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Report: Bounty appeal process won’t be concluded during the season

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There’s a joke about the guy who arrives in Hell and on his first day he’s told, “Don’t worry, it’ll only feel like an eternity.”

That same punch line applies to the bounty suspensions.

More than eight months after the situation first came to light, the procedure for determining whether and to what extent a quartet of players will be suspended won’t end during the 2012 season, according to Chris Mortensen of ESPN.

Per Mortensen, the November 20 hearing before former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue will be only the first of multiple sessions, which means that Tagliabue will be using a more detailed, judicial process that Commissioner Roger Goodell would have employed.

This also means that Tagliabue could require a real “discovery” process, allowing both sides to get access to information that, under Goodell, may have remained under wraps.  Likewise, Tagliabue is likely to require the league to produce former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and former Saints assistant Mike Cerullo for testimony regarding their sworn statements that incriminate the players.

This may not be a positive development for some of the players.  Saints defensive end Will Smith’s salary skyrockets from $825,000 in 2012 to $9 million in 2013, which means the price tag for his four-game suspension would shoot from $194,117 to $2.117 million.

Then there’s the real possibility that Smith’s cap number will get him whacked during the offseason, and that a looming four-game suspension could keep him from getting another job.

Ditto for free-agent defensive end Anthony Hargrove, who has gotten no sniffs with his suspension pending.  It will apparently still be pending, for a while.

For Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma and Browns linebacker Scott Fujita, the development could allow them to retire after the season — and to never serve the suspensions at all.

Regardless, we won’t have an answer any time soon.  Which may be the worst news of all, for everyone.

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5 Responses to “Report: Bounty appeal process won’t be concluded during the season”
  1. bathroomben7 says: Nov 11, 2012 1:37 PM

    Vilma is sooooo stupid. He’s not going to get out of a suspension so why didn’t he just take it while he was hurt and couldn’t play anyway? He should be suspended just for being an idiot. Dumb dumb dumb

  2. FinFan68 says: Nov 11, 2012 2:12 PM

    bathroomben7 says:
    Nov 11, 2012 1:37 PM
    Vilma is sooooo stupid. He’s not going to get out of a suspension so why didn’t he just take it while he was hurt and couldn’t play anyway? He should be suspended just for being an idiot. Dumb dumb dumb
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Because he knows he doesn’t have much longer to play. He gets paid this season and then serves his suspension after he retires therefore making it meaningless. That’s the main reason he keeps fighting this.

  3. namelessfacelessfan says: Nov 11, 2012 2:38 PM

    bathroomben7 says:
    Nov 11, 2012 1:37 PM
    Vilma is sooooo stupid. He’s not going to get out of a suspension so why didn’t he just take it while he was hurt and couldn’t play anyway? He should be suspended just for being an idiot. Dumb dumb dumb

    ———————————————————-

    Vilma is out there playing, and will be for the rest of the year according to this article. This was likely going to be his last year anyway due to age and bad knees. Now he gets to play it out, get paid and then tell the NFL ‘FU’ about next years ‘suspension’.

    Meanwhile, Goodell had to save some face and actually turn over his God-like authority to another party. A major hit to his air of authority.

    Seems like Vilma isn’t the stupid one here.

  4. kattykathy says: Nov 11, 2012 3:46 PM

    The league is hoping this will all die down and allow the players to continue to play without ever serving their suspensions, so the league doesn’t have to been proved wrong.

    They have no proof. They have zero reliable evidence.
    Goodell slandered players reputations and this will not just go away no matter how hard he and the league tries. Vilma and the players want justice for the slander and outright lies Goodell accused them of.
    Judge Berrigan will make sure Goodell and the league will not be able to just quietly let this disappear.

  5. seabronco says: Nov 12, 2012 10:14 AM

    To me it sounds like the NFL is conceding defeat. If they postpone it until after the year the players basically won, Fujita and Hargrove get to play out the year and the suspensions are forgotten or administered after they retire. Goodell sucks!

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