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All four players suspended for bounties have appealed

New York Giants v New Orleans Saints Getty Images

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.

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21 Responses to “All four players suspended for bounties have appealed”
  1. joetoronto says: May 7, 2012 12:19 PM

    I’d jack up their suspensions and REALLY send a message.

  2. dprouse says: May 7, 2012 12:27 PM

    I was as pro-management as they came during the lockout, but on this dispute I side with the players.

    Ensuring that there is not a bounty system in place was the responsibility of the coaching staff and management, not the players. Players are tasked with understanding and accepting the team culture, and performing within it. Does the NFL reasonably expect that one of these players was supposed to stand up in the defensive meeting room and disown the bounty system? The punishment doled out to Saints coaches and management was richly deserved, and ensures that no team will ever tolerate this happening on their teams in the future. Going after the players strikes me as piling on.

  3. YouGetTheHorns says: May 7, 2012 12:34 PM

    Let’s hope they don’t build their defense on some stupid concept – then again, they would probably build below sea level.

    Who dat losing the appeal?!?!

  4. webb1081 says: May 7, 2012 12:41 PM

    that’s like being on trial, being found guilty, and then professing your innocence. if these players weren’t involved why did they not specific up from the onset? take your medicine like a man.

  5. jenniferxxx says: May 7, 2012 12:52 PM

    A sure sign of guilt.

  6. cwmorga says: May 7, 2012 12:59 PM

    @joetoronto says: May 7, 2012 12:19 PM

    I’d jack up their suspensions and REALLY send a message.
    ———————–

    But unfortunately for everyone here, your lot in life is to post complete nonsense on PFT.

  7. iced107 says: May 7, 2012 1:02 PM

    webb1081 says:
    May 7, 2012 12:41 PM

    that’s like being on trial, being found guilty, and then professing your innocence. if these players weren’t involved why did they not specific up from the onset? take your medicine like a man.
    —————————————————-
    That’s not even remotely accurate analogy, at all.

    Goodell is judge, jury, and an executioner here. Its more of a dictatorship then anything. There needs to be some checks and balances set in place for his power.

    A Trial consists of bring judged by a “jury of your peers” – don’t see any here.I personally want to see the evidence they have against the players. They had proof against Williams, now show us what they got against the players.

    I don’t trust either side’s words – both are inconsistent. Goodell can’t preach game safety after pushing so hard for an 18 game season

  8. kidpresentable says: May 7, 2012 1:04 PM

    You gotta admire the balls on Hargrove for submitting a signed statement about his participation and then appealing his suspension.

  9. letmesetyoustraight says: May 7, 2012 1:17 PM

    webb1081 says:

    May 7, 2012 12:41 PM

    that’s like being on trial, being found guilty, and then professing your innocence. if these players weren’t involved why did they not specific up from the onset?
    =====

    They were told at the onset by the NFLPA not to talk with the NFL. Vilma wanted to, but changed his mind after listening to the union.

  10. ratedgap says: May 7, 2012 1:22 PM

    webb1081 says:
    May 7, 2012 12:41 PM
    that’s like being on trial, being found guilty, and then professing your innocence. if these players weren’t involved why did they not specific up from the onset? take your medicine like a man.

    ————————————————-

    Since there was no trial, it’s not like that at all is it? It’s more like being convicted of a crime on nothing more than heresay. This person’s word against that person’s word. See if you don’t defend yourself if you should find yourself convicted of a crime with no evidence of your crime presented to you to defend yourself, but Joe Blow said you did it.

  11. jw5111 says: May 7, 2012 2:19 PM

    Wait, didn’t Hargrove already sign a statement admitting his participation in the bounty program? What is left to appeal? I understand the other players filing, but I don’t get Hargrove…

  12. mike83ri says: May 7, 2012 2:27 PM

    Someone please explain to me how Vilma went from taking a paycut for more guaranteed in a bonus (to lessen the impact of lost game checks), to stating he’s expecting a 2-8 game suspension, to denying doing anything wrong and appealing the suspension.

  13. pftcensorssuck says: May 7, 2012 2:54 PM

    Just wondering…… where do the players who were the targets of this “bounty system” go to appeal their injuries???

  14. marima07 says: May 7, 2012 3:04 PM

    I get the feeling that the players are guilty but are appealing just to get out of their punishment.

    They believe if their lawyers can find some technicality or wording of some statement just a bit cloudy, then their suspensions should be lifted – regardless of whether they in fact willingly participated in the bounty program and helped to implement it.

    By all means should each player have a chance to see what the evidence is against him and have a chance to defend himself, but technicalities aside, if any of them did what they were accused of, they should just take the punishment.

  15. ratedgap says: May 7, 2012 4:22 PM

    pftcensorssuck says:
    May 7, 2012 2:54 PM
    Just wondering…… where do the players who were the targets of this “bounty system” go to appeal their injuries???

    ————————————————-

    List the players the Saints injured and we’ll discuss it.

  16. stevenfbrackett says: May 7, 2012 8:01 PM

    Still can’t believe Williams is the only person involved who has taken even a small piece of responsibility for their actions beyond claiming they were taking responsibility while constantly doing and saying anything but taking responsibility.

  17. iced107 says: May 7, 2012 8:39 PM

    marima07 says:
    May 7, 2012 3:04 PM
    I get the feeling that the players are guilty but are appealing just to get out of their punishment.
    —————————————————-

    Right.. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the players wanting to see what “evidence” is being used against the players.

    Pretend I’m Goodell and you’re a saints player. I think you’re a pedophile, therefore you’re suspended for the year… don’t act like you’re not going to get a lawyer and fight me to see what proof I have.

    Some people make this much harder to understand then others.

  18. meandjuliojonesdownbytheschoolyard says: May 7, 2012 9:03 PM

    As someone else mentioned, every time they deny or appeal I respect them even less.

  19. ratedgap says: May 7, 2012 9:16 PM

    meandjuliojonesdownbytheschoolyard says:
    May 7, 2012 9:03 PM
    As someone else mentioned, every time they deny or appeal I respect them even less.

     ———————————————————————————-

    I am sure they are losing sleep over your loss of respect. So someone feels they were unjustly punished and convicted without even knowing the evidence presented against them, they appeal to fight that unjust punishment, and you lose respect for them? Are you originally from a dictatorship where someone is guilty because “cause I said so” is an acceptable level of proof? Jeez.

  20. marima07 says: May 8, 2012 10:46 AM

    iced107 – ADD much? Next time, read beyond the first sentence before you reply with a comment that has nothing to do with what was written.

    Here it is again – in one sentence – to make it easier.

    “By all means should each player have a chance to see what the evidence is against him and have a chance to defend himself, but technicalities aside, if any of them did what they were accused of, they should just take the punishment.”

  21. im123456 says: May 8, 2012 11:00 AM

    It is about time they got to the players as well. This should be viewed as a type of gambling and all involved should be blackballed from the sport. This is not something that is necessary and goes well outside the realm of acceptable behavior. We might as well bring on Rollerball!!!!!!!!!

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