Skip to content

Hargrove’s best move could be to accept eight-game suspension, now

Anthony Hargrove AP

The guy who allegedly said “Bobby, give me my money” may not be getting any NFL money for a long time.

Apart from the failure of the internal appeals panel and/or Judge Helen G. Berrigan to lift the bounty suspensions early enough to give the players a meaningful chance to practice and prepare for Week One, the delays by both tribunals have made it impossible defensive end Anthony Hargrove to even have a job.

Cut by the Packers in August, Hargrove remains a man without a team.  And now that the suspensions have been vacated, with the process sent back to square one before Commissioner Roger Goodell, Hargrove likely will remain radioactive until the situation is resolved.

The problem for Hargrove is that, if the suspensions were still in place, he would get credit this week for the first of his eight-game ban — even though he has no team.  Then, after Week Eight, he’d be free and clear and able to return.

There have been no indications that the NFL will give him credit for time served, or any similar concession.  From the league’s perspective, he’s free to sign with any team at any time.  But the practical outcome for Hargrove likely will be that no one signs him until it’s known whether he’ll be suspended.

If, for example, it takes four weeks to fully resolve the situation, with Goodell issuing a decision and then presiding over the appeal process, a renewed eight-game suspension of Hargrove will mean that he misses 12 games.

It could end up being even more than that, if Judge Berrigan blocks the suspensions pending her final decision regarding whether the suspensions, as re-issued, should be overturned.  Unlike the other players, Hargrove likely will remain jobless until the situation is fully resolved and his suspension is served.

As a matter of basic fairness, the internal appeals board that vacated the suspensions should have moved much more quickly.  Arbitrator Stephen Burbank reached his initial decision on June 4.  It never should have taken three months and three days for the appeal to be resolved.

If the process had moved more quickly, the suspensions could have been re-issued and the appeals could have been resolved and if the suspensions ultimately were upheld the suspensions could have been served as of Week One.

So while Saints fans will celebrate the availability of defensive end Will Smith and the presence of linebacker Jonathan Vilma today, Hargrove has good reason to feel dejected.  And the smartest move he could make at this point would be to accept the eight-game suspension, which could be his quickest path back to the field.

Permalink 22 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: New Orleans Saints, Rumor Mill, Top Stories
22 Responses to “Hargrove’s best move could be to accept eight-game suspension, now”
  1. FoozieGrooler says: Sep 9, 2012 9:40 AM

    Good points.

  2. roastmeforbeingacardsfan says: Sep 9, 2012 9:47 AM

    You said to fight it all year but now accept it? Sure makes sense.

  3. realitypolice says: Sep 9, 2012 9:47 AM

    He can’t accept it until it’s offered, and Goodell being Goodell, he will probably wait 4-6 weeks to reissue the suspensions.

    So yeah, Hargrove is pretty much screwed for this season.

  4. cwwgk says: Sep 9, 2012 9:50 AM

    Purest example of the conflict of interest issue brought to light by Judge Berrigan. Given his status as a free agent, Hargrove’s interests were not completely aligned with the other players.

    His interests were usurped by the goals of the union. He needed a different lawyer.

  5. tater2 says: Sep 9, 2012 9:54 AM

    Thank you Roger Goodell. This has created a horrible situation for Hargrove….
    At least 8 people have testified under oath, that this bounty stuff “did not happen.” Who on the NFL has testified to anything?

  6. suhdidntstompanyone says: Sep 9, 2012 10:00 AM

    I guess the moral of the story is don’t try to intentionally injure your coworkers then cover it up

  7. whodat82 says: Sep 9, 2012 10:11 AM

    Back to the pipe.

  8. piratefreedom says: Sep 9, 2012 10:13 AM

    To fully Roger everyone involved Goodell will suspend them for the last games of the season instead of the first.
    This will maximize the chances of them missing crucial games when injuries have accumulated so their teams are short at their positions.

    As Goodel describes it: the “Mwa-Ha-Ha-Ha!” plan.

  9. waraggie says: Sep 9, 2012 10:20 AM

    Goodell could conceivably move on now. I think the precedent has been set if the suspensions for Loomis, Payton, and Vitt are upheld. The message is already loud and clear “bounty systems, or pay-for-plays will not be tolerated.” The players are now on “notice” to not participate in these systems and the front office and coaching staff should now be actively preventing such endeavors. At this point, Goodell looses face by continuing to pursue player punishments. But he could make it clear that any evidence of future “bounty programs” will warrant swift and even more stringent punishment.

  10. daknight93 says: Sep 9, 2012 10:20 AM

    if your boss accuse you of stealing with no evidence, just accept punishment and hargrove should just give in to Godell for closure…probably makes sense cause we all know Godell won’t stop until he has his way

  11. emmonsh says: Sep 9, 2012 10:20 AM

    i hope goodell waits till it screws every one of the players over. you dont injure your coworkers on purpose. taints are done for decades

  12. quirtevans says: Sep 9, 2012 10:37 AM

    “At least 8 people have testified under oath, that this bounty stuff “did not happen.””

    Under oath? Really?

    The bottom line is that the suspension process was part of a collective bargaining agreement. If the players didn’t like the process, they should have bargained for a different one. Or refused to sign a collective bargaining agreement that gave Goodell this much authority.

    They didn’t. They wanted the money. The money came with conditions. Welcome to the conditions.

  13. rugdog100 says: Sep 9, 2012 10:42 AM

    “Hargrove’s best move could be to accept eight-game suspension, now”

    But that would be an admission of guilt. Oh, that’s right, he IS guilty.

  14. vegasvinnie says: Sep 9, 2012 11:08 AM

    Hmm, all of these so called know it alls say that Vilma, Fujita and Smith should have met with Goodell. Ask Hargrove how that worked out for him.

  15. beerbratscheese says: Sep 9, 2012 11:18 AM

    daknight93 says: Sep 9, 2012 10:20 AM

    if your boss accuse you of stealing with no evidence, just accept punishment and hargrove should just give in to Godell for closure…probably makes sense cause we all know Godell won’t stop until he has his way
    —————–
    Actually, his bosses (his coaches) admitted it was going on. It’s the CEO (Goodel) that’s handing down the punishment.

  16. 49erstim says: Sep 9, 2012 11:18 AM

    Sounds like karma has been a beyotch to these 4 guys….. hmmmmm

  17. uglynora says: Sep 9, 2012 11:31 AM

    I guess no matter how many times the players deny this and no matter how many judges agree with them, some people will never hear the truth.
    The league has nothing on Hargrove, but Hargrove has one hell of a lawsuit building against the league for losing his livelihood over the Commissioner’s power grab.
    And quirtevans, yes, under oath in front of Judge Berrigan. Meanwhile, RG has inferred, lied and changed his story at least a dozen times since this charade started.

  18. cwwgk says: Sep 9, 2012 11:35 AM

    @vegasvinnie: Part of Hargrove’s problem wasn’t meeting with Goodell. It was lying to the commissioner and league investigators. Hargrove admitted to doing so in the statement he drafted and that was released by the NFLPA.

  19. moagecu says: Sep 9, 2012 12:16 PM

    @uglynora yea because a judge from LA has no conflict of interest. She already stated she cant find a legal way to help the players.

  20. vegasvinnie says: Sep 9, 2012 12:31 PM

    @vegasvinnie: Part of Hargrove’s problem wasn’t meeting with Goodell. It was lying to the commissioner and league investigators. Hargrove admitted to doing so in the statement he drafted and that was released by the NFLPA.

    Do you mean in that same statement that was drafter by the NFL, that Hargrove later recanted? You know, the same NFL that was saying that Hargrove said pay me my money on the video that they presented, only to later recant their own story?

    Try doing your own research instead of blindly listening to others. You’ll come off looking far less ignorant in the future.

  21. cwwgk says: Sep 9, 2012 1:27 PM

    @vegasvinnie: no. I’m referring to the April 13, 2012, statement of Anthony Hargrove that was issued by the NFLPA, NOT the NFL. In paragraph 10 Hargrove swears the following statement to be true:

    “The NFL Security personnel asked me if there had been a bounty on Brett Favre in the NFC Championship game and, as instructed by Coach Williams and Coach Vitt, I denied all knowledge of a bounty or bounty program.”

    I did not listen blindly to others. I read Mr. Hargrove’s statement then typed my comment. Perhaps you should consider doing the same before hypocritically accusing others failing to do so.

  22. lafayettesaint says: Sep 10, 2012 4:11 PM

    Payton, Vitt, and Loomis did not admit there was a “pay for injury bounty” in place. They did admit to a “pay for performance system” which at least half of the other NFL teams had.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!