just heard it on the radio, anyone hear about it?
Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter
Saints players won on appeal...
Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter
With Saints winning appeal, suspensions are voided as Roger Goodell doesn't have jurisdiction and Stephen Burbank does.
The four players suspended by the NFL for their involvement in the New Orleans Saints' "bounty" program had their suspensions overturned by a collective bargaining agreement appeals panel Friday, NFL Players[..]ociation spokesman George Atallah said.
While the suspensions are vacated immediately, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell can go back and suspend the players if he proves there was an intent to injure. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said all players are eligible to play, starting with this weekend, until Goodell does so.
"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," Aiello said in a statement. "Until that determination is made, the four players are reinstated and eligible to play starting this weekend."
Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma was suspended for the entire 2012 regular season, free agent Anthony Hargrove for eight games, Saints defensive end Will Smith for four games and Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita three games.
Fujita and Hargrove played for the Saints during the program duration which ran from 2009 to 2011 under defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who has been suspended indefinitely. The suspensions of Williams, coach Sean Payton (season-long suspension), general manager Mickey Loomis (eight games) and[..]istant head coach Joe Vitt (six games) were not involved in this appeals process.
Vilma took to Twitter to express his satisfaction about the ruling.
Victory is mine!!!! -stewie griffin
7 Sep 12 Reply
An agent for former Saint and Green Bay Packer Hargrove wouldn't comment on his client's status and wouldn't say whether or not teams had begun calling him on the[..]umption that he's eligible to be on the field for the opener.
"It's all too new," Phil Williams, Hargrove's agent, told NFL.com and NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport.
When asked if his client is physically able to play after being released by the Packers in August, Williams said, "Of course. He's ready to play if he falls out of bed after a month."
Safety Roman Harper said he'd welcome the return of his defensive teammates Vilma and Smith.
"Well if coach Kromer would let him come out I'd definitely like to play with these guys," Harper told reporters.
"I'm excited," quarterback Drew Brees told NFL.com and NFL Network reporter Aditi Kinkhabwala. "I've been focused on the game, but I hoped that that would be the case. No, I'm not surprised. I wouldn't call me surprised. Obviously they saw the information that we've seen for a long time."
Congratulations to our players and the Saints organization. A 3 judge panel UNANIMOUSLY overturned the bounty suspensions for players.