NFL re-issues bounty discipline

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Four weeks and three days after an internal appeals panel vacated suspensions imposed on Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, Browns linebacker Scott Fujita, Saints defensive end Will Smith, and free-agent defensive end Anthony Hargrove, the league has re-issued the discipline without any changes or reductions, according to a league source.

This means that Vilma will be suspended a full season, Fujita will be suspended three games, Smith will be suspended four games, and Hargrove will be suspended eight games.

All four players have the right to appeal the ruling to Commissioner Roger Goodell.  Given that the players chose this time around to meet with Goodell before he issued the suspensions, the players may be more inclined to participate in the appeal process this time around.

Given that the league has relied this time around on lengthy sworn statements from former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and former Saints assistant Mike Cerullo, it’s likely that both will testify at the appeal hearing.

Then, after the appeal process has been completed, the players likely will take the league back to court — barring a dramatic reduction or reversal of the punishments by Goodell.

The players also may challenge the rulings once again under the labor deal, if the players believe that the punishment in any way extends beyond Goodell’s jurisdiction over conduct detrimental to the game and encroaches on possible salary-cap violations.

UPDATE 3:37 p.m. ET:  The NFL says that an explanation of the re-issued bounty discipline is coming soon.  Asked for confirmation that the same discipline has been meted out, the league said, “It’s not that simple.”  As to specific question as to whether the penalties will be the same, the NFL said, “Not all.”

57 responses to “NFL re-issues bounty discipline

  1. This issue appears to be headed towards a never ending cycle. It will end either when the players accept the suspension or Goodell admits he was wrong. So never.

  2. As a Saints fan, I could care less…we already have the worst defense so it really no loss at this point…at least we’re not The Jets

  3. How about you talk to Rex Ryan about a bounty program? “Hot sauce” on reggie bush and he goes out. Texans best LB gets his leg rolled on a play that hes not even involved on. An it was a blind side low block. I highly doubt Rex had nothing to say about that prior to it happening.

  4. All this info commin from a Snitch with a grudge …Thats calld a hostile witnes..should just give um all a lie detector Test..more reliable then a disgruntled SNITCH

  5. Hey I don’t blame Goodell fully on this fiasco. The owners are just as much to blame for this ongoing and embarrassing events. They could have put a stop to it. They pay his salary. Anyway I honestly don’t see the NFL winning this.

  6. This happens in the same week Goodell let Greg Williams and Sean Payton attended games, are you kidding me ?

    I guess we know that coaches that ran this thing are in the inside with Goodell while the players who were going along with a their coaches are the scapegoats.

    Goodell is a joke, it will only be a matter of time until is arbitrary justice burns your team to. Players, fans… stand up!

    Owners, this guy is a tool… you will still make your billions without him, he is riding a rising tide.

  7. Great timmimg Vilma comming off the IR . So since its a season will this go into next year ? Otherwise its only what 10 games

  8. Really wish these two would meet somewhere in the middle.

    Goodell: It is becoming increasingly evident you do not have the hard evidence to warrant such harsh suspensions.

    Players: Youre embarassing yourselves every time you waltz out into the public claiming you did nothing wrong. Outside of Saints fans and the Anti-Goodell crown, you have no one fooled.

    So please get this straighted out for both of your sakes, because the posturing has grown very tiresome.

  9. Greg Williams will testify against his own players. That can’t be good if you plan on continuing to coach in the NFL.
    Sounds like the players are scapegoats.

    So the evidence is two sworn statements by a suspended coach who is desperate to be back in the NFL and a disgruntled former employee… That is laughable.

    Also we will pretend like no other team has ever done this and the NFL has never promoted hard hits and has always looked out for player safety.

    yeahhh NFL, the lawsuits will just go away now and all will be right.

  10. Ah yes… What would football bee without a healthy dose of legal crap.
    By the time it’s over, all the players involved will probably be irrelevant to the game…

  11. The NFL stated last week that NO suspensions will take effect until all appeals are exausted !!

  12. I could see Goodell issue the same suspension (which Idon’t agree with) to Vilma. The ones I don’t understand are Fujita, Smith and Hargrove.
    The statements from Williams and Cerullo only implicate Vilma, and partially hargrove by Williams. No where does either statement say that fujita or smith participated. There is only the “ledger” that shows fujita and smith’s names, but in the same token, Vitt’s name was on that same ledger and Goodell said that could not be verified. Williams said Hargrove was told to deny that a PFP hapened. Never that he participated or offered money. The “evidence” used to implicate Hargrove was a 2 bit sideline film that was proven not to be Hargrove’s voice. So how can the exact same punishments be doled out? Exact same?????

  13. The whole bounty scandal is just smoke and mirriors designed to distract everyone from the horrible officiating in the 2009 NFC Championship game and the big gambling/mob connections that are tied to it.

    See Ornstein: The convicted felon with mob ties who was on the Saints sideline during the game and who was given a Super Bowl ring by the Saints owner.

  14. Greg Williams will testify against his own players. That can’t be good if you plan on continuing to coach in the NFL.
    So the evidence is two sworn statements by a suspended coach who is desperate to be back in the NFL and a disgruntled former employee… That is laughable.

  15. Goodell puts the GOD in Goodell.

    You fight the Shield and the Shield just gave you a big time smack down.

    Obey your Master silly Puppets…

  16. tommysaint1 says:
    Oct 9, 2012 4:12 PM

    So the evidence is two sworn statements by a suspended coach who is desperate to be back in the NFL and a disgruntled former employee… That is laughable.
    Do they need to get the video of the defensive team meeting in 2010 prior to the 49ers game?

    What about the “Pay me my money!!!” statement by a Saints player for the illegal and dirty hit on Favre that, strangely wasn’t flagged?

    What about the hit on Favre several seconds after he handed the ball off on a running play? Is that not evidence? I haven’t seen a dirty hit like that ever before, or since, at any level of football.

    There is so much evidence that the fact that Saints fans are still denying it is, frankly, appalling. It was a stolen Super Bowl… plain and simple.

  17. Where is your stupid tweet now Drew Brees?

    I guess you could always congradulate Goodell…

    Saints 1 and 4, worse than the Jets…what a joke.

  18. Well, I’m not surprised by the ruling probably like most. This is becoming a joke. The NFL is almost like the Government,, Cant believe anything they say or do half the time.

    Gregg Williams affidavit was sign in Sept not March when all this came out.. The NFL messed up the “GIVE ME MY MONEY VIDEO” The evidence they have show “or lack of” is just ridiculous. I gueess since we wont ever see any proof we should take their word on what they were told by some former employee and DC who is trying to get back in the league at any cost.

  19. “Given that the players chose this time around to meet with Goodell before he issued the suspensions”
    This really means basically nothing since the players were never given the opportunity to meet with Goodell until after he issued the original suspensions. That’s how Roger Goodell’s nfl* works.
    “We think/suspect/have ‘evidence’ that you did something, so we suspend/fine you for it. Then you come forward and admit to it and we’ll consider reducing your penalty.”
    If the above player ‘meeting’ condition isn’t met (simply admitting and saying “sorry” whether you did it or not) then you can bet that you’re not going to get any benefit out of a meeting with Roger Goodell.

  20. Vilma went from suspended for a whole season tot he remainder of this season. Fujita went from 4 games to 1.

  21. Let me preface this by saying I’m not a big Saints fan.
    I don’t see how the NFL can win if this goes back to court. The evidence the NFL has shown against the players comes from a coach who desperately wants to get back in the NFL and a coach who had a grudge against the Saints. Put that against all the affidavits that Vilma has already gotten, how can a reasonable judge come down on the side of the league?

  22. This is really going nowhere fast. The players aren’t going to win, so just take your punishment and go on about your lives. You did the crime, do the time.

  23. I’d try and say something to those folks that still deny that the bounties happened, but it would be a waste of time.

    These guys are getting off lightly.

    Time for them to just accept the revised suspensions and move on.

  24. S”aints 1 and 4, worse than the Jets…what a joke.”

    Not for long. The Saints will have a better record than the not yets at the end of the season. Count on it.
    So much for your deflection.

  25. Think Brees and the Saints will accept responsibility? Nah – its just the MSM and NFL want to tear them down for their own reasons.

  26. Give it up the players are trying to move on but Goodell is so happy that he should leave it be go back o the packers game how theylost but no just praise them one time whe they won and have the knife in the other

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