The New Orleans Saints bounty case took an interesting twist on Friday after the four players suspended won their appeal against the NFL. Jonathan Vilma, Scott Fujita (now with the Cleveland Browns), Will Smith, and Anthony Hargrove (free agent) are now eligible to play Week 1 of the regular season on Sunday, but it’s still undetermined as far as which players will actually play.
With the appeal, the case is shifted back in the direction of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell as he will have to take a closer look at all of the facts again and come up with a new punishment for these four players–which means there’s still a possibility for some sort of suspension for these players down the road. Either way, this comes as surprising news for the case considering these players are all of a sudden eligible to play in Week 1–which is just two days away.
Unfortunately for the Saints, this part of the case has no impact on any of the head coaches as their suspensions are still in place. Still, the additions of Vilma and Smith should at least provide New Orleans more weapons on offense as they look to be one of the top contenders in the NFC during the 2012 season.
The only question–how soon will Vilma be able to suit up? The linebacker has yet to pass a physical for the Saints and there’s a good chance he could begin the regular season on the PUP list.
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