Originally posted on FOX Sports  |  Last updated 10/9/12
The NFL "reaffirmed" discipline on the alleged bounty players on Tuesday, but adjusted certain aspects of the penalties. Browns linebacker Scott Fujita had his suspension significantly reduced from three games to one. Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma's suspension remains the same, but will retain his salary for the five weeks he spent on the PUP list and receive another game check in Week 6. "For more than six months, the NFL has ignored the facts, abused the process outlined in our collective bargaining agreement and failed to produce evidence that the players intended to injure anyone, ever. The only evidence that exists is the League's gross violation of fair due process, transparency and impartiality during this process. Truth and fairness have been the casualties of the league's refusal to admit that it might have made a mistake," the NFLPA said in a statement following the commissioner's discipline. "We will review this decision thoroughly and review all options to protect our players' rights with vigilance." After an internal appeals panel vacated the suspensions of Vilma, Fujita, Saints defensive end Will Smith and free-agent defensive end Anthony Hargrove in early September, the league made it clear that the decision was based on conduct detrimental to football. Each of the players has the right to appeal the ruling to league commissioner Roger Goodell. Since the players were willing to meet with Goodell during the period the suspensions were lifted, they may be more willing to participate in the appeals process this time around. Smith will be suspended four games and Hargrove will be suspended seven games, but is credited with missing the first five because he is a free agent.
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