Roger Goodell upholds Saints players' suspensions in bounty scandal
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has heard the appeals of the players suspended as a result of the New Orleans Saints' bounty scandal. Today, he issued an outright rejection, according to a tweet from Mike Freeman at CBS Sports.
The players - linebacker Jonathan Vilma, defensive end Anthony Hargrove, linebacker Scott Fujita, and defensive end Will Smith - were suspended on May 2nd by the NFL for their role in the Saints' bounty program, wherein players were monetarily rewarded for injuring or inflicting bodily harm on an opponent that would take them out of the game.
The suspensions include a season-long ban for Vilma, eight games for Hargrove (now with the Green Bay Packers), four games for Smith and three for Fujita (now with the Cleveland Browns). The previous record for longest suspension handed out by the NFL was five games.
In a letter to the players tweeted in segments by NFL.com reporter Albert Breer, Goodell explained the reasons for his decision.