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View Full Version : Sources: Bounty bans overturned

09-07-2012, 08:05 PM
From ESPN.com:

Suspensions for four players connected to the New Orleans Saints (http://espn.go.com/nfl/team/_/name/no/new-orleans-saints) bounty scandal have been overturned by a three-man arbitration panel, sources tell ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

The ruling should clear Jonathan Vilma (http://espn.go.com/nfl/player/_/id/5537/jonathan-vilma), Will Smith (http://espn.go.com/nfl/player/_/id/5543/will-smith), Scott Fujita (http://espn.go.com/nfl/player/_/id/3671/scott-fujita) and Anthony Hargrove (http://espn.go.com/nfl/player/_/id/5616/anthony-hargrove) to start the season.

"Victory is mine!!!! -stewie griffin," Vilma tweeted Friday afternoon.

The panel's decision affects the players only, not suspended coaches Gregg Williams, Sean Payton and Joe Vitt.

The NFL Players Association and the four players had claimed in consolidated lawsuits that Goodell abused his authority and followed improper procedures in disciplining the players for a program that, according to NFL investigators, paid improper cash bonuses for tackles that injured opponents. The lawsuits sought to have the punishment handed down by Goodell thrown out. The arbitration ruling renders the lawsuits moot at this point.

A team source previously told ESPN's Ed Werder that Vilma planned to attend Sunday's season opener against the Washington Redskins (http://espn.go.com/nfl/team/_/name/wsh/washington-redskins), but believed he was at least a week or two from being ready to play because of a knee injury.

Information from ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, ESPN's Ed Werder and The Associated Press was used in this report.

09-07-2012, 08:33 PM
ESPN has updated to the story. Rather than repost the whole thing, I'll just post the new bits:

"Consistent with the panel's decision, commissioner Goodell will, as directed, make an expedited determination of the discipline imposed for violating the league's pay-for-performance/bounty rule. Until that determination is made, the four players are reinstated and eligible to play starting this weekend," the NFL said in a statement.

The panel's decision affects the players only, not suspended coaches Gregg Williams, Sean Payton and Joe Vitt.


Smith also tweeted: "Thank you to everyone involved in the process of this solution.. And everyone who supported us through this whole ordeal. #whodat."


"Great news and exciting to hear," Saints linebacker Scott Shanle (http://espn.go.com/nfl/player/_/id/4709/scott-shanle) told ESPN's Ed Werder. "It's been a long process that didn't involve a lot of facts. These guys have stood strong and stood by what was right. Glad it paid off with this ruling."