Four players were handed suspensions by the National Football Leaguetoday
for their roles in the New Orleans Saints’ bounty scandal.
Linebacker Jonathan Vilma was hit the hardest. He’s been suspended for the entire 2012 season. Defensive tackle Anthony Hargrove (now with the Green Bay Packers) was suspended eight games. Defensive end Will Smith got 4-games and linebacker Scott Fujita (now with Cleveland) will serve a 3-game suspension.
All of the suspensions are without pay and can be appealed.
A NFL investigation found that from 2009-11, New Orleans coaches and players put together a bounty system that paid out cash bonuses for hits aimed at knocking opposing players out of games.
Saints coach Sean Payton is out for the entire 2012 season, former Saints defensive coordinator Greg Williams is suspended indefinitely and Saints GM Mickey Loomis has to serve an 8-game suspension. Assistant head coach Joe Vitt has to serve the first 6-games of the upcoming season.
Hargrove signed as a free agent with the Packers during the offseason. The 1-year deal is worth the veterans minimum of $825,000 and didn’t include a signing bonus. That means the Packers could release Hargrove if they so desired, without owing him anything.