NFL cuts Fujita’s suspension, will allow Vilma to get paid

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has altered the suspensions of three of the four players who were disciplined as a result of the league’s investigation into the Saints’ bounty program.

The player who got the best result was Browns linebacker Scott Fujita, who already had the shortest suspension and has now had the largest reduction to his suspension: Fujita’s suspension has been reduced from three games to one, the league has announced.

Defensive end Anthony Hargrove’s suspension has been reduced from eight games to seven games. Hargrove, who is currently a free agent, will be credited for having served his suspension during the first five games of this season. If he signs with a team, he will have to serve the final two games of the suspension before he can play for that team.

For Jonathan Vilma, who was suspended for the entire year, the suspension remains unchanged in the sense that he will not be permitted to play at all this season. But the NFL has altered Vilma’s suspension by allowing him to collect his pay for spending the first six weeks of the season on the Physically Unable to Perform list. The NFL had previously planned to suspend Vilma without pay for all 17 weeks of the season.

Saints defensive end Will Smith was the only player whose suspension wasn’t changed at all: His four-game suspension remains in place.

It’s still possible that the players will continue to fight this discipline, and that the issue is not over. But for now, this is what Goodell views as a compromise solution.

20 responses to “NFL cuts Fujita’s suspension, will allow Vilma to get paid

  1. Better but not great. Goodell is trying to save face. He would save more by doing more. I would refer readers to Phil Taylor’s excellent article in SI. I’m still all for the players but as a fan the Shield is tarnished!

  2. Who cares, Goodell has already handicapped the team for the season, it doesn’t matter anymore what he does with these punishments. Worst of the damage, and probably least deserving of it is done. 6-10 Saints, see you all next year.

  3. Hey I got a great idea! Let’s drag this thing on in courts and the media for the next 10 years… That would be awsome!

  4. Looks like if you don’t play for the Saints this year then you’re OK to play….that seems really fair. Not.

  5. If the NFL had any conviction about their “so call evidence” then they would have held all the suspension and held without pay. The fact that they are reducing Fujita’s suspension and giving Vilma at least the 6 weeks pay is them backing off just a little, but they still have not PRODUCED ANY EVIDENCE….NONE!!! The only evidence they have is statements from one guy who will say anything to get reinstated in the league and another guy who lied twice to the Saints and got fired for it. Definitely some solid folks there. I look forward to the NFLPA taking the NFL to task with this and when this gets back into Federal court.

    Anyone else find it funny that the guy that led the “investigation”, Joe Hummel leaves the NFL shortly after its over. Something fishy in that as well.

  6. Bet the Saints were hoping for Vilma to be suspended the full year. Brees robbed them of $20M per season, they probably wanted that $4M from Vilma back.

  7. It would have been very hard to get back money that Vilma was already paid for a time when he was not suspended and was recovering from a work injury. Essentially the league allowed Vilma to keep money that they knew was legally impossible to not let him keep. In light of this leniance, I feel the NFLPA should compromise and allow Goodell to keep any salary earned before the date of his dismissal as commish.

  8. If Villainma is suspended for a full year, he should be suspended for the number of games next year that he was on the pup list this year. He’s getting off easy!

  9. Essentially, this is a reduction in Vilma’s suspension as well. Players are usually suspended on a game basis rather than a season basis. The longer ones that I can recall (Vick, Jones) were labeled as “indefinite” and tghe player had to basically apply for reinstatement. Goodell could have easily suspended Vilma for 16 games starting the game after his PuP release. That would have been through the first quarter of 2013 reg season. Count your blessings Jon.

    It seems everybody is still viewing this as a legal proceeding. It is not and does not need to comply with the justice system’s burden of proof and rules of evidence requirements. When it gets to the courts again they will look at the process and will find no legal reason to side with Vilma. If there was one, Berrigan would have ruled weeks/months ago.

  10. Hehateme2 don’t read articles about the Saints if ur tired of hearing Saints fans whine. We’re tired of u guys saying our team was fairly punished. Roger waits until there is a bye week for the Saints to make his announcement hoping to lessen the backlash in NOLA. It isn’t going to work. The NFL doesn’t have any evidence or it would have been produced by now and there would be NO reductions, period. If u, hehateme2, have evidence that the Saints did what they are accused of, then please produce it since ur so sure the Saints are guilty hence the complaints about the “whining”. We’ll see Goodel in court. In New Orleans. This will get really good really fast.

  11. Oh the incessant whining by saints fans…

    So let’s get this straight: if he upholds the suspensions he’s a jerk. If he shortens them he’s soft but still too strict with “no evidence” and if he were to rescind all he’d be a fraud and need kicked out. So essentially the pity party will never end for saints fans. Guess Katrina is so far in the rear view mirror that they need something new to hang onto for another long period of time…. Just watch your team keep tanking and MOVE ON.

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