The NFL has reported that
Sheriff Commissioner Roger Goodell has upheld the suspensions for the players involved in the Saints' pay-for-injure program.
Per the NFL's press release:
Fujita, now with the Cleveland Browns, is suspended without pay for the first three games of the 2012 regular season. Hargrove, now with the Green Bay Packers, is suspended without pay for the first eight games of the 2012 regular season. Smith is suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2012 regular season. Vilma is suspended without pay for the 2012 season.
I don't think anyone will be shocked at this news (except for the players themselves and delusional fans who still refuse to believe the Saints did anything wrong), but in the doldrums of pre-Training Camp days, just about anything related to the NFC South (or football in general) counts as news.
Join me after the jump as we take a look at part of Goodell's statement to the players...
As I promised, below you will find a portion of the letter from Commissioner Goodell that was given to the players explaining his decision to uphold their suspensions:
Throughout this entire process, including your appeals, and despite repeated invitations and encouragement to do so, none of you has offered any evidence that would warrant reconsideration of your suspensions. Instead, you elected not to participate meaningfully in the appeal process … Although you claimed to have been ‘wrongfully accused with insufficient evidence,’ your lawyers elected not to ask a single question of the principal investigators, both of whom were present at the hearing (as your lawyers had requested); you elected not to testify or to make any substantive statement, written or oral, in support of your appeal; you elected not to call a single witness to support your appeal; and you elected not to introduce a single exhibit addressing the merits of your appeal. Instead, your lawyers raised a series of jurisdictional and procedural objections that generally ignore the CBA, in particular its provisions governing ‘conduct detrimental’ determinations…
It looks like there's nothing more the players can do but tuck their tails between their legs and serve their suspensions. It serves them right, if you ask me.
Hopefully this is finally the beginning of the end for all this bounty mess. That is, until the season starts and we get to hear the cries of Saints Nation as they blame Goodell for their upcoming 6-10 season.
What do you think Panthers fans? Do you think Goodell made the right call here? Wait, scratch that - of course we do! I'd be willing to bet that it's 31-1 in terms of which fan bases are okay with this move versus which ones are not., but feel free to discuss this news in the thread below since there's really nothing else to discuss anyway.