NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has reviewed the evidence in the “Bountygate” scandal and has decided to re-issue suspensions handed down to players as a result as the investigation into the New Orleans Saints pay-for-performance scandal.
The players who were previously suspended — and now re-suspended — are Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, Saints defensive end Will Smith, Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita and free-agent defensive end Anthony Hargrove.
All four players can appeal the suspensions that were handed down by Goodell.
With the re-issuing of the suspensions, some players have seen changes to their previous discipline per ESPN’s Chris Mortensen.
Vilma’s suspension will continue through the remainder of the season but he will be able to collect game checks from the time that he was on the physically unable to performance list.
Hargrove’s suspension was reduced from eight games to seven, while Fujita’s suspension got reduced from three games to one.
Unfortunately for Will Smith, his suspension saw no change and will remain at four games.
This situation could very well find itself back in court if the players appeal and Commissioner Goodell refuses to change the suspensions once again. The players can still say that suspensions for the Bountygate scandal extend beyond Goodell’s jurisdiction.
The courts sided with the players last time and reversed the suspensions so if justice can be served twice, the Saints players could find themselves back on the field by the end of the season.