Originally posted on The Sports Rocker  |  Last updated 5/2/12

It came out a a few hours ago today that several Saints players would be getting some time off this season due to their roles in the Saints bounty program. Jonathan Vilma is the largest transgressor, staring down a one-year suspension. Meanwhile, the NFLPA, the players' union, is protesting the suspensions. Meanwhile, water is still wet.


So instead of just saying, "Ya know, our guys screwed up. We don't like it, but we understand," approach, they're taking the scorched earth super highway.

In a statement released today, the NFLPA said:

"After seeing the NFL's decision letters, the NFLPA has still not received any detailed or specific evidence from the league of these specific players' involvement in an alleged pay-to-injure program. We have made it clear that punishment without evidence is not fair. We have spoken with our players and their representatives and we will vigorously protect and pursue all options on their behalf."



So, let's get this straight. The NFL spends a significant amount of time investigating the allegations, has mountains of supporting evidence, has interviewed players and coaches, and even has admissions from coaches of the Saints, and the NFLPA says they need to see more? DeMaurice Smith, this will not end well for you.


Not only is the union going to appeal the suspensions, but that is a slap in the face to those that may have been injured by the Saints for a little green on the side. And this doesn't even take into account the ongoing class-action lawsuits by former NFL players regarding head injuries. While D. Smith may think what he is doing is in the best interest of those he represents, he needs to remember that he represents every NFL player, not just those being suspended.

When a military mission goes awry, the saying often heard is "they've lost the initiative." Well, DeMaurice Smith has lost his initiative, and may lose the union as well. I'd love to see some player go all Derek Fisher on the NFLPA, but I doubt that will happen. The NFLPA is one of the tightest knit group of players in all the land when it comes to these types of things, such as the CBA agreement / disagreement last summer. I personally think it's doubtful that someone challenges the leadership, but I'd love to see it happen.

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