All posts tagged saints

→ Panel Overturns Saints Player Suspensions

A three-member panel has overturned the suspensions handed down by the NFL in the bounty case, and all four suspended players — New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, defensive end Will Smith, Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita, and at-large defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove — are free to play this NFL season. It is a crushing defeat for the league and Commissioner Roger Goodell.

“Consistent with the panel’s decision, Commissioner Goodell will, as directed, make an expedited determination of the discipline imposed for violating the league’s pay-for-performance/bounty rule,” the NFL said in a statement. “Until that determination is made, the four players are reinstated and eligible to play starting this weekend.”

Things just got really interesting.

→ Questioning Roger Goodell’s Authority

Not good for the commissioner:

From the start, Judge Berrigan sided with Vilma and noted that the steps taken by the NFL when gathering, processing, and using their information to mete out justice were specious at best. When Peter Ginsberg, Vilma’s attorney, said that Vilma was suspended for cart-off hits, and there was no specific proof of Vilma’s involvement. Judge Berrigan responded thusly: “I would like to rule in Vilma’s favor. I do think you [Vilma] exhausted your remedies.”

At this point, Commissioner Goodell needs to put forth the evidence that he feels shows Jonathan Vilma participated in the alleged bounty program. Personally, I would be fine with Goodell losing his grip on the disciplinary power. I think it is time for him to have to reign it in a bit.