NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Will Hear Bounty Appeals On June 18
Roger Goodell on June 18 will meet with four New Orleans Saints players who were suspended last month following an investigation into the teams 2009 through 2011 bounty program.
Roger Goodell has not met with any of the four players since he handed down his punishment. Among those appeals Goodell will meet with New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma who filed a defamation lawsuit against the NFL commissioner after he was suspended for the entire 2012 NFL season.
Defensive end Will Smith was suspended for four games; former Saints defensive end Anthony Hargrove received an eight game suspension which he will now serve with Green Bay and linebacker Scott Fujita was served with a three game suspension, he is now playing for Cleveland.
Supporting those players is the NFL Players Association who filed a grievance over the suspensions, claiming that Roger Goodell was prohibited from punishing any players before the CBA was signed last summer. An arbitrator heard arguments from both sides regarding the grievance but has yet to rule on the matter. The grievance is asking that player appeals also be heard by Art Shell and Ted Cottrell, those men report to the the league and union and review all disciplinary actions handed out for on-field conduct.
From 2009 through 2011 the New Orleans Saints paid players thousands of dollars to injure star players from other teams, a fact that has never been fully disputed.
New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton was also served a suspension which will last through the end of the 2012-2013 season.