NFL Suspends 4 New Orleans Saints Players For Role in Bounty Scandal

By Jeff Shull

The NFL has finally handed out the suspension for New Orleans Saints players for their role in the Bounty scandal that shocked the world in 2012. Jonathan Vilma, who was thought to be at the center of the scandal from a player’s perspective, has been suspended for the entire 2012 season.

Roger Goodell’s hammer of justice came down hard on multiple parties during this whole ordeal; he clearly is making an example of the Saints.

It was reported that Vilma, starting linebacker for the Saints and leader on their defense, placed a $10,000 bounty on Brett Favre before the Saints and Minnesota Vikings met in the 2010 NFC Championship game (2009 season). Video of that game shows gruesome hit after hit, including multiple late violations that drew penalty flags.

With player safety taking the forefront of Goodell’s priorities lately, these seemingly over-the-top punishments are to deter egregious actions like this from ever happening again.

Anthony Hargrove was given eight games, and Will Smith was suspended four games. Scott Fujita, who is now with the Cleveland Browns, has been given a three-game suspension.

Goodell released this statement:

“It is the obligation of everyone, including the players on the field, to ensure that rules designed to promote player safety, fair play, and the integrity of the game are adhered to and effectively and consistently enforced. Respect for the men that play the game starts with the way players conduct themselves with each other on the field.”

Obviously Goodell did not show any favoritism with the players or coaches; Sean Peyton received a full year’s suspension, defensive assistant Joe Vitt is suspended for the first six games, and GM Mickey Loomis received a an eight-game suspension.

The Saints will have a hard time recovering in 2012 from this incident, but they will attempt to put it all behind them when everyone returns next season.

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