NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell showed no mercy to the New Orleans Saints coaches and management and he is showing no mercy to the Saints players. He has finally come to a decision on the fate of Saints players who were involved in a cash-for-hits bounty system and these are some of the heaviest penalties in NFL history. Here are the penalties and the players who received them:
LB Jonathan Vilma: Suspended for all of 2012 without pay. This is effective immediately and runs through the playoffs and the Super Bowl. It is reported that Vilma placed $10,000 cash on the table in the team’s meeting room and said he would pay anyone who knocked Brett Favre out of the NFC Championship Game in January of 2010.
DL Anthony Hargrove: Eight-game suspension without pay. The NFL said that he targeted Favre in the NFC Championship Game. The NFL says, “Hargrove also actively obstructed the league’s 2010 investigation into the program by being untruthful to investigators.” Hargrove later confessed to his role in the bounty program. Hargrove is now with the Packers.
DE Will Smith: Four-game suspension without pay. Smith helped to create the bounty program with former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.
LB Scott Fujita: Three-game suspension without pay. He participated in the bounty program when he played for the team. Fujita is now with the Browns.
In the statement from the NFL Roger Goodell stated, “It is the obligation of everyone, including the players on the field, to ensure that rules designed to promote player safety, fair play, and the integrity of the game are adhered to and effectively and consistently enforced. Respect for the men that play the game starts with the way players conduct themselves with each other on the field.”
Goodell also stated, “In assessing player discipline, I focused on players who were in leadership positions at the Saints; contributed a particularly large sum of money toward the program; specifically contributed to a bounty on an opposing player; demonstrated a clear intent to participate in a program that potentially injured opposing players; sought rewards for doing so; and/or obstructed the 2010 investigation.”
Topics: Anthony Hargrove, Bounty Program, Brett Favre, Browns, Cleveland Browns, Green Bay Packers, Gregg Williams, Jonathan Vilma, National Football League, New Orleans, New Orleans Saints, NFL, Nfl Discipline, NFL Penalties, Packers, Player Fines, Roger Goodell, Saints, Saints Bounty Program, Scott Fujita, Will Smith