NEW ORLEANS (NFL/Wyche) – Whilst Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma filed a letter stating his intent to appeal his season-lengthy suspension Monday, 3 other players suspended in the Saints bounty scandal, jointly filed, through the NFLPA, a “reservation of rights” letter to the NFL.
Scott Fujita, Anthony Hargrove and Will Smith, filed notice that they reserve the appropriate to appeal following a grievance filed by the NFLPA on their behalf difficult commissioner Roger Goodell’s authority regarding these suspensions is heard. The NFLPA states that no appeal should be heard till an arbitrator or arbitrators rule on two grievances that had been filed last week are resolved. Vilma’s lawyer, Peter Ginsberg, also stated that protocol also applies to Vilma.
“I look forward to the opportunity to confront what evidence they claim to have in the appropriate forum,” Fujita said in a statement emailed to The Associated Press. “I have never ever contributed income to any so-called ‘bounty’ pool, and any statements to the contrary are false. To say I’m disappointed with the league would be a large understatement.”
Players had until the finish of business Monday to notify the NFL of their intent to appeal their suspensions. Fujita, a linebacker with the Browns, was suspended three games Smith, a defensive finish with the Saints, 4 games, and Hargrove a defensive lineman now with Green Bay, eight games. Vilma’s suspension was to take impact quickly but he is allowed to participate in offseason workouts at-least till his appeal is heard.
The NFL has not set a timetable as to when Vilma’s appeal will occur. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league is reviewing the players’ filings from Monday along with the grievance filings and will determine the next steps in the procedure.
The NFL meted out punishment against the players for participating in what it said was a spend-for-efficiency system in which players had been paid out of a pool they funded to injure opponents from 2009-2010. The league says it has a preponderance of evidence to assistance its discipline. The players and the NFLPA mentioned they’ve but to see any evidence linking players to the program.
Saints Coach Sean Payton has been suspended for the season, assistant head coach Joe Vitt for six games, Common Manger Mickey Loomis for eight and former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was suspended indefinitely for their roles in the program. All appealed to Goodell and did not get their suspensions lowered. The Saints also had been docked two second-round draft picks and fined $ 500,000.
The NFLPA, in its grievance, argues that Goodell does not have the authority to judge, rule – and hear appeals — against the players. The NFLPA states that based on negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement, that no players would be punished for actions prior to last season. The league disagrees, arguing that such an agreement was not created and that Goodell, according to labor pact agreed upon by the league and its players, has authority to rule and hear the appeals for “conduct detrimental.” The bounty rulings fall beneath the “conduct detrimental” element of the CBA, according to the NFL.
(About:) This write-up was distributed by Syndicated Sports news wire and aggregation service, For more NFL news see: Fujita, Hargrove and Smith file ‘reservation of rights’ with league.