Due to the Saints' pay-for-performance "bounty" scandal Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma has been suspended
for the 2012 season. Scott Fujita (now with the Cleveland Browns) is suspended without pay for the first three games. Anthony Hargrove (now with the Green Bay Packers) is suspended without pay for the first eight games. And Will Smith is suspended without pay for the first four games. have Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement...
“It is the obligation of everyone, including the players on the field, to ensure that rules designed to promote player safety, fair play, and the integrity of the game are adhered to and effectively and consistently enforced,” “Respect for the men that play the game starts with the way players conduct themselves with each other on the field.”
“In assessing player discipline,” Goodell said, “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.”
“No bounty program can exist without active player participation,” Goodell added. “The evidence clearly showed that the players being held accountable today willingly and enthusiastically embraced the bounty program. Players put the vast majority of the money into this program and they share responsibility for playing by the rules and protecting each other within those rules.”