Upon learning that he will not be suspended in the Saints bounty case, defensive end Will Smith thanked the man who rescinded his suspension — and ripped the man who originally suspended him.
Smith said he appreciated that former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue took the time to consider the players’ side of the story and said that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell rushed to judgment without waiting for the facts.
“I’m pleased with the ruling of Mr. Tagliabue to vacate my suspension,” Smith said. “I continue to maintain that I did not participate in a pay-to-injure program or facilitate any such program. I appreciate that Mr. Taglaibue did not rush to judgment, taking into consideration all facts presented to him, before ruling– something that was clearly not done by Commissioner Goodell in previous hearings. I am looking forward to putting this all behind me and getting back to the game I love. I want to thank the New Orleans Saints, the NFL Players Association, the fans, my friends and family for their continued support throughout this ordeal.”
Smith and his fellow suspended Saints have said all along that Goodell botched the bounty investigation, and now Smith and his fellow Saints are celebrating a victory handed to them by Goodell’s predecessor.