Getty Images

We reported in September that a three-man arbitration panel had overturned NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s suspensions to four players in the alleged Bounty Scandal.  Then it was reported that Goodell was to meet with the four formerly suspended players will meet to discuss the matter.

Now, Roger Goodell has released this statement that the suspensions on Jonathan Vilma and Will Smith will stand but did lighten up the suspensions on Scott Fajita and Anthony Hargrove.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has reduced the bounty-related suspensions of two New Orleans Saints players while upholding the punishments of two others.

Linebacker Scott Fujita's three-game suspension has been reduced to one while defensive end Anthony Hargrove's eight-game penalty has been trimmed to seven games.

The suspensions of linebacker Jonathan Vilma and defensive end Will Smith will remain the same.

Vilma is on the Saints' physically unable to perform list and will not be eligible to play this year but can keep the money he has been paid for his six weeks on the PUP list.

He took to Twitter to share his reaction to the news saying, "This is not news to me pride won't let him admit he's wrong."

The NFL Players Association released a statement addressing Goodell's decisions.

"For more than six months, the NFL has ignored the facts, abused the process outlined in our collective bargaining agreement and failed to produce evidence that the players intended to injure anyone, ever," the statement said. "The only evidence that exists is the league's gross violation of fair due process, transparency and impartiality during this process. Truth and fairness have been the casualties of the league's refusal to admit that it might have made a mistake."

The four players have 72 hours to begin the appeals process. Should they choose to do that, the understanding is they would be allowed to play until the appeals process is completed.

Source: ESPN

 

To appeal or not to appeal, that is the question.  We will have to see what Vilma and smith decide to do.