NFL Suspends Players for Bounty-Gate
New Orleans Saints linebacker has been suspended for the entire season as one of four players that received some sort of punishment for their role in the pay for pain bounty handed down by the NFL. Anthony Hargrove, Will Smith and Scott Fujita also were suspended for various lengths of time. All suspensions are without pay.
According to the NFL:
•Saints defensive captain Vilma offered $10,000 in cash to any player who knocked then-Cardinals QB Warner out of a playoff game at the end of the 2009 season, and the same amount for knocking then-Vikings QB Favre out of that season’s NFC championship game.
•Fujita “pledged a significant amount of money to the prohibited pay-for-performance/bounty pool during the 2009 NFL Playoffs when he played for the Saints.”
•Hargrove “actively participated in the program while a member of the Saints,” the league said, adding that he “submitted a signed declaration to the league that established not only the existence of the program at the Saints, but also that he knew about and participated in it.”
•Smith help defensive coordinator Gregg Williams create and fund the bounty pool while he was defensive captain of the Saints.
Hargrove who is now with the Green Bay Packers is suspended for 8 games, Will Smith is suspended 4 games and Fujita now with the Cleveland Browns is suspended for 3 games.
A league investigation found that from 2009 to 2011, New Orleans coaches and players put together a bounty system that paid out improper cash bonuses for hits aimed at knocking opposing players out of games. The NFL says as many as 27 Saints participated. Head Coach Sean Payton has already been suspended for 2012 season and Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams now with the Rams has been suspended indefinitely. The General Manager Mickey Loomis begins a 8 game suspension after the preseason as well as interim coach Joe Vitt begins his 6 game suspension.
Now get ready for the massive lawsuits and appeals!