Vilma, Hargrove, Smith, Fujita plan appeal and legal battle

AP

The four players suspended today for their role in the Saints’ bounty scandal do not plan to accept their punishment without a fight.

Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, Packers defensive end Anthony Hargrove, Saints defensive end Will Smith and Browns linebacker Scott Fujita have all already decided that they will appeal. Vilma is suspended for all of 2012, Hargrove (who left the Saints after the 2010 season) has been suspended for the first eight games of the season, Smith has been suspended for the first four games and Fujita (who left the Saints after the 2009 season) has been suspended for the first three games.

The appeals were widely anticipated, but ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the players expect to go beyond the usual appeals process within the league office and instead expect to go to federal court.

“Get ready for a massive legal battle on many fronts,” Schefter quoted a source as saying.

The NFL’s announcement of the suspensions said that each player is entitled to appeal the decision within three days, and that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will hold a hearing at which the player may speak on his behalf and be represented by counsel. But all indications are that both the players and their union believe that they’ll be represented by counsel not only in front of Goodell, but also in front of a federal judge. This story is a long way from over.

143 responses to “Vilma, Hargrove, Smith, Fujita plan appeal and legal battle

  1. Glad to see Goodell nailed Fujita too, despite his having changed teams.

    These punishments are well deserved, but I wish Roger had suspended more of the players who were obviously trying to mutilate Brett Favre.

  2. Will be funny if these guys end up getting to play while appealing, and retire before ever having to serve it.

  3. With the appeals, expect the majority of these players (prob not Vilma) to not miss a down this year because of the long process. Suck it Goodell

  4. The fact that Vilma found out about the suspension watching sportscenter is a disgrace. The league office should contact the players/agents/team before a national relaease. What a effing joke Goodell, you tyrant. Ridiculous…

  5. Even as a Packers fan, if Anthony Hargrove did do anything related to the bounties and its proven, he deserves what he gets.

  6. All I can say is…break a leg, literally! Karma owes you one.

    I hope the league brings in the IRS to audit your income from those years and does everything else possible to make this appeal process very painful and expensive for you. Take your penalties and shut up about it; you’ve earned them.

  7. Good luck with that whole “biting the hand that feeds you” approach, jackholes.

  8. Its called football. Many of the other commenters on the msg board here seem more of the bobsled or croquet type. Why didn’t the refs call penalties, or eject players if what was going on was so egregious.

  9. I love it!!!!
    Take the Gestapo all the way to Federal Court. Can’t wait the the courts smack down the power crazed lil Napoelean.

    The Patriots cheated, NOT the Saints. The Gestapo even said in his own words that the Pats cheated.

    The Saints players were just doing what has been done since high school. Try to increase your odds of winning by putting the star opposing player out of the game.

    Now if any hits the Saints laid on an opposing player was a penalty, then they would have been flagged and fined already. So this would be an ADDITIONAL unwarrented penalty. If they were not flagged and fined for an illegal hit previously, how can you say they did something and discipline them now?

    I just wish Loomis, Payton, Vitt, and Benson would take their cases to court against this mad power crazed lunatic.

  10. I don’t see why the federal courts would be involved at all in what is an internal business matter. Unless this is just an attempt to intimidate Goodell.

  11. “Massive legal battles” translates to: indigestion, cardiovascular stress, anxiety, dishonesty, skeleton’s coming out of closets and more fun stuff for the defendant’s. To further add to the absurdity of the matter, they are most likely GUILTY on all fronts!

    Meanwhile, the attorney’s on both sides barbecue oyster’s on their gold plated yachts.

  12. Why not appeal in court? Saints players already know from the Starcaps case that if you make it into a court case, you can drag it out so long that your career will be over before a ruling comes down, and in the meantime you can keep playing and collecting your salary. They are doing exactly what Payton did when he appealed: buying time. The “justice system” need a huge overhaul.

  13. lolb23 says:
    May 2, 2012 12:36 PM
    Every game ever won with these guys in the line up is an * including the Super Bowl.

    =========

    And the same will apply for the New England Patriots Super Bowls. Harbaugh already commented that their rings are “tainted” or “stained” as well.

  14. Somewhere in the swamps, Brett Farve is tweeting his agent informing him he’s ready to play again!

  15. lolb23 says:
    May 2, 2012 12:36 PM
    Every game ever won with these guys in the line up is an * including the Super Bowl
    ____________________

    Really? Please attach a link that shows the asterisk and then maybe people will take you seriously. Oh wait, you don’t have a link? Thanks, and have a nice day.

    Oh and by the way, the league better be ready for one heavily motivated and charged Saints team this year! Who Dat!

  16. CBA will take precedence over courts in all likelihood. Want to know why NFL doesn’t want an arbitrator—-answer: Ryan Braun – obviously guilty and let off on an absurd technicality!

    Should be more suspensions for defensive backs.

  17. Ugh…years of court battles upcoming over this crap, just what we need.

    Take your punishment like men…you got caught, now accept it and deal with it.

  18. How many players did the Saints knock out of a game?

    Exactly……ZERO.

    Then there was no offenses committed.

    How in the world does anyone say there is an * attached?

    You must be Patriots fans, cause that is the only team that has earned an * by their titles for C H E A T I N G

    No player knocked out of a game.
    No ILLEGAL videotaping.
    No “misinterpeting” the rules

    Thank You
    Now go back to hater school

  19. mrhurriicane says:
    May 2, 2012 12:36 PM
    They got what they deserved. Idiots.

    =======================

    They still got a ring, and would’ve gotten one anyway. No one was stopping that offense, and they nearly got to another one this year if not for the gutsy 49ers.

    All this negativity plays right into the hands of Brees, who will simply drop 400 yard games again with the same cast of characters and new acquisitions on defense.

    Never wish bad karma on teams – did you see how that worked for the Pats?

  20. These guys got what thery deserved if not more. They thought it was all fun to try to take players out and possible end their careers. They all should be sitting at home for a year. This was against their fellow players and union members. ALL FOR MORE BUCKS!!!!

  21. Who cares? Still making the playoffs! All the guys are replaced/gone. Whatever Goddell…and all you “Super Bowl*” folks who never even played sports…

  22. They will get sued too, and the evidence and public opinion will be against them. People like these will take down anything for their own selfish reasons.

    Ambassadors of the game? Not in any way.

  23. Courts have long respected power of commissioners in sports, so it will be interesting to see how they overcome that.

  24. My dad once told me in assessing a situation to look at it in reverse. What would the NFLPA say if the NFL lined up sponsors to put up money (bounties) to hurt players: 10k for a QB, 5k for a wide receiver, etc………….. . I suspect the union would go balistic.

    How is it different if the players themselves do it? Hint: no difference. DSmith is a chump and a hypocrite if he pursues legal action here just to prove he is not a potted plant.

  25. Hey Saint haters…. BAHAHAHAHAHAHA… Boohoo and tell us how unfair this is… You want our entire defense suspended!!

    We signed Lofton to play Vilma’s spot… So, basically the Saints lose Smith for 4 games… That’s it…

    BAHAHAHAHAHAHA… I hope this pisses you all off. Go ahead and give me thumbs down!! In fact, please set a record for thumbs down on a post!! I don’t care!!

    Get you some aloe to help with the burn!!! BAHAHAHAHA!!

  26. If you think this is ugly now, just wait for the impending lawsuits.

    The Saints, the league, individual players and maybe even the union will be sued.

  27. They’re going the federal route because Goodells process is a joke. He assigns the penalty then the process is the player appeals to him? It’s like a 6 year old appealing to his mother to reconsider his punishment. Momma doesn’t change her mind son. But if you go plead to daddy(federal) you might get less time in your room.

  28. @threedeep1998 says: May 2, 2012 12:45 PM

    Expect a messy legal battle when guys like Warner and Favre come in to sue you.
    ——————–

    Think before you post. The hit on Warner was LEGAL, and Favre already said he’s over it and would never testify against a player.

    Besides, some of you people need to realize that what happens on a football field is different than your living room. A tackle is assault outside of sport. Get that through your thick skulls.

  29. Interested what their legal argument will be. Bounty programs are against League rules. They ran and participated in a bounty program. Are they going to try and deny that? The way the rules are COLLECTIVELY BARGAINED the commissioner is judge and jury and appellate judge and jury. What is their case?

  30. As they should, you give Vilma a year, I dont’ recall reading any headlines of him knocking people out of games.. that was all James Harrison, and what did he get?

  31. @geauxsaintsforever says: May 2, 2012 12:44 PM

    Oh and by the way, the league better be ready for one heavily motivated and charged Saints team this year! Who Dat!
    ————————————————-
    Trust me, the 9ers were ready in January and you Saints fans will be crying in November, just like you were in January. No “nice game” just whining and complaining. To wit:

    @domeinate says: Jan 17, 2012 11:02 PM:

    “The SF journalists and fans at the Saints NOLA website called for stretcher games and glory in taking out other players rendering the team one-dimensional. Broke Romo’s ribs, broke Clemens ankle, concussed P Thomas. Seems the team is intimidated to win on skill. Players on the kick off return looked like demons from hell. Is this the NFL??? Team seems to reflect the fan base. Really creepy and full of bullies.”

    Ironic isn’t it?

  32. Listen up, especially you girlie man three deep…Vilma has already been replaced with significant upgrades in free agency (Loften and Chamberlain), Smith was suspended for 2 games last year and he wasn’t missed. That’s it…no other players currently on the Saints’ roster where suspended…not Harper, not Jenkins, not Ellis…NO ONE that matters. The Saints will come out the gate and shock you all…again. Keep this in mind as I’ve said before…there’s not a team or city in this country more aptly suited to overcome this kind of adversity than the New Orleans Saints…this certainly isn’t their first rodeo. What will you all say come October when they’re 5-0? You’re all in for a big let down and it will be the most impressive comeback in the history of sports.

  33. Can’t WAIT to see Godell in Federal Court. I would love to see him try to explain to a jury how the tremendous disparity between punishments in the SpyGate and BountyGate cases are OK, and why he burned the SpyGate evidence.

  34. Is there a more worthless labor organization than the NFLPA? Either defend your players- regardless of their sins (like a teacher’s union) or stand up for the safety of your entire membership. The NFLPA did neither.
    Not a whole lot of wattage lighting the bulbs in that uinion leadership. It’s Goodell vs. urkle.

  35. “Take the Gestapo all the way to Federal Court. Can’t wait the the courts smack down the power crazed lil Napoelean.”

    Seriously, have you studied history? This is a stupid analogy. The people who make statements like this are the same ones who get mad when the IRS collects what they owe, cry about the unfairness of their DUI’s and call cops pigs. “Oh, the man is keeping me down with all these laws!”

    Goodell has the C

  36. For Jonathan Vilma,

    Allegedly having bounties = drunken vehicular homicide

    #dontestallworth

  37. Court will reject this case as the CBA controls this disciplinary action. Asked and answered in past cases, so don’t expect it to end up in the courts. Appeal denied…..

  38. You know the worst part about all this….all of you idiots who think Goodell is a tyrant etc. These players must have clearly violated rules, Goodell hasn’t suspended anyone without conclusive evidence. The coaches have admitted it….if you criticize anyone it should be The players, coaches and Drew Brees who apparently knows nothing about the bounty issue. Give me a break people, you want football to remain the great sport that it is than like everyone one else rules must be followed. Saints fans are bitter and scorned, your team played the game dirty, it’s been admitted and verified. Deal with it! Call it unfair, call it whatever you want…facts are Facts and obviously there were enough facts to enforce punishments. You want the game to be fair and pure unless it directly effects your team…if this was any other team you saints fans would be calling for their heads. I thought Vikings and cowboys, lakers and redsox fans were bad. Saints fans are the worst by far. Get a life

  39. I think everybody over reacted with this situation. Spygate was way worse then this, because it was actual cheating. The players still had to play the game to collect bounties. I think the coaches suspension was okay but the players isn’t right. They’re just doing what they grew up doing all their lives which is listen to their coach. Before you start saying they are grown men and should know whats right, who cares. Its a contact sport and most of the teams probably do something like the bounty program but not as organized. The Saints were just the first team to get caught. Plus, everybody that’s saying how these people should be behind bars and pay huge fines, go look in the mirror and remind yourself why you never made it and your sitting there reading my comment.

  40. Actually I love it…Vilma gone without pay and Smith for 4 games without pay only frees up the cap space to sign Brees long-term. All you geniuses that can’t think outside the box wondering and speculating on some kind of conspiracy theory to keep a Brees deal from getting done…this is why its taken so long. They were simply waiting for the suspensions to come down so that they could reevaluate the cap space as a result…next headline will be ‘Saints Sign Brees to 6 year $144M Contract’!

  41. “Take the Gestapo all the way to Federal Court. Can’t wait the the courts smack down the power crazed lil Napoelean.”

    Seriously, have you studied history? This is a stupid analogy. The people who make statements like this are the same ones who get mad when the IRS collects what they owe, cry about the unfairness of their DUI’s and call cops pigs. “Oh, the man is keeping me down with all these laws!”

    Goodell has the COLLECTIVELY BARGAINED RIGHT to suspend these players. Start whining about that to the NFLPA, because that’s who agreed to it.

  42. Go to hell lads. Football is violent sport and we don’t need tugs intend to injure coworkers.

  43. Awesome! Vilma and the rest of the Saints Dejects should research cases where burglars fall the roof of a house they planned to rob and then successfully win a lawsuit against the homeowner.

  44. maybe what GOOD could come of the appeals is that we as fans of football can finally get a glimpse of some of the 50000 pages of evidence that the nfl may or not have. however we all know this is the second story within 30 minutes and i bet keyboards are smoking at pft. “clicks = $$$$”

  45. I’m sorry, but the players do not have a legal right to go to court. Thy agreed to the new CBA, which stated that Goodell would handle discipline, and then the players had the right to appeal to the decision with the league.

    Sorry they don’t like the punishment or what it entails, but they agreed to it before. Now that the decision goes against them, they are mad. Too bad.

  46. It’s funny how “fandom” gets involved in this issue. From BOTH sides. Saints fans lean right and all of the other teams’ fans lean left (not politically).

    And then there are those who mention a named Hurricane which goes well beyond football talk. Those of you need to reevaluate your worth on this earth.

  47. Can’t imagine what Fujita plans to accomplish from appealing other than prolonging the eventuality. He has already stated he offered $$$ for big plays. He likely isn’t being suspended for the big hit bounties but rather the big play bouties that are also against the rules. The NFL is trying to cover both bases with these suspensions. These guys are going to throw their teammates under the IRS bus and causing issues for them. This from a member of the association executive who should know much better.

  48. I don’t have much of an opinion on whether or not these penalties are “fair”, but they are definitely one thing–stiff. And every time Goddell brings down the hammer on something (whether it’s bountygate or the mysterious uncapped (yet capped) year, etc), it just makes me realize how easy the Pats got off for spygate.

    If Goddell is going to be stiff, he at least needs to be consistent.

  49. So sick and tired of the asterisk talk. Yes they broke the rules, I’m not a fan of theirs but it doesn’t change the fact that they won the games on the field with no unfair competitive advantage. Most of this comes from Vikings fans who just assume they would have beat the colts in the Super Bowl. Get over it! The Saints broke the rules and are getting their punishment, but it does not change the fact that they were the better team on the field. Bounty or no bounty everyone’s out there trying to take the other qb out of the game

  50. That’s it, hah…….alright Saints fans, it’s party time in Who Dat Nation. Superbowl Baby!!! Y’all think we intended to hurts some folks last season, ohhhh you just wait. The Saints are coming to get ya, we’re bigger, meaner, far more pi$$ed off than we were last year. Be very scared NFL!

  51. Players want to take this to federal court – question one on cross-examination Did you receive payment? Yes.
    Question 2 – Did you declare this income on your income taxes? No.
    Question 3 – are you aware tax evasion is a crime?
    Sh!t.

  52. This is the system that exists today in the National Football League. This is NOT the same as in public politics, where the cry “If you don’t like the way things are, change them!” or “get in there and run for office yourself if you’re upset with the system”…..This is private entertainment, folks. (Public politics is not much more than that except you and I are FORCED to pay for it.)You pay for the privilege of WATCHING these games and idolizing these players. PAY. YOU. BY CHOICE.

    Goodell cares not one whit if you’re pissed or happy or anything. He certainly knows that if you’re upset enough you’ll quit paying, but he KNOWS that making YOU that MAD takes one hell of a lot. You’ve proven it time and again that you cannot wait to buy the next jersey, the $8 beer and the $150 tickets and the $40 parking. You come back every single year with season ticket money, jersey money and beer and tailgate money. EVERY YEAR.

    Goodell makes WAY more than you do, and he’s got the job for life unless HE pushes YOU so far that YOU STOP paying. Then the owners will find someone else and kiss and make up with YOU. And then you’ll PAY again. Just like last year.

    Where public politics and private entertainment meet, like in the Minnesota stadium debacle, are another animal altogether. A very smelly, ugly one.

  53. 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!

  54. I am not a Saints fan, however: Football is a violent game played by large men who run fast and are very strong. If you think that the Saints are/were the only team that had this type of program in place, then you have your head buried in the sand. Spygate is 10x worse than what the Saints did, this whole thing is a joke. The NFL is vilifying the same culture that helped build this empire. We tune in to watch the speed, the tactics and the violence. A dark day in NFL history that could have been avoided if our society/culture had not become so PC/ soft. What an effing joke.

  55. “Wow……..I really wish Goodell would just resign.”
    —————————————————-

    I don’t know why it still shocks me when I see statements this ignorant but it does.

    I really wish that there was some intelligence filter for the internet… “you must be of this IQ or higher to post on this website”….that would be sweet.

  56. kathyisintheroom says:May 2, 2012 12:42 PM

    I just wish Loomis, Payton, Vitt, and Benson would take their cases to court against this mad power crazed lunatic.
    ———————————————————-
    Yeah, I mean, it’s not like they have Gregg Williams on tape or anything, right?

    Your hometown bias is winning out against the little commonsense you possess.

    By the way, not defending what the Patriots did by any means, but intentionally trying to injure players is a looooooooooong way from filming from an unauthorized location.

    Way different.

    Take off your blinders.

  57. lolb23 says:
    May 2, 2012 12:36 PM
    Every game ever won with these guys in the line up is an * including the Super Bowl.

    The ‘Bounty Gate’ had nothing to do with their wins or the Super Bowl Title. This was an immoral action. The ‘Bounty Gate’ did not give the Saints a competitive advantage in any way. If they committed illegal hits the referees would throw a flag. This is a very big and long lasting black eye for the Saints, but in no way constitutes an * for their wins or Lombardi .

  58. we still win the SB this year….fact…lmao…
    _______________________________

    exactly how much cajun jumbo shrimp do you have to inhale to become this delusional? Who’s gonna coach them, fatty?

  59. One would hope a competent attorney advises these players that going to court could open them to conspiracy charges based on testimony. Regardless of whether they actually injured any opponent, proof of planning to do so could move them from the plaintiff table to the defense table.

    They can certainly appeal their suspensions, but it may be in their better long-term interests to keep it “in house” and not expose themselves to potential legal scrutiny. An IRS investigation will be bad enough; they don’t want any attorneys-general looking for criminal charges.

  60. kathyisintheroom says: May 2, 2012 12:45 PM

    How many players did the Saints knock out of a game?

    Exactly……ZERO.

    Then there was no offenses committed.
    ================================

    That’s not entirely true…in the eyes of the legal system, conspiracy to commit physical harm to another person is , well, a crime. Same as hiring a fake hitman. That’s jail time right there.

    I don’t care one way or another, but federal courts could technically have a field day with this. Tax evasion, conspiracy to commit bodily harm to another person and god help them if they lie in court. Then you can toss perjury in just for fun.

    Whether they actually managed to hurt another person is completely irrelevant.

    That ain’t hatin, that’s Law & Order 101. Followed quickly by the universal law, “Don’t give politicians a reason to have anything to do with your life during an election year”

  61. The whole bounty-gate thing has been a black-eye on the NFL and will forever be the legacy of the Taints*. What these selfish players don’t realize is that by not accepting a rather mild slap on the wrist, they are threatening the future of the entire NFL as we know it. Bringing a federal lawsuit is a selfish act on their part as it will lead to Congressional oversight and involvement in the NFL. With player safety, concussions, anti-trust protection, allegations of wire tapping signals and now bounty gate all being concerns of the NFL……it will soon become the concern of Congress and we all know how things turn out when politicians are involved. From the beginning, if the Taints had just accepted their punishment this would all be behind us now but I’m afraid it has become just the “tip of the iceberg”. Freakin’ Taints*, Benson, Loomis, Payton , Williams and individual Taints* players just don’t “get it” and are going to ruin America’s game. All this after the NFL and America bent over backwards for them after Katrina, what a shame.

  62. Makes no sense to punish a player the same amount games as the coaches. Vilma punishment is way too harsh.

  63. This is silly. Threaten with legal action? They have proof of intent to harm. Injured players could sue the organization and the players

  64. Good get the feds involved then they take a look at their taxes too an all the money they won and did not claim.

  65. kathyisintheroom says:
    May 2, 2012 12:42 PM
    I love it!!!!
    Take the Gestapo all the way to Federal Court. Can’t wait the the courts smack down the power crazed lil Napoelean.

    The Patriots cheated, NOT the Saints. The Gestapo even said in his own words that the Pats cheated.

    Here’s a little quote from Wikipedia: “Goodell, who acknowledged in September 2007 that the tapes gave the Patriots no competitive advantage…”

    But why let facts get in the way…

    As you are a Saints’ fan, I can see why you have the blinders on; however, injuring a player intentionally IS CHEATING!!!!!

  66. I bet the players lawyers plan to argue that they were following Williams’ instructions, and that not following them would result in sanctions or being cut. If so, they have a legitimate complaint.

  67. Taints players want to bring in the Federal Courts, let’s hope the NFL brings in the IRS and individual states where the Taints have played, bring in State prosecutors will threats/charges of assault etc. for paying or accepting money to do bodily harm to another. It’s time the Taints and Brees get a “real explanation” of what’s goin’ down.

  68. You people are dumb to think any of your teams are not guilty of the same thing. I’m an Eagles fan and we know that almost every team has or had something similar in place. Parents do this with their kids. Maybe not to injure other players but for big hits, fumbles and touchdowns. Yet you people are going to act shock and righteous when it comes to this. Especially after the Patriots get a slap on the wrist after they’re found cheating and winning 3 Super Bowls. Lol just goes to show you that there are favorites and black sheep in every sport. I hope the Saints do well this year and show you that this is a man sport, where big boys play. Not Sister Mary’s cuddle time sports. It’s bad enough you can’t hit the quarterback, but soon there may not be any tackling

  69. …. The commish had better destroy the evidence the same way he “took care”‘of Bill and the patriots organization. Bunch of chowder loving honks…

  70. “How many players did the Saints knock out of a game?

    Exactly……ZERO.

    Then there was no offenses committed.”

    ——————————–

    There is such a thing as “intent” in the legal world.
    If i pull a gun out to shoot you in the head but miss, I’m still guilty of attempted murder. Just because I have a bad aim doesn’t mean I’m not guilty.

  71. Remember when the Patriots quietly accepted their excessive penalty and moved forward? yeah, me too… that was awesome.

  72. Every time I read comments on here I find it hard to believe that people can be so stupid.

    The stupidity to be addressed.

    1. It doesn’t matter if there was no major injuries caused by the bounties. These players are being suspended to send a message and make sure bounties are no longer a part of the game. The players broke the rules and they broke what you would think would be an unspoken rule amongst players. For this reason they deserve to be suspended. When you purposely want to injure somebody to take them out of a game all you’re doing is admitting that you can’t win with that guy playing against you. It’s a cowards mentality to purposely injure another player.

    2. The Saints superbowl win should not be questioned and doesn’t deserve an asterik. The bounties had very little to do with them winning a championship.

  73. Knox still wears a back brace because of Hargrove.
    I hope he sues the sh* out of him if he can’t play no more.

  74. I think it will absolutely be the right thing in bringing in lawyers to appeal these suspensions. I think the 4 players, especially Vilma, should personally sue Roger Goodell for loss of wages, and any other possible monies that will be lost due to them not being on the field each and every weekend.

    If this is all about trying to promote safety because some ex players figured it was the thing to do in suing, due to getting hurt on the job, well, prove to me that you didn’t get those concussions in high school, college, heck even before high school..I know if I get hurt in my work, I have like 72 hrs to report it to Workmans Compensation(WSIB). Why have these players waited years?

    I think that the NFL has taken another major leap in becoming pansi-fied. Sad really.

  75. I am so happy the players were punished severely. Goodell should have banned Vilma entirely IMO.

    I have zero respect for the union and these players, and any players that will support these suspended players.

  76. Screw all u haters out there who just flap ur mouths and say these guys should be sued or deserve injuries. I know your pathetic lives must be hard but you all need to lighten up and get lives. I know that your extreme reaction probably stems from a domineering wife or mother you guys have. Get lives losers!!! Go Saints and I hope ur suspensions get overturned. Funny thing is that I’m not even a Saints fan. All unlosers made me feel sorry for them.

  77. When they appeal, they will be leaving themselves wide open to criminal charges, of which there is a bevy to choose from. You can be sure Goodell will be on the phone with the po-po’s as soon as the appeals are filed.

  78. Suck it, Commish. Gonna get toasted in a court you aren’t the judge, jury, and executioner for.

    And for you haters who want the asterisk, I suppose we ought to put an asterisk for the Packers’ ’11 season because of Hargrove, and a couple of asterisks next to a couple Browns seasons because of Fujita.

  79. jbaxt says: May 2, 2012 12:55 PM

    They’re going the federal route because Goodells process is a joke. He assigns the penalty then the process is the player appeals to him? It’s like a 6 year old appealing to his mother to reconsider his punishment. Momma doesn’t change her mind son. But if you go plead to daddy(federal) you might get less time in your room.
    =====================================
    Yeah and so what? The NFL is a PRIVATE business and can handle their employees any way they feel fit. And I would have said its like going to your boss and asking him to reconsider. Cause its where the buck stops. So funny how some people actually think they have say in what The NFL does.

  80. lolb23 says:
    May 2, 2012 12:36 PM
    Every game ever won with these guys in the line up is an * including the Super Bowl.

    ——————————————-

    No, it’s not.

    They aren’t guilty of using perfromance enhancing drugs or spying on their opponents’ game run through.

    This is not Barry Bonds and Mark McGuire.

    They are not guilty of cheating.

    They are guilty of attempting to injury others for a monetary incentive.

  81. drewsylvania says: May 2, 2012 1:20 PM

    I bet the players lawyers plan to argue that they were following Williams’ instructions, and that not following them would result in sanctions or being cut. If so, they have a legitimate complaint.
    =================================

    No they don’t. See Nuremberg Trials.

    Choosing to follow an illegal order is not a valid defense in the eyes of the law.

  82. kathyisintheroom says:
    May 2, 2012 12:45 PM
    How many players did the Saints knock out of a game?

    Exactly……ZERO.

    Then there was no offenses committed.

    ———————–

    Another genius who doesn’t understand the issue.

    If you pull a gun and shoot someone in the chest but they don’t die, do you get off scott-free???

    No, you get charged with attempted murder because the INTENT was to kill someone.

    These guys are being punished because their INTENT was to gain monetary rewards for inflicting BODILY HARM on other players.

  83. For all of you talking about the Saints being sued…for what?
    Talking mean?
    Who did the Saints take out of a game?
    Kurt Warner came back to finish that playoff game and the hit was 100% legal.
    Brett Favre played the entire game and then came back to play another season the next year.

    Please tell me who is going to sue the Saints you sheep?

  84. For all you Saints fans and apologists, here is a primer on the application of logic and rules:

    Rule1-thou shalt not conspire, offer to or actually pay a player to knock an opponent out of a game, with hits that are legal or illegal.
    Rule 2-thou shalt not lie or conspire to lie to the body that investigates rule infractions and punishes rule infractions.

    Logical Inferences-If you violate rules 1+2, you will be crushed by the system. Don’t say that the hits were legal or no one was hurt or there was no penalty. It doesn’t matter, there is no exception to the rule that bounties are ok if the hits are legal, just like you can’t say that drunk driving is ok as long as you don’t weave, speed or cause an accident. Like it or not, the best away to avoid punishment is to behave. Too many of you have forgotten that simple rule.

  85. Aye, fight and you may lose. Run, and you’ll live… at least a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willin’ to trade ALL the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell Roger Goodell that they may take our pay checks, but you’ll never take…OUR FREEDOM!

    I say they fight. They have less personal fouls and penalties than more than half of the teams in the NFL over the past 3 years. How is a bounty believable? If we were talking about the most penalized team in the NFL then I would agree with these penalties, but we are not.

    This is the epitome of imposing an extremely harsh judgement “making an example” in efforts that others will see this and stop rather than punishing the crime for what it is. These suspensions are too harsh for a player whose career is year to year. After being suspended for a year and already being 30, Vilma may never play again. T.O. now is in in better shape than 90% of players in the league at any age (yes he is a headache) and he can’t find a job. Roger has been allowed to run roughshod and willy nilly with no cap on his punishments, and no one to tell him that he went too far. This is too far.

  86. Something tells me the NFL, NFLPA, and even the players themselves don’t want the government getting into the depths of their financial business any more than is absolutely necessary. They know how much of an exception to the societal norm the NFL operation is, and no one wants to rock that boat.

    This appeal talk is showy, but expect the wagons to circle soon to protect the deeper interests that are shared between all of these parties. They may disagree on the surface, but it’s all collusion underneath, and they won’t put that at risk.

  87. @saintsvstheworld says:
    May 2, 2012 1:04 PM
    Actually I love it…Vilma gone without pay and Smith for 4 games without pay only frees up the cap space to sign Brees long-term.
    ___________________________________

    Just because they don’t play doesn’t mean they don’t count against the cap. haha.

    Typical Saints fan!!

  88. If this goes to a federal court, they are opening themselves up for a federal investigation that could include criminal charges. This is going to get interesting……

  89. hairpie says:
    May 2, 2012 1:24 PM
    Remember when the Patriots quietly accepted their excessive penalty and moved forward? yeah, me too… that was awesome.
    ______
    Remember when the Patriots only got draft picks and fined $$ and didn’t get anyone suspended for not even one game and then the evidence was destroyed by GODdell’s cronies so that no one could ever question him on it, and then the Patriots never won another Superbowl after spygate?
    Yeah me too…that was awesome.

    Not at all a Patriot hater, actually after the Saints the Patriots are my second favorite team. I saw Tom Brady win his first Superbowl in the Superdome in person, but to act like Belichik did something noble by not appealing his penalties when they were literally a slap on the wrist compared to what the Saints got is absurd and frankly, not very well thought out.

  90. The very fist thing the NFL needs to do is get a new Commissioner. Roger Goddell has NOT been good for this sport. Imagine, he will choose who can speak for who and he’ll make the judgement on the appeal of his own ruling? The Players need to go on strike until a new commissioner is installed because this one is bad for the sport.

  91. Why does NO’s pain bring me so much pleasure?!

    These idiotic fans can’t even see the writing on the wall…before the dust settles, Favre and Warner WILL SUE Vilma and/or the Saints organization.

    Greg Williams WILL testify AGAINST his former team and players to salvage any chance of returning to the NFL.

    Keep whining Saint’s fans…it’s pathetic AND hilarious!!!

    Watch out Week 1…HTTR!!!

  92. 9 12
    renhoekk2 says:
    May 2, 2012 12:56 PM
    Interested what their legal argument will be. Bounty programs are against League rules. They ran and participated in a bounty program.

    My co worker [Attorney] told me that”you can sue anybody…for anything.”…but…whether you collect anything.. is an entirely different matter !

  93. wish they would just accept their punishment and move on. appeal to the NFL, lose of course and move on. Bringing in Feds is going to accomplish nothing except possibly getting themselves in deeper trouble then they already are (IRS).
    The Saints have been served and the rest of the NFL has been notified. Suspensions are no longer of the 2 games for intentionally stomping on another player variety. Season long suspensions are coming for those sorts of actions.

  94. To simplify, let’s paraphrase an old classic:

    Breaking rules in the Superdome, I fought the law and the law won, I fought the law and the law won

    I wanted to supplement my income, I fought the law and the law one, I fought the law and the law won

    We cheated and circumvented the salary cap, now my career is done, though this was the best job I’ll ever have, I fought the law and the law won, I fought the law and the law won…

  95. So they’re all going with the “deny, deny, deny” defense. That didn’t work so well for Payton, Loomis, Williams and Vitt. Doubt it will work for the players.

    I think we all know how the court process will work. The players will file suit in Minneapolis. They will win. The NFL will appeal to the court in St. Louis. The St. Louis court will side with the NFL. I just hope they move as quickly with this as they did the lockout lawsuits.

    Whether it’s done by the start of the season or not, the Saints are going to get steamrolled by the Panthers.

    Week 2 – Panthers race to 49-7 lead on the Saints, then put the backups in and the Saints get 2 garbage-time TDs, but lose, 49-21.

  96. Good luck with those appeals you scumbags.
    Per the CBA agreed to by the NFL team owners & the NFLPA, the appeals will be (and may ONLY be) heard by the commissioner.
    Roger Goodel will take about 5 seconds to rightly deny the appeals.
    NFLPA agreed to the CBA & will be held to it.
    Scumbags don’t even care about the rights of the targeted players who presumably were union members in good standing at the time. I’d love to see the targeted players sue their own union for selling them out.
    Typical union behavior.
    Scumbags.

  97. AHHH jluns275 you mad bro, get over it you ask for justice now you have it tell you girlie team to buckle up the boys are coming for them……………

  98. virgiltab…you must not understand. The suspended players are so without pay. This means the Saints won’t pay them. This means that they will have an equal amount more to spend on other players…typical viqueen fan.

  99. virgiltab says: May 2, 2012 1:56 PM

    @saintsvstheworld says:
    May 2, 2012 1:04 PM
    Actually I love it…Vilma gone without pay and Smith for 4 games without pay only frees up the cap space to sign Brees long-term.
    ___________________________________

    Just because they don’t play doesn’t mean they don’t count against the cap. haha.

    Typical Saints fan!!

    ————————————————————–

    They don’t count against the cap, moron. Look it up, if you have the ability to read.

  100. jluns000…just to be clear…you are talking about the Panthers right? I think of all the teams on our schedule…we are worried least about the week 2 Panther game. I respect your faith in Cam Newton though…all those numbers he put up were great and all but unless he turns them in to Ws…no one cares. Panthers will get swept by the Saints…again!

  101. There will be no federal court. What will the players answers be when they are asked if they participated in a bounty program? What do you think all the coaches, mainly Gregg Williams, will say in court? You can lie to a Commissioner, but you can not lie to a federal judge. Barry Bonds? Roger Clemens? I hope it does go to court, we will get to hear all the details of what took place and the Saints will look like tools. In the end, these players could end up being banned from playing football. Saints fans, back your players and your organization and push this to the highest level. Will be the biggest mistake ever. On a side note, I actually “liked” the Saints, they were exciting to watch. Tragic story.

  102. 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.

  103. wiley16350 says: May 2, 2012 1:24 PM

    Every time I read comments on here I find it hard to believe that people can be so stupid.
    ______________________________

    Well Wiley, if it’s “everytime” it’s probably you son, and not everybody else.

    Here you write this:

    2. The Saints superbowl win should not be questioned and doesn’t deserve an asterik. The bounties had very little to do with them winning a championship.

    Actually, it has everything to do with it. Because these players should have never been playing in those games to begin with. Just like they won’t be playing in any this year. They were involved in illegal activity that, had they been caught at the time, they wouldn’t have been allowed to play. THAT’S why everyone north of that mess Hurricane Katrina left lying you call “home”, thinks the Saints Super Bowl is one big fat stinking joke.

  104. They don’t account against the cap if they accept their punishment without appeal. If they appeal, they account against the cap until the appeal process is finished. They also get to play but you don’t get that extra space to make Money Man Brees happy or sign other players.

  105. Mr Florio, how come you don’t have Dan Wetzel’s story on Yahoo.com, where the NFL says it has proof the bounty system existed and who was part of it–that proof was provided in a written statement by Anthony Hargrove one of the suspended players. Maybe instead of being a shill for those that were suspended, you should be running with these stories.

  106. This is where the Union needs to back the Commissioner, if the Union back the players
    in this and they win, then all of management should get off also. They were taking money
    late gangsters to make a “hit” to get them out of the game and maybe take away their career. The
    punishment dealt out should have been much harder than what they got.
    JCT

  107. I love how all the Saints fans and Patriot haters are uniting to revive (what was already way misunderstood and overblown by the general public to begin with) “Spygate”. Acting like Spygate was as bad or worse than Bountygate is hilarious for two reasons. 1. Its comically inaccurate. 2. Even if it were true, would it bring Payton and Vilma back for this season?? Whatever helps you sleep at night I guess. 😉

  108. If they did the crime, they should do the time. Coaches suspended and the players appeal? Pathetic, I bet their defense will be we were just following orders.

  109. ravensgrl | May 2, 2012, 2:01 PM EDT
    If this goes to a federal court, they are opening themselves up for a federal investigation that could include criminal charges. This is going to get interesting……

    Ravensgrl I’m guessing you did not pass the government HSA in Maryland. There is this thing called civil cases which doesn’t involve criminal charges. Then there is this other thing called the 5th amendment which allows you not to provide criminal evidence against yourself. You seem as well educated as a Steeler fan.

  110. @cash804 says: May 2, 2012 2:07 PM

    These idiotic fans can’t even see the writing on the wall…before the dust settles, Favre and Warner WILL SUE Vilma and/or the Saints organization.

    Watch out Week 1…HTTR!!!
    ———————–

    Well this certainly won’t help Warner’s case now will it, a$$hat?

    Kurt Warner: “I never felt that there was anything illegal. I don’t believe they were ever trying to hit me low or hit my head.”

    As far as week 1, the Redskins in the Superdome. The Saints will eat RG3’s lunch.

  111. Just a question.. Do you really want to go to court over something that the players may have CONSPIRED to do ?? Leave that can of worms alone !!!

  112. I would like to hear the evidence before I give an opinion on the matter but I would venture to guess that it probably is strong as I can’t see Goodell knowing full well the players were going to fight it would make such a harsh without having strong evidence to back it up.

  113. Actually, it has everything to do with it. Because these players should have never been playing in those games to begin with. Just like they won’t be playing in any this year. They were involved in illegal activity that, had they been caught at the time, they wouldn’t have been allowed to play. THAT’S why everyone north of that mess Hurricane Katrina left lying you call “home”, thinks the Saints Super Bowl is one big fat stinking joke.
    ————————————————–
    I’ve got news for you, I am not a Saints fan and I do not live down South. Your statement that the players shouldn’t have been playing in that game is wrong. For it to be true, it would have meant that the NFL had suspended them prior to the game, which they obviously did not. The Saints did not break rules by allowing the players to play. My point is that the bounties didn’t make the Saints a better team and wasn’t the reason they won the superbowl. The closest thing it came to helping them was against the Vikings. However, Favre throwing his last pass up for grabs had a lot to do with that. And it wasn’t because Favre got the hell beat of him, that would have happened whether or not the bounties were there.

  114. Actually, it has everything to do with it. Because these players should have never been playing in those games to begin with. Just like they won’t be playing in any this year. They were involved in illegal activity that, had they been caught at the time, they wouldn’t have been allowed to play. THAT’S why everyone north of that mess Hurricane Katrina left lying you call “home”, thinks the Saints Super Bowl is one big fat stinking joke.
    __________________________________
    To add to my point, you want to use if’s such as “if the Saints players would have been suspended then they wouldn’t have won the superbowl” well my if is “if the Saints wouldn’t have had bounties, they still would have won the superbowl” It’s all in how you look at it. But ultimately the question is, were the Saints the best team that year? With or without bounties they would or could have been. But you want to take away 4 of their players so that you can say they weren’t good enough and don’t deserve it. The “if” game is the only way you can win the argument. The Saints were a good enough team to win, with or without the bounties. But the only way they weren’t good enough to win the superbowl is “IF” the NFL had suspended the players prior to the superbowl.

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