making a big play.

    And the stuff said by Williams was no worse than anything I ever heard in a high school locker room.

    In the immortal words of Chad Johnson – child, please …..

  157. galatians62 says: May 2, 2012 12:35 PM

    This organized conspiracy to injure players for pay makes Ron Artests emotional outburst of violence seen tame.

  158. ronmexico4life says: May 2, 2012 12:35 PM

    @djrando7 : Final thought, look for Brett Favre to take Vilma, Hargrove, Fujita, and Smith to court for criminal violations. These four players could end up getting jail time for this
    ……………………………………………………………………………

    No he couldnt, bc criminal courts actually require real proof. They dont just act on allegations they want people to believe is true in order to protect their company from the pending lawsuits dealing with player safety.
    This suspension is absurd. how many players have been suspended for the whole year?Goodell’s job is to protect the league, so okay, hand out your absurd message sending suspension, just stop being so damn disingenious by saying this is all about integrity. Goodell is covering the NFL’s a**, nothing more.

  159. packerfantastic says: May 2, 2012 12:36 PM

    For those of you who think these suspensions are excessive, remember this is just a piece of a much larger picture. The NFL is being sued by over 1200 current/former players because they feel not enough was done to protect them from concussions (i.e. player safety). The league has to come down hard on this issue to demonstrate that it does take player safety seriously and will take the necessary steps to promote player safety. Sometimes we like to say “it’s just a game” but truthfully, it’s a multi-billion dollar business and the commissioner and the owners are going to do what it takes to protect their investment, including taking steps to prevent lawsuits.

  160. boobsmcgoo says: May 2, 2012 12:36 PM

    As a Saints fan I am pleased with this. Only four players suspended, two current? So much for the widespread conspiracy including 22-27 players.

    Also, the bounty system did not help the Saints win any games, nor did it help them play better defense. If anything, it could have put them at more risk of penalties, suspensions, and fines.

    I am thinking the whole thing was rah-rah, pre-game hype. They said bad things, but rarely hit or hurt anyone. Favre didn’t miss a single snap in that game! Warner missed one series!

    So Viking fan, stick it up your asterisk!

  161. csmit44 says: May 2, 2012 12:36 PM

    I will take this in a heartbeat. Vilma has already been replaced by a younger, better Lofton…cut him and use the money to pay Brees. Smith will hurt but with the appeals, he will probably play this season and next.

    Fujita and Hargrove aren’t even with the team…

    Seems like this supposed bounty program wasn’t as big as initially played up to be and they had a hard time finding evidence to indict a significant amount of players.

  162. pftcensorssuck says: May 2, 2012 12:37 PM

    southpaw2k says:May 2, 2012 12:17 PM

    I guess we can now add “Drew Brees wants an explanation” to the list of obligatory comments associated with a particular player’s or team’s article, e.g. Ray Lewis was a murderer (which wasn’t true anyways), Ben is a rapist, Rex Ryan is fat and has a foot fetish, etc.
    ———————————————————-
    A) Rex Ryan IS fat. Fact, not opinion.

    B) He DOES have a foot fetish, or are you the only person who didn’t see his video with his wife?

  163. bduncanscott says: May 2, 2012 12:37 PM

    It’s Great to live in a Country where you can be found GUILTY with no actual evidence and solely based on the word of another person!! Great news, I’m gonna rush out and accuse all those I don’t like of things I have nooo actual solid evidence of.. Comon MAn!! this is why we have a court system where substantial evidence must be provided and proven, cause throughout human history people have blamed one another of crimes they did not commit based on the testimony of another.
    Not a saints fan, I’m just a fan of integrity and fairness. Let’s not forget that Goodell will have some answering of his own to do about colluding with the NFLPA to take cap space form two teams to cover his own mistakes

  164. djstat says: May 2, 2012 12:37 PM

    Get over Goodell having the power he does. The Players agreed. Besides your entitled to due process in a court of law not the nfl. if you get fired from ur job you do get an appeal.

  165. dikshuttle says: May 2, 2012 12:38 PM

    Baseball had “8 men out”

    … Football has… “4 men on vacation”?

    …..no wait – Three men & a lil’ lady!!

    bwaaaaa ha ha ha hahahahahacdhachdhvadh

    ..suchas.

  166. detroitcityryda says: May 2, 2012 12:38 PM

    The nfl brought up the saints and made them America’s team the great story after katrina ,but they did something against nfls word and continued to do it even when they were warned plenty to stop .so NFL destroyed them to the bottom now their legacy will for ever be tainted and players and franchise hated .Now the lions take their spot as one of 6 top franchises pushed by nfl pats,packers,cowboys,giants,lions,steelers

  167. PFTiswhatitis says: May 2, 2012 12:38 PM

    @rexismybff: As a Pats fan all I can say is, it is GREAT to know that the Pats are still in your head. Keep supporting that slime green team of yours pal. Maybe they’ll win something in the next 50 years.

  168. godofwine330 says: May 2, 2012 12:38 PM

    An entire year for a 30 year old linebacker may as well be bannishment. Payton can come back and coach 20+ more years, but the career span of a good linebacker is 30-MAYBE 33, and an expensive linebacker with a year off – good luck catching on with someone for anywhere close to what you were makig before.

    8 games should have been the max. Good luck with appeal since Roger is the Judge, Jury & Executioner.

  169. texan1979 says: May 2, 2012 12:39 PM

    Once again the superbowl wont be played by the home team

  170. bigperm33 says: May 2, 2012 12:39 PM

    I hate the NFL sometimes. This is one of those times. (and those times are occurring with more frequency since Lord Goodell took over).

  171. grogantomorgan says: May 2, 2012 12:39 PM

    Well, you don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time ….

    Let’s get back to draft fallout and undrafted free agent signing.

    Finally.

  172. riverhorsey says: May 2, 2012 12:40 PM

    Saints caught a break, they could of suspended everyone on the defense.

  173. northerntanned says: May 2, 2012 12:41 PM

    All bow before the great and powerful Roger Goodell! Let no one deceive the one true NFL god. The wrath of Goodell against all ungoodelliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth from the NFL. Goodell shall smite thee!

  174. mulletcork says: May 2, 2012 12:41 PM

    Time for someone to put a bounty on the head of Roger Greedell!! This creep needs to get hurt!

  175. patriots123456 says: May 2, 2012 12:42 PM

    I look at it this way:

    They needed a new defense anyway. This might be a blessing for them.

    Who Dat new guy at linebacker?
    Who Dat other new guy etc.etc.etc. LOL

  176. threedeep1998 says: May 2, 2012 12:43 PM

    Stupid of GB to take on Hargrove after march 2nd. Also…hell has frozen ove….wait…and there is your dagger!

  177. whodey1218 says: May 2, 2012 12:43 PM

    Haha it’s so funny. Who dat who dat!! Roger Goodell dat lol

  178. jamiebuf12 says: May 2, 2012 12:43 PM

    This is excessive, and I hope Goodell loses his job over it. He better have some proof to warrant these penalties, and he better share it with the public. Otherwise, he’s going down. His ego and faults are as bad as every ‘rogue’ owner that people complain about. The arrogance of this man is astounding, and the NFL would be better off without him.
    ………is anthony hargrove signing a full confession enough evidance for you??????? the saints got off very easy in that really only the will smith suspension hurts them…

  179. muskyhunter2542 says: May 2, 2012 12:43 PM

    artielange says:
    May 2, 2012 12:31 PM
    It’s funny seeing the early comments on this page. It lets you know at exactly what time the special schools around the country give internet access to the retards.

    All this talk about “dropping the hammer”, “Saints season going down the toilet” and “Goodell giving the Saints the death sentence”. If you short-bus types haven’t been paying attention, the Saints upgraded the LB corps immensely by signing Lofton and Hawthorne (as well as Chris Chamberlain). Vilma will barely be missed. Will Smith is on the downside of his career. Hell, the shortened season might be a good thing at this point in his career. As for Fujita and Hargrove, who cares? That’s the Packers and Browns problem.

    A lot of dumb-asses are gonna be banging their heads against the wall at the end of this season when the Saints are still among the NFL’s elite.

    ————————————————-
    I know that The Packers did expect this.

  180. cwmorga says: May 2, 2012 12:44 PM

    Surprised Vilma got a year, but the linebackers will still be better. The Saints look pretty smart for bringing in both Hawthorne and Lofton.

    As for Will Smith, he couldn’t rush his way through a wet paper bag last season so 4 games is no big loss. He had a whopping 6.5 sacks with 0 in the postseason.

    Now we can forget about this bounty stuff and get to talking football.

    Haters best prepare for the Saints to be 3-0 heading into Lambeau in 5 months.

  181. bigphillyg82 says: May 2, 2012 12:45 PM

    The Saints’ 2009 title is not “tainted.” Anyone who says this is a moron. They didn’t break any rules on the field. They, like many teams who have won the super bowl, had something going on that the commissioner and public opinion don’t agree with. Yes the bounties were wrong, but I am sorry, the play on the field was legit. If that championship is tainted, go back and look at every other Lombardi trophy winner and put them under a microscope. Plus, they didn’t even knock anyone out except Kurt Warner in the playoffs, who admitted it was a clean hit. So…..

  182. rooneyruleblues says: May 2, 2012 12:47 PM

    Drew Brees promises to spend the rest of his life looking for the real killers.

  183. goodolebaghead says: May 2, 2012 12:47 PM

    HAHA, for everyone that thinks this is going to ruin NOLA’s season, you’re an idiot and obviously know nothing about the team.

    Vilma – replaced and upgraded by Curtis Loftin. No REAL loss.
    Will Smith – great player, but not a game changer, and only out for four games. We have depth at that position.

    The other two aren’t even Saints anymore.

    Now that they know the money saved/loss through suspensions, Drew will sign for however much NOLA can afford to pay him, and come out gunslinging next season just like always.

    The worst loss in this whole scenario at all was the loss of Payton for a season. Carmichael and Vitt have delt with that before and we went 6-1.

    If any of your teams loses to NOLA this season (which a lot of you will) there will be no *. You will have lost to a semi handicapped team and look worse than if you had been blown out by a fully capable team.

    Seriously, as a Saint fan, these punishments were good news. Time to move on with football, and it’s going to be even more exciting this year knowing every win was earned with the rest of the league gunning for us. We have nothing to lose.

  184. Bar None says: May 2, 2012 12:47 PM

    So Cleveland and Green Bay are punished for something that happened with the Saints? I think in the situations where the players are on different teams now, they should have been fined (fine them a season’s worth of pay or whatever) because now teams are being punished for something someone did somewhere else 2 years ago.

  185. chandler1 says: May 2, 2012 12:48 PM

    The Saint’s will go down in history as one of the dirtiest teams ever. Their Superbowl is now tainted for life. Their fans? In denial like clueless sheep following a failed leader. Wake up and say you’re sorry for embarrassing the NFL, it’s fans, and teams everywhere who are honest, hard working and don’t cheat.

  186. tredog95 says: May 2, 2012 12:51 PM

    4 players?? and only two are currently on the squad?? what happened to the 22 to 27 players??

    saints-haters, this must really suck for you? here’s a recap, though i really thought will smith would be a cap casualty, he’ll miss the first four games of the season….just like he did last year. and vilma??? i hate to lose the leadership, but he was going to be replaced bounty or not. curtis lofton was signed from the falcons for a reason…in fact, our entire linebacking corps was replaced. and to the guy who referred to us as the “taints”….really?? is that the best you got? well that tiffany trophy that sits at the saints facility is still shiny without a tainted spot on it. lol

    sign brees.

  187. chandler1 says: May 2, 2012 12:51 PM

    bigphillyg82 says:May 2, 2012 12:45 PM

    *******************************

    The Saint’s girls tried everything to knock Farve out, but the sissy’s couldn’t do it. Favre was just tougher than the cheaters defense. Just because they couldn’t doesn’t mean what they tried to do wasn’t criminal.

  188. skolvikings2011 says: May 2, 2012 12:51 PM

    Drew Brees is flabbergasted. As is Tiki Barber. And Deion Sanders’ piano teacher.

  189. purplegreenandgold says: May 2, 2012 12:52 PM

    nineroutsider says:
    May 2, 2012 12:13 PM

    4 players, 2 active Saints – Saints fans have to be happy. Lofton covers Vilma, Jordan and who ever else they have can cover Smith – not huge losses for them. The Saints will be right in the thick of it like they have been and we can stop hearing about this and move on.

    Very much looking forward to that 9ers/Saints game in November!
    ===================================
    you are on point with that thought. i wrote earlier in a post that it wouldnt be as many player suspensions as reported by media, but as you can see by the talking heads… to satisfy themselves they still have to beat their chest. as i said earlier lets move on and talk FOOTBALL. look forward to the season also.

  190. really2011 says: May 2, 2012 12:54 PM

    Personally hate the use of the word hater… It is interesting though – to read the comments and see the difference between people who understand football and those who are “haters.” For example…

    pixelito says:
    May 2, 2012 12:02 PM
    Any Saints fans out there still want to predict this team for a Superbowl?

    WHO DAT!

    I won’t/haven’t predicted the SB because Payton is a huge loss. That being said if you believe that 2 players are the reason we won’t make it you really don’t understand football. As I see it, an injured, aging Middle Linebacker is suspended and replaced by Curtis Lofton (25 year old 241 lb LB with 147 tackles last year and never missed a game in 4 seasons). Will Smith will be a bit of a loss for the 4 games but he’ll be back.

    On a different note – starcaps took 3 years to get resolved. If this occurs, Smith (30) and Vilma(30) will be retired by the time this is enacted.

    In either case 2 players (not 22) and the possible return of our 2nd round pick next year may not be the death sentence previously expected. By the way be careful what you wish for – if the Saints do tank then you add a top 10 pick to this team next year.

  191. nolarules says: May 2, 2012 12:54 PM

    lolb23 says:
    May 2, 2012 12:04 PM
    Where are all the inbred Saint fans still looking for evidence? Hint – it aint in your sisters pants.
    ———————

    I believe GODell is hiding it your mom’s g string, D Bag. Right next to all of the one dollar bills from work last night

  192. garyandersonsleftfoot says: May 2, 2012 12:54 PM

    Just wondering when the IRS is going to get involved? Doubt any of these players bothered to report these bounty awards as part of their annual income… Lol

  193. cleonslamminsalmon says: May 2, 2012 12:55 PM

    Yep…Nice Super Bowl win*.

  194. raidersfreak says: May 2, 2012 12:58 PM

    I don’t understand if the NFL knew what was going why didn’t their refs stop it?

    Can’t believe everything u hear. being a Raiders Fan I deal with the yellow flags way to much and tho think the NFL just turned a cheek to play ploy to bust players before it started makes no sense.

    Anyways justice was served after the fact.

  195. kevinb73 says: May 2, 2012 12:58 PM

    Tiki is flabbergasted, but would like a job!

  196. chawk12thman says: May 2, 2012 12:59 PM

    This is Brees’ explanation.

  197. thankheavenfornumberseven says: May 2, 2012 1:00 PM

    I don’t think Vilma has to worry about missing the Super Bowl this season. Or a playoff game.

  198. thankheavenfornumberseven says: May 2, 2012 1:00 PM

    Aaron Rodgers doesn’t have a problem with Hargrove being on the Packers because Aaron Rodgers loves cheaters.

  199. realdealsteel says: May 2, 2012 1:02 PM

    Let me first say that this is not the popular opinion but it is the truth. And you know I’m not a Saints fan. But look at the facts:

    Greg Williams and Sean Payton have not admitted to any bounty system. That is the name the media gave it. Williams and Payton admitted to performance rewards. And at last count, there were 13 other teams who were known to have the same system. Including the world champion Packers of last year.

    Next, there really is no on the field proof that the any Saints players went out and tried to perposely injure any player. As a matter of fact, the evidence supports that the Saints were one of 8 teams who caused the least amount of opponent injuries in Williams tenure as defensive coordinator in the entire NFL. These are facts.

    What is going on is that Goodall is laying the ground work for future court battles with all the ex-players who are sueing for concussions. He has to have evidence that the NFL is doing everything for player safety. And he’s making the Saints the sacrificial lamb to show this.

  200. brownoholic says: May 2, 2012 1:02 PM

    Wow, that’s rough for Fujita being a non-factor for 19 consecutive games . . .

  201. sfsaintsfan says: May 2, 2012 1:04 PM

    walleyejon says:
    May 2, 2012 12:35 PM

    Has anyone ever reported the number of late/illegal hit penalties and/or opposing players that have been injured while playing the Saints and compared those numbers to the league average? I am not condoning anything here, I’m truly curious what the stats are.

    ****************************

    Yes, the Saints over a three year period were nowhere near the top of the league in illegal hit penalties.

    Also over an entire three year period, there were ZERO opposing players carted-off or knocked-out by the Saints Defense by an illegal hit. ZERO.

    For all of Goodell’s bluster, this was as close to a non-hit possible. Vilma, was pretty much done with the Saints anway. They signed two LB’ers better than hi in free agency and one just about as good. Will Smith will probably have a better season with the first four weeks “off” at this point in his career. The other two guys, they are the Packers and Browns problems.

    And all of that Vilma money this year……more dollars available for Brees to sign his contract.

    Super Bowl chances still very good.

  202. dantheram says: May 2, 2012 1:06 PM

    Sorry Saints fans, you should know the NFL loves Brett Farve, just his name used to bring in ratings the way Tebow does now. The NFL doesn’t need a lot of evidence if it needs to protect and defend their 40 year old man crush.

    The league is now reporting that Farve was questioning the hits he took, which was twisting the report, in which the NFL was the one who questioned him whether he thought that they were coming after him and the is 100% true.

    Im not saying i don’t believe there shouldn’t be ramifications for the actions, but i can guarantee this article and the reality in general would take a different tone if you replaced Farve’s name with Vick, McNabb, Newton, basically any big , mobile, or young QB that can better defend themselves.

    Unfortunatley most of you will view this as me pulling some “race card”, but that just shows your lack of viewing something objectively and relatively for the way something really is. I wish i could put Tebows name along with the others as he is a big strong mobile QB that can defend himself, but there’s NO WAY you can tell me he wouldn’t get the same treatment as Farve, Brady, or Manning at this point.

    The NFL wants to protect their money investments before individual player rights just like any big corporate organization.

  203. shlort says: May 2, 2012 1:06 PM

    I must have missed the article where these players ended someones career. Pretty stiff penalties for something like this “bountygate” scandal. I still havent read one article, or seen any evidence that anyone actually took money in this case. Maybe I missed that story.

  204. mulletcork says: May 2, 2012 1:06 PM

    Breaking necks and cashing checks brother. That’s what it’s all about!!

  205. nola5712 says: May 2, 2012 1:09 PM

    glac1 says:
    May 2, 2012 12:06 PM
    Just as I thought… they got off with a slap on the wrist. The league continues to coddle the franchise and city of New Orleans.

    oh really? why don’t you explain to me how other teams who clearly take part in this were disciplined? because it’s failing my memory. the way you talk speaks of ignorance. is having your GM (8 games), Head Coach, Defensive captain, and others suspended for a year, really defined as “coddled”? the team is accepting their punishment that no other team has had to endure; we are YOUR fall guys. we were the ones caught, we were the ones punished. done. end of story.

    “myspaceyourface says:
    May 2, 2012 12:26 PM
    I don’t recall any Patriots players getting suspended for Spygate? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?”

    1. because the patriots players didn’t participate in the taping, and
    2. there is no need for a second reason.

    “chandler1 says:
    May 2, 2012 12:48 PM
    The Saint’s will go down in history as one of the dirtiest teams ever. Their Superbowl is now tainted for life. Their fans? In denial like clueless sheep following a failed leader. Wake up and say you’re sorry for embarrassing the NFL, it’s fans, and teams everywhere who are honest, hard working and don’t cheat.”

    again, nothing but ignorance. really? how does the defense (4 players, 5 including the staff: gregg williams) acting rogue, affect the #1 offense in NFL hisory? you’re an idiot. go back to your mom’s basement.

  206. CKL says: May 2, 2012 1:09 PM

    myspaceyourface says:
    May 2, 2012 12:26 PM
    I don’t recall any Patriots players getting suspended for Spygate? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
    ___________________________
    Why would they be? They weren’t involved in any way in videotaping from an illegal area. You think they held the cameras or something????

    @nola, I am not sure what you heard vis a vis amount of players being that high but I’ve heard media like Steve Wyche and a couple other saying for a long while now that the expectations were that only a few guys considered Saints defensive leaders would be suspended. Looks like they were right.

  207. mrlombardi1 says: May 2, 2012 1:09 PM

    It is easy to jump on the band wagon, but I have yet to see visual evidence. It’s a trash talk suspension. The hit on Pierre Thomas in the 49er game was worse than ANYTHING the NFL Network was able to come up with on the Saints since 2009…and it doesn’t seem to matter. I just don’t get it.

    And don’t talk about an *. That is just ridiculous!

  208. dvdman123 says: May 2, 2012 1:11 PM

    The Bucs,Falcons and Panthers are sick to their stomach right now….no players on offense suspended? I guess another NFC South championship for the Saints.

  209. mrtrappedinmymindsr says: May 2, 2012 1:12 PM

    Im I the only one who doesn’t get the “Drew Brees demands an explaination” joke?

  210. neauxgeaux44 says: May 2, 2012 1:13 PM

    ha ha ha…this does not hurt the Saints at all…depth at LB and DE is plenty…so, sorry jealous haters…we still win the SB this year….fact…lmao…best news for the Saints in a long time….who dat, we STILL DAT!

  211. eballa1 says: May 2, 2012 1:14 PM

    Vilma found out about the suspension from watching SportsCenter. Goodell didn’t even have the decency to inform the players himself or through the league office? Ridiculous.

  212. jason1980 says: May 2, 2012 1:14 PM

    This is great news, Vilma already replaced with Lofton, we’re got three other top notch defensive linemen, Smith out for four games, piece of cake Goddell. The Saints are coming to get ya! This is hilarious Goddell, all of this hoop-la, and you suspend 4 players, where’s the 27 defensive players that were on the hit list,
    from the Saints team? Superbowl Baby!!

  213. devildog911 says: May 2, 2012 1:15 PM

    WHO DAT NOW, HUH?

    Brees should be banned, too…like indefinitely.

  214. purpwalk says: May 2, 2012 1:16 PM

    wouldn’t be surprised to see payback from players, refs, media, and fans, etc., for many years to come, kinda like a modern-day public stoning

  215. granadafan says: May 2, 2012 1:16 PM

    “rolltide510 says: May 2, 2012 12:02 PM
    Sort of like seeing Fujita on the list. He tends to act pretty holier then thou with his Berkeley politics, glad to see its “progressive” to take out ACLs.”
    ===========================================

    Ah, an ignorant Bama fan throwing out four decades old stereotypes about CAL and Berkeley. Give us examples of Fujita’s politics. Did you know that the Young Republicans group is one of the largest student groups on campus in Berkeley? Can you separate the world class university (UC-Berkeley/CAL) from the City of Berkeley?

  216. imodan says: May 2, 2012 1:19 PM

    Thanks. No less deserving of their ring than the equally tainted New England Spygate Patriots.

    And it was still a heart warming story to see New Orleans rally after Katrina.

    To hell with all you hypocrites. Who actually got hurt? So, they’ll do their time, but you are foolish to think this doesnt go on with other teams. It doesnt excuse it, but the Pats transgressions was more devious, because it was more nuanced, more subtle and ultimately effective, because their “evidence” was subsequently DESTROYED.
    __________________________________
    Get real sport. Teams are allowed to tape the other teams sidelines even to this day, just do it from specified areas. Where the Pats filmed from was totally legal until the year they got fined and lost a draft pick. Yes, they were warned and shame on them for being stupid and arrogant but cheating and getting an advantage simply doesn’t hold water when the same thing is perfectly legal to this day. As long as you’re not dumb enough to do it from a prohibited area. I will never forgive whoever it was that ordered that filming to be done there. It has ruined those 3 championships for this 50 year Pats fan. I will admit because I have to that those titles will be forever tainted.

  217. beeronthefridge says: May 2, 2012 1:19 PM

    The Commissioner’s penalties clearly indicate New Orleans Saints are synonymous with criminal coaches and players.

    Only inbred fans would root for these ruffians.

    In a related story, Drew Breese is still waiting for an explanation!

  218. saints4evah says: May 2, 2012 1:20 PM

    Good..now we gt back to our next run at the playoffs.

  219. southpaw2k says: May 2, 2012 1:21 PM

    pftcensorssuck says:
    May 2, 2012 12:37 PM
    southpaw2k says:May 2, 2012 12:17 PM

    I guess we can now add “Drew Brees wants an explanation” to the list of obligatory comments associated with a particular player’s or team’s article, e.g. Ray Lewis was a murderer (which wasn’t true anyways), Ben is a rapist, Rex Ryan is fat and has a foot fetish, etc.
    ———————————————————-
    A) Rex Ryan IS fat. Fact, not opinion.

    B) He DOES have a foot fetish, or are you the only person who didn’t see his video with his wife?

    ——————————————

    You missed my point. Are you not as tired as I am of reading all the same, tired fat jokes and foot fetish jokes about Rex Ryan as I am? I’m already heartily sick of the “Drew Brees needs an explanation” line. It’s been used hundreds of times on Saints’ related articles over the last month or so. There must be at least a dozen repeats of the Drew Brees line (which wasn’t even clever or funny to begin with) on this thread alone. Are you telling me you love reading the same old jokes reused time and again?

  220. xxwhodatxx says: May 2, 2012 1:23 PM

    Dj…

    Final thought, look for Brett Favre to take Vilma, Hargrove, Fujita, and Smith to court for criminal violations. These four players could end up getting jail time for this.

    Yea right.Lol.

  221. 49erstim says: May 2, 2012 1:24 PM

    I cannot believe that Saints fans are so up in arms about two easily replaceable guys getting suspended. This is lighter than a slap on the wrist. C’mon folks. It isn’t like that defense was formidable or anything. Chin up now! Be seeing you real soon by the way…. ;-) and you thought the 9ers were fired up in the playoff game! Time to take your medicine.

  222. bobhpine says: May 2, 2012 1:32 PM

    because offensive players have so many opportunities to take defensive players out of the game…do you even watch football

  223. jdoub732 says: May 2, 2012 1:33 PM

    Look at all the females still hating on my boys

  224. duece5 says: May 2, 2012 1:35 PM

    kathyisintheroom says:May 2, 2012 12:04 PM

    Go ahead and appeal. Now lets see just how much fight the union really has in them.

    Getting suspended for just doing your job? Puh-lease.

    EVERY player on defense around the league tries to put the quarterback out of the game, money or no money involved. If you say they don’t your naive or lying.
    Even high School teams try to get the opposing star out of the game.

    And for all the clueless nimits that say the Saints “cheated”……. please explain how they cheated?
    Name one player they knocked out of a game.
    Name one instance of illegal video taping.

    I have news for you, the PATRIOTS cheated, not New Orleans.

    Haters will always hate, but at least APPEAR to be an intelligent hater.

    duece5 says:

    Kathy…..you are in such denial.

    read the following EVIDENCE:

    Williams admitted to the crime, along with Loomis, Vitt, and Payton.

    The offered an environment to cheat…..a controlled pathway to take out other players.

    Add the audio to Williams garbage of taking out heads and ACLs……

    Don’t forget Vilma adding the $10k himself…..it is all SEMANTICS.

    The dudes that will appeal will say it isn’t a pay for “injury”, it’s pay for “performance”……when actually it comes out to be the same.

    Sure, every team tries to shake up or take out the qb……that ISN’T the point.

    THIS IS THE POINT:

    1. You can’t have a pay for play/injury SYSTEM….key word….SYSTEM….in place….it is ILLEGAL by rules of the NFL….which makes it CHEATING!!!!!!

    THE SAINTS HAD AN ILLEGAL SYSTEM IN PLACE….how hard is that to understand?????
    2. You can’t LIE about it for 3 years…..Loomis, Williams, and Payton did it for 3 years, snubbed their nose at the NFL….now you PAY for it.
    3. The NFLPA doesn’t stand a chance……take your medicine, as your team is an EMBARRASSMENT around the league.

    The aints became the raiduz times 10…..both are an official joke!!!

  225. starderup says: May 2, 2012 1:36 PM

    Since the entire defense was in on the cheating, they all should be suspended for the whole year. Also, that trophy should be returned, and no winner of the Super Bowl that year should be declared.
    Put Brees out there on defense. I’d love to see that smarmy grin slapped off his face.
    Stains.

  226. mattspapi says: May 2, 2012 1:37 PM

    Its Belichick’s fault
    Just ask Harbaugh
    There’s your answer Drew

  227. darthsaint says: May 2, 2012 1:39 PM

    Calm down Saints haters. Let’s get down to the facts instead of the hate speech. Then draw your wild conclusions.

    Hargrove plays for the packers…not the Saints. So those 8 games…don’t hurt the Saints.

    Fujita plays for the Browns…not the Saints. So those 3 games…dont hurt the Saints.

    Ask ANY Saints fan that follows the team. If you asked us to name 4 players likely to be cut going into 2012/2013. Both Will Smith and Jonathan Vilma would have been on that list.

    Fact…Vilma has had diminishing stats for 4 seasons in a row. His CAP tag was over 7 million. This off-season the Saints signed Curtis Loften, arguably a top 5 MLB. Then signed Hawthorne from Seattle who is also a very good and versatile LB. ask fans of those teams…they were not happy to see them leave.

    Point is, you don’t spent 42 million on two other LBs…and plan to keep Vilma at 7mill for next season. Saints fans all expected Vilma to be cut when those two signings happened.

    The Saints however kept Vilma. And now that makes much more sense. I think the Saints FO had an idea from the league how many games Vilma might be out. To cut Vilma would have led to about 4mill in empty CAP hits. By keeping Vilma but having him suspended…the Saints instantly save his entire 7mill salary.

    Why does that matter? Many here have given the Saints grief for not signing Drew Brees sooner. Well I will argue it was all part of a larger plan. By franchising Brees, it put his CAP number at 14-16mill. If they sign Drew immediatly, it would have been 21-22mill. That decision gave the Saints up to 8mill additional dollars. With those dollars, they signed 3 starting caliber LBs, one of the best run stuffing DTs in the league in Bunkley, All -Pro guard Grubbs, and resigned All-Pro WR Colston. If they had instantly signed Brees…they would have had enough money to maybe resign Colston and nothing more.

    Now with these two suspensions the Saints will save roughly 9mill instantly. Vilma 7+mill and a quarter of Smiths restructured deal. Loomis, GM for Saints has always seemed extremely confident that the deal would get done. I always found it interesting none of the parties ever seemed publically frustrated. And I think that is because the Saints explained the suspensions had to play out first so they knew what they could front load on the contract. If the Saints spent their CAP initially on Brees…they aren’t able to build their team with new players. Instead…Brees, being a team player. Let the Saints handle business…wait for the suspensions…and trusted they would handle his contract in due time.

  228. malkinrulez says: May 2, 2012 1:40 PM

    kathyisintheroom:I’m not sure where you played or were taught football but “taking out” the teams best player isn’t taught. As someone who played the game , you are taught to separate the ball from the man but you aren’t strategically targeting specific body parts due to prior injuries. What the saints set up isn’t football

  229. thetooloftools says: May 2, 2012 1:40 PM

    The problem I have with this whole mess in the intent to injure. I have no problem with sack bounties or big stop bounties, but injury bounties are over the line and people need to get hammered.

  230. chandler1 says: May 2, 2012 1:41 PM

    nola5712 says:May 2, 2012 1:09 PM

    If it looks like a cheater, smells like a cheater, acts like a cheater, denies like a cheater, makes excuses like a cheater, defends criminal activity, yep it’s the Saints cheating.

    ****** Tainted For Life

  231. jdoub732 says: May 2, 2012 1:41 PM

    Its gonna feel nice to win it all at home in the dome

  232. anthonybjones says: May 2, 2012 1:44 PM

    Didn’t see many people lining up to defend Ben Roethlisberger when he was accused and ultimately acquitted of rape charges.

    He’s still labeled a rapist despite the fact that he was never convicted. The precedent has been set; you don’t have to be guilty of a crime to receive punishment. Everyone just piled on Ben because it was the politically correct thing to do.

    Flash forward; you have the Saints. The argument that there’s no proof: who are we to say? The NFL has made it clear that they have bountiful and substantial proof that this program existed. What benefit is there to the NFL to levy out all of these punishments? It would have been much cleaner for them to say “Nope, no bounty here… move along”.

    Instead, they are dishing out punishments to the most culpable people; and a huge chunk of people are jumping on the defend-the-saints-everyone-does-it bandwagon.

    The real issue here is that people don’t think this was bad. Not that it didn’t happen. Guess what? I t doesn’t matter if you think Pay-For-Harm isn’t a big deal in the NFL. The league does. And it shows.

    +1 for doing the right thing
    -1 playing outside the rules

    No matter how you’re cheating, what right do you have to mercy when you know you’re doing the wrong thing?

  233. justrunit11 says: May 2, 2012 1:45 PM

    HAHA Aints Freaken Vilma

  234. pussom74 says: May 2, 2012 1:48 PM

    How does the saying go? “Nothing is illegal until you get caught?”
    I’m sure that there are far more perverse things going on in the NFL. I mean whats wrong with 27 or so chaps having some fun with one another however vile some might view it. We all have our little side bets on Sunday in our own living rooms or even the bookie down the block for those trying to get closer to the action. Football IS an aggressive sport but DON’T get me wrong, its a morbid thing when injuries occur. But when the dearest Brady single handedly tweaked the roughing the passer rules, it shows that the game is changing. It never use to be the game for the weak so maybe that’s why the good old Saints tried to make things a little interesting. We all use to get those scratch and sniff smiley stickers in school for our good work as it were. Well, the chaps here decided to toss a little money around instead. Maybe there was a little wrong, but Goodell being the hack that he is, should we trust him. Wasn’t there 27 or so players involved as well? Welcome to America huh? I’m sorry for my gibberish. I was trying to get at something, however successful it was, I don’t know.

  235. cuda1234 says: May 2, 2012 1:48 PM

    Vilma doesn’t think he did anything wrong because he’s just doing what we was taught at the University of Miami – one of the most corrupt programs in NCAA history. If that place was a state school, it would have gotten the death penalty a long time ago.

  236. latchbeam says: May 2, 2012 1:56 PM

    Why was Fujita suspended? There are specific details as to why for everyone, except him… it would be nice to know.

  237. camtastic89 says: May 2, 2012 1:57 PM

    This is camtastic news for the panthers. NFC SOUTH CHAMPS!!

  238. jmsincla says: May 2, 2012 2:05 PM

    Lots of childish talk regarding Drew Brees, I smell envy.

  239. chandler1 says: May 2, 2012 2:06 PM

    jdoub732 says:May 2, 2012 1:41 PM

    Its gonna feel nice to win it all at home in the dome

    ***********************************

    Changed it for you… “Its gonna feel nice to cheat all the time at home in the dome again.”

  240. gmen1987 says: May 2, 2012 2:07 PM

    neauxgeaux44 says:
    May 2, 2012 1:13 PM
    ha ha ha…this does not hurt the Saints at all…depth at LB and DE is plenty…so, sorry jealous haters…we still win the SB this year….fact…lmao…best news for the Saints in a long time….who dat, we STILL DAT!

    ===================================
    Keep on smoking that crackpipe, Frog. You are delusional.

  241. peachyc39 says: May 2, 2012 2:07 PM

    I think that the Saints should stop whining about their players..in all actuality it was just Jon Vilma and Will Smith that got in trouble….the other 2 are not even on the team anymore therefore they don’t literally affect your games this year. If I were you I’d be happy that more players were not punished as well.

  242. lolb23 says: May 2, 2012 2:18 PM

    But Vilma played for the Jets before he came to New Orleans so your little Miami theory is all for nothing. Nice try though. :-)

  243. baddegg says: May 2, 2012 2:21 PM

    ubb44 says:May 2, 2012 12:02 PM

    Drew Brees needs an explanation please.

    ————–

    And of course…Tiki=Flabergasted

  244. mungman69 says: May 2, 2012 2:25 PM

    Thought that there were 27 players involved but just four suspended?

  245. baddegg says: May 2, 2012 2:25 PM

    kevpft says:May 2, 2012 12:04 PM

    Only four players, only three on the current roster? Sounds like the Saints got off light on this stage of the punishment. If they’re smart, they’ll take this without a peep and count themselves lucky.

    —————-

    Once again, the NFL panders to the players union in order to punish the few. Remember how they appeased the players union so that they would sign off on cap punishments to the Redskins and Cowboys? In this case, the NFL is calculating in the same way. If they suspend 27 players, the union has to go full force at them. By cherry picking only 4, the NFL hopes to slide this punishment through…

  246. johart52 says: May 2, 2012 2:26 PM

    Great team/organization you got there in New Orleans. They should get their Super Bowl taken back. Saints go 6-10 this year. Dolphins.

  247. cball77 says: May 2, 2012 2:27 PM

    I was kinda choked the Seahawks didn’t re-sign Hargrove because I thought he was very good last year – maybe they saw this coming.

  248. wludford says: May 2, 2012 2:30 PM

    A somewhat related note: I think the NFL should change the timing of player suspensions, particularly one-game suspensions that happen during the year. Given the importance of divisional games, suspensions should be assessed under this protocol:

    1. a player suspended during the first game of a divisional series should serve the suspension during the second game of the series.

    2. if not #1, the player should serve the suspension for the next divisional opponents.

    3. if there are no other #1 or #2 games left in the regular season, then the next game(s).

    That way a suspension that may have altered the outcome of a key divisional match-up can be served (more fairly) in the re-match later in the season or at least during another divisional game. I think that increases the fairness and impact of suspensions, particularly in the all-important divisional races.

  249. tavia47 says: May 2, 2012 2:47 PM

    To all my Saints Haters you say the Saints tried to injure other players, tell me one thing who did they injured to my understanding it’s no one so what’s your problem. I would have hate to have seen them actually hurt someone. what would mr. goodell have done then. Taken the team away from us. Y’all know what y’all can do go to….!!!

  250. vellcity87 says: May 2, 2012 2:48 PM

    Wow…it’s amazing how gullible our society has become. Now don’t get me wrong, I do understand why goodell is so call “bringing down the hammer”; Its simply to protect the intergity of the NFL sheld and to put on notice to all the other 31 clubs that a pay for performance system will not be tolerated. However, that’s all it was. A PAY FOR PERFORMANCE system, not a bounty system. If it actually was a bounty system, then it was the most half-hearted, half-assed bounty system ever established. There were zero knocks, cart-offs, or anything of the sort. As a matter of fact, the only player knocked out of a game was pierre thomas. The 49ers definitely KILLED his head and his body DIED as a result but of course we all know that was a clean hit, right? Yes, defensive players go after quarterbacks to put as much pain on his body and as much fear in his heart as they possibly can, not to intentionally injure the guy. Fact of the matter is, the evidence is loose at best and goodell did what he thought he had to do to protect the NFL based on said evidence or lack thereof. The saints will take this on the chin and move on like always. The superbowl win WILL NOT receive an asterisk and will never be tainted and for the guy who says cam newton will be licking his chops at the saints on week 2. Carolina will still lose that game.

  251. cags777 says: May 2, 2012 2:59 PM

    Shouldn’t Scott Fujita also have his player rep duties stripped? That would also be a fair resolution in addition to his three-game suspension.

  252. genericuser8888 says: May 2, 2012 3:02 PM

    The NFL has actual videotape of Ndamukong Suh pushing a players head into the ground and stomping on his arm. He initially came out and denied this behavior was wrong, even when faced with video. His was suspended 2 games without pay.

    The NFL has actual video of Albert Haynesworth stomping on a helmet-less player’s head. The player had to have stitches. Haynesworth’s penalty was 5 games without pay.

    Jonathon Vilma’s actions are not on video tape. All the evidence presented so far seem to show that his actions caused no on-field cart offs or injuries of any type. His penalty is a full year suspension.

    Stay classy NFL.

  253. detroitlionsnfl says: May 2, 2012 3:05 PM

    WOW! WOW! WOW! The League is NOT playing around with the Saints! Suck for you Saints fans, lol! And I LOVE how Green Bay got hit with Hargroves suspension too! SCORE!!!!

  254. lengai says: May 2, 2012 3:12 PM

    Wooo..great news. WHO DAT baby! Hawthorne and Lofton are signed so MLB is covered….good job to Payton and Loomis! Only 4 games for Will Smith…no problem.

    Everyone already knew Vilma was out for the year. Now we have a new DT, two stud LBs and a better defense :)

    Look out NFL, the Saints are coming!

    Y’all know you’re scared :)

  255. aces79 says: May 2, 2012 3:14 PM

    Roman Harper should be on that suspension list

  256. hairpie says: May 2, 2012 3:16 PM

    imodan says:
    May 2, 2012 1:19 PM
    Thanks. No less deserving of their ring than the equally tainted New England Spygate Patriots.

    And it was still a heart warming story to see New Orleans rally after Katrina.

    To hell with all you hypocrites. Who actually got hurt? So, they’ll do their time, but you are foolish to think this doesnt go on with other teams. It doesnt excuse it, but the Pats transgressions was more devious, because it was more nuanced, more subtle and ultimately effective, because their “evidence” was subsequently DESTROYED.
    __________________________________
    Get real sport. Teams are allowed to tape the other teams sidelines even to this day, just do it from specified areas. Where the Pats filmed from was totally legal until the year they got fined and lost a draft pick. Yes, they were warned and shame on them for being stupid and arrogant but cheating and getting an advantage simply doesn’t hold water when the same thing is perfectly legal to this day. As long as you’re not dumb enough to do it from a prohibited area. I will never forgive whoever it was that ordered that filming to be done there. It has ruined those 3 championships for this 50 year Pats fan. I will admit because I have to that those titles will be forever tainted.

    ———————————-

    How do you retroactively taint championships based on a rule that was enforced years after the championships were won? i dont understand that logic.

  257. lolb23 says: May 2, 2012 3:24 PM

    Hawthorne and Lofton are signed so
    ______________________________

    Those guys suck. If you think either can replace Vilma then you either don’t know your own team very well at all, or you only watch the Saints and are clueless to the rest of the league.

  258. hairpie says: May 2, 2012 3:27 PM

    tatum064 says:
    May 2, 2012 12:12 PM
    ubb44 says:
    May 2, 2012 11:59 AM
    Everyone should have got the gate for the season, not just Vilma.

    Nice team you got there New Orleans. The Taints.

    =========

    Thanks. No less deserving of their ring than the equally tainted New England Spygate Patriots.

    And it was still a heart warming story to see New Orleans rally after Katrina.

    To hell with all you hypocrites. Who actually got hurt? So, they’ll do their time, but you are foolish to think this doesnt go on with other teams. It doesnt excuse it, but the Pats transgressions was more devious, because it was more nuanced, more subtle and ultimately effective, because their “evidence” was subsequently DESTROYED.

    Who Dat FOREVER.
    ——————————————

    How exactly is a 22 year old liberal arts major standing in plain view of 70,000 with a camera more “devious” than an intricate bounty system that violates the salary cap rules and is designed to illegally injure key players, thereby altering the outcome of a game?

  259. golonger says: May 2, 2012 3:35 PM

    Ridiculous……but expected……Goodell is the worst!

  260. electstat says: May 2, 2012 3:46 PM

    One of these times I’d like to see a player appeal something and the decision comes back worse than the original punishment.

  261. lengai says: May 2, 2012 3:55 PM

    lolb23 says:
    May 2, 2012 3:24 PM
    Hawthorne and Lofton are signed so
    ______________________________

    Those guys suck. If you think either can replace Vilma then you either don’t know your own team very well at all,
    ___________________________________

    Wrong on both accusations there Sherlock. Dunbar ran MLB last season…I’m sorry is that egg on your face :)

  262. mdd913 says: May 2, 2012 3:56 PM

    lolb23 says: May 2, 2012 3:24 PM

    Hawthorne and Lofton are signed so
    ______________________________

    Those guys suck. If you think either can replace Vilma then you either don’t know your own team very well at all, or you only watch the Saints and are clueless to the rest of the league.

    ——————————————————————

    LOL, you are a moron. Hawthorne and Lofton are two of the top young young linebackers in the game and Vilma was awful last year and has rickety knees.

    Talk about being “clueless to the rest of the league”….that’s you in a nutshell buddy.

  263. janpage says: May 2, 2012 5:15 PM

    Honestly, the notion of a nobody like Vilma trying his best to take out Brett Favre. Makes me want to heave. Look, folks, whether you like it or not, there are some players with tons of charisma like Favre and Tebow.

    Vilma has the charisma of an artichoke and the morals of some lesser vegetable.

    I just hope he never comes near the NFL again. Ever.

  264. NationalFlagFootballLeague says: May 2, 2012 5:18 PM

    lolb23 says: May 2, 2012 3:24 PM

    Hawthorne and Lofton are signed so
    ______________________________

    Those guys suck. If you think either can replace Vilma then you either don’t know your own team very well at all, or you only watch the Saints and are clueless to the rest of the league.

    =============================
    lolb23 for douche of the year

  265. cometophillyforthecrack says: May 2, 2012 6:20 PM

    if it keeps on raining the saints are going to break, if it keeps on raining the saints are going to break.

  266. golonger says: May 2, 2012 6:23 PM

    janpage – you know nothing about football…….if you did, you would realize that EVERY defense was trying to take out Favre……get a clue!

  267. bozosforall says: May 2, 2012 8:23 PM

    hairpie says:
    May 2, 2012 3:27 PM
    tatum064 says:
    May 2, 2012 12:12 PM
    ubb44 says:
    May 2, 2012 11:59 AM
    Everyone should have got the gate for the season, not just Vilma.

    Nice team you got there New Orleans. The Taints.

    =========

    Thanks. No less deserving of their ring than the equally tainted New England Spygate Patriots.

    And it was still a heart warming story to see New Orleans rally after Katrina.

    To hell with all you hypocrites. Who actually got hurt? So, they’ll do their time, but you are foolish to think this doesnt go on with other teams. It doesnt excuse it, but the Pats transgressions was more devious, because it was more nuanced, more subtle and ultimately effective, because their “evidence” was subsequently DESTROYED.

    Who Dat FOREVER.
    ——————————————

    How exactly is a 22 year old liberal arts major standing in plain view of 70,000 with a camera more “devious” than an intricate bounty system that violates the salary cap rules and is designed to illegally injure key players, thereby altering the outcome of a game?

    __
    If you think that the lackey that did the filming from the sidelines was the real mastermind behind the Pats cheating scheme, then I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you. Then again, you crybabies in New England have to convince yourselves of that in order to try and distract yourselves from the fact that all three of your team’s SB titles are forever tainted.

  268. xzoso says: May 2, 2012 11:53 PM

    Sounds harsh, and it is for Vilma. But the Saints are fine. They signed two linebackers BETTER than Vilma. Curtis Lofton, and one of the most underrated ILB’s in the game, David Hawthorne. According to ProFootballFocus, which ranks every play based on ever down, Vilma had a horrible year. He rank 45th out of 50 inside linebackers eligible for ranking. Lofton and Hawthorne and more than considerable upgrades.

  269. xzoso says: May 2, 2012 11:55 PM

    Just scanned through comments.. while Vilma is an outstanding leader and ‘quarterback of the defense’, overall he was very below average. David Hawthorne and Curtis Lofton are both large upgrades. And I am no fan of the Saints.

  270. berguli says: May 3, 2012 10:51 AM

    Florio, or someone here… if you have knowledge of the law, or as it pertains to the CBA… do the players accused have the right to face their accuser/s like they would in a court of law?

    in a court of law, the defense can and will face the accuser and attempt to destroy that persons credibility….is this the other shoe that the players want to drop?

    someone please explain what the options are…

  271. cowboycjn says: May 7, 2012 9:40 AM

    patriots123456 says:
    May 2, 2012 12:22 PM
    And when the Saint come marching in, there will be four more missing! LOL

    He had to drop the hammer.

    With the impending lawsuits this is really going to get ugly.

    = = = = = = = = = = = = = == = = = = = = = = = =
    Well another reader that can’t comprehend whats read. When the Saints come marching in – they only have 2 players that are on suspension. What happen to the 26-27 players that were being stated as the entire Saints defense would be missing from this season? Both of the 2 players suspended have already been replaced by the draft – so how is the hammer been dropped?
    See ya in the SB Mr. Patroit, if you guys make it!

  272. suprmous says: May 9, 2012 12:08 AM

    First and fore most there’s NO evidence to prove that any of the Saints’ players are guilty of anything as reported by GODell. I dare say that if there was it wouldn’t have already been out there before now. Along with various owners Goodell want the Saints out of the NFL and if they can get it done by disgracing them they’ll do it. They all know the Saints have a very sucessful program and they don’t want to have it as a thorn in their side. Notice how Goodell plays pattycake slap on the wrist with the likes of Suh of the Lions, Roddy White of the Dirty Birds, Ray Rice of the Ravens, and countless others?

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