NFL Suspends 4 Saints Players For Bountygate
Roger Godell isn’t playing around when it comes to bounties in the NFL. First, New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton was suspended for a year and Defensive Cooridinator Gregg Williams received and indefinite suspension. Now 4 Saints Players will be paying penalties too.
Saints Linebacker Johnathan Vilma was hit hardest, getting a full year ban from the NFL. He will serve his suspension immediately. Defensive tackle Anthony Hargrove who is now with the Green Bay Packers get an eight game ban, defensive end Will Smith will miss four games and linebacker Scott Fujita who is now with the Cleveland Browns gets a three game suspension. Hargrove, Smith and Fujita will be able to take part in preseason activities. None of these players will be paid during these suspensions.
The NFL gave their reasoning behind the suspensions saying that Vilma helped create and fund the bounty program with Gregg Williams. Smith also helped Williams create and fund a bounty pool when he was a captain of the defense. Hargrove submitted a signed declaration to the league that the program existed and he participated in it and Fujita pledged a significant amount of money to the program.