The NFL today handed down player suspensions to four members of the New Orleans Saints for their roles in the bounty-gate scandal, including sidelining linebacker Jonathan Vilma for the entire 2012 NFL season.
Pretty obvious that Commissioner Roger Goodell did not go any easier on the Saints players than he did on the coaching staff and management.
Here are the suspensions:
Jonathan Vilma, entire 2012 season: The league "concluded that while a captain of the defensive unit Vilma assisted Coach Williams in establishing and funding the program. Multiple independent sources also confirmed that Vilma offered a specific bounty -- $10,000 in cash - to any player who knocked Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner out of the 2009 Divisional Playoff Game and later pledged the same amount to anyone who knocked Minnesota quarterback Brett Favre out of the 2009 NFC Championship Game the following week."
Will Smith, four games: A defensive end, the league concluded that Smith "assisted Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams in establishing and funding the program during a period in which he was a captain and leader of the defensive unit. Multiple independent sources also confirmed that Smith pledged significant sums to the program pool for "cart-offs" and "knockouts" of opposing players."
Anthony Hargrave, eight games: The league said "Hargrove 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. The evidence showed that Hargrove told at least one player on another team that Vikings quarterback Brett Favre was a target of a large bounty during the NFC Championship Game in January of 2010. Hargrove also actively obstructed the league's 2010 investigation into the program by being untruthful to investigators." The defensive lineman is now a member of the Green Bay Packers.
Scott Fujita, three games; The league concluded that 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." The linebacker is now with the Cleveland Browns.
Thoughts, Giants fans?