Last weekend, former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue canceled the bounty appeal hearing set for October 30, with Hurricane Sandy approaching the East Coast.
Since then, the hearing has not been rescheduled.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, a discussion regarding the possible rescheduling of the hearing for November 6 resulted in a decision not to proceed on election day. As a result, the earliest the hearing will occur is Tuesday, November 13.
This means that Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma and Saints defensive end Will Smith will be available for Week Nine against the Eagles and Week 10 against the Falcons, at a minimum.
The delay has no impact on Browns linebacker Scott Fujita, who is on injured reserve. Unless, of course, the situation lingers into 2013, and Fujita doesn’t retire.
There have still been no developments regarding the effort to disqualify Tagliabue. The issue is being considered both by Tagliabue and by Judge Helen Berrigan. If Tagliabue ultimately stands down (either voluntarily or at the direction of Judge Berrigan), that will serve only to delay process even deeper into the season.
Regardless of how it all turns out, the fact that the players have delayed the suspensions for nine weeks and counting is a victory.
Then again, defensive end Anthony Hargrove, who would be eligible to sign any team if he’d taken his eight-game suspension, may not feel like he’s won much of anything.