Saints quartet to appeal cash-for-hits suspensions
Posted: Thursday, May 3, 2012 7:00 pm
By BRETT MARTEL
AP Sports Writer
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — All but four of the 27 current or former Saints that the NFL linked to New Orleans’ cash-for-hits bounty system can now look forward to next season free of worry that they’ll be forced to miss games, or game checks.
As for those who’ve been suspended, they were sanctioned as severely as the coaches and general manager punished before them, and now must determine what measures they’re willing to take to show NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell that he got it wrong.
“I intend to fight this injustice, to defend my reputation, to stand up for my team and my profession, and to send a clear signal to the commissioner that the process has failed,” said Saints linebacker and defensive captain Jonathan Vilma, who received the harshest punishment of any player.
Like Saints head coach Sean Payton, Vilma has been suspended for the entire 2012 season. Defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove, now with the Green Bay Packers, was suspended for the first half of the 16-game season; Saints defensive end Will Smith was barred for the opening four games; and linebacker Scott Fujita, now with the Cleveland Browns, will miss the first three games of 2012.
They were all suspended without pay, costing each hundreds of thousands of dollars. Published in The Messenger 5.3.12