NEW ORLEANS (NFL/Wyche) – While 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 until an arbitrator or arbitrators rule on two grievances that were filed final week are resolved. Vilma’s lawyer, Peter Ginsberg, also said that protocol also applies to Vilma.
“I appear forward to the chance to confront what evidence they claim to have in the proper forum,” Fujita said in a statement emailed to The Connected Press. “I have never ever contributed cash to any so-referred to as ‘bounty’ pool, and any statements to the contrary are false. To say I’m disappointed with the league would be a huge understatement.”
Players had until the end of business Monday to notify the NFL of their intent to appeal their suspensions. Fujita, a linebacker with the Browns, was suspended 3 games Smith, a defensive finish with the Saints, four games, and Hargrove a defensive lineman now with Green Bay, eight games. Vilma’s suspension was to take impact immediately but he is allowed to participate in offseason workouts at-least until his appeal is heard.
The NFL has not set a timetable as to when Vilma’s appeal will take place. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello mentioned the league is reviewing the players’ filings from Monday along with the grievance filings and will determine the subsequent steps in the process.
The NFL meted out punishment against the players for participating in what it stated was a pay-for-performance plan 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 help its discipline. The players and the NFLPA mentioned they’ve however 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, General Manger Mickey Loomis for eight and former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was suspended indefinitely for their roles in the system. All appealed to Goodell and did not get their suspensions lowered. The Saints also were 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 produced 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 much more NFL news see: Fujita, Hargrove and Smith file ‘reservation of rights’ with league.