Michael Garcia - May 3, 2012
I had pretty much the same look as Jonathan Vilma has in that picture when I just read that he was suspended by the NFL for an entire year without pay for the 'Bounty-gate' scandal. Wha?
A full year? You have to be kidding me. That's some heavy-handed BS right there. Three other Saints players were suspended for different lengths of time. Scott Fujita, now with Cleveland, gets the first three games without pay. Anthony Hargrove, now with Green Bay, gets the first eight games without pay, and Will Smith, who is still with New Orleans, will get the first four games off without pay.
Those are understandable, I suppose, but why is Vilma getting the entire year? Because he added money to the pot? Give me a break. This is like A Few Good Men. Did Gregg Williams order the code red? You're g-damned right he did.
According the NFL's press release, this is how commissioner Roger Goodell figured out how many games to give to each player.
I focused on players who were in leadership positions at the Saints; contributed a particularly large sum of money toward the program; specifically contributed to a bounty on an opposing player; demonstrated a clear intent to participate in a program that potentially injured opposing players; sought rewards for doing so; and/or obstructed the 2010 investigation.
Sorry commish, but Vilma doesn't deserve a full year. The players have three days to file appeals to their suspensions, and most likely they all will. The Saints were found to have been running a pay-for-pain program under Williams, and some damning audio tape revealed it to be pretty specific.
Saints coach Sean Payton was previously suspended for the year, while Williams has been suspended from the NFL indefinitely.
Article by Eric Gray
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