As expected, all four players who were suspended for their roles in the Saints’ bounty program have appealed.
We previously noted that Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, whose yearlong suspension was the harshest punishment for any player involved, has filed his appeal. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that all of the suspensions have been filed: Packers defensive end Anthony Hargrove has appealed his eight-game suspension, Saints defensive end Will Smith has appealed his four-game suspension and Browns linebacker Scott Fujita has appealed his three-game suspension.
By appealing, the players are not conceding that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has the final authority to decide on their suspensions or their appeals. The players, their representatives and their union will continue to argue that the decision is not Goodell’s alone.
But if Goodell does win the fight over who gets to make the ruling, the players want Goodell to hear them out in their argument that he made the wrong call when he suspended them.