The Bounty Scandal that took the forefront of the NFL not long ago has reared its head again, earning suspensions for four NFL players that took part in the bounties.
Linebacker Jonathan Vilma has been suspended for the entire 2012 season. Defensive tackle Anthony Hargrove, who is now with the Green Bay Packers, will be suspended for eight games, defensive end Will Smith four games and linebacker Scott Fujita, who is now with the Cleveland Browns, three games.
The league investigation said as many as 27 Saints’ players participated in the bounties.
These suspensions come in the aftermath of suspensions to head coach Sean Payton (one year), general manager Mickey Loomis (eight games), interim coach Joe Vitt (six games) and former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams (indefinitely).
All suspensions are without pay.
How these suspensions will affect the team will play out during the season, but the Saints seemed to be ready to lose Vilma when they signed linebackers Curtis Lofton and David Hawthorne in the off-season. Lofton comes from the division rival Atlanta Hawks, so that could give them a boost this season.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell would hear any appeals, but the appeals would have to be made within three days.
By: Brandon Williams
Member of the Football Writers Association of America