Originally posted on Helmet2Helmet  |  Last updated 12/11/12

After months of legal recourse and hand-wringing, the BountyGate scandal has seemingly been put to rest.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello confirmed on his Twitter account that the four players involved in the case have been cleared of any discipline despite engaging in conduct detrimental to the league.

https://twitter.com/gregaiello/status/278562485492146176

https://twitter.com/gregaiello/status/278563474307694592

https://twitter.com/gregaiello/status/278563780248612865

https://twitter.com/gregaiello/status/278564067524874240

What does all this mean? In a nutshell, the suspensions levied upon Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma and defensive end Will Smith, Browns linebacker Scott Fujita and free agent defensive end Anthony Hargrove have all been overturned, likely permanently, after former commissioner Paul Tagliabue thoroughly reviewed the case.

The NFL issued its reaction:

"We respect Mr. Tagliabue's decision, which underscores the due process afforded players in NFL disciplinary matters," the NFL said in a statement, via NFL.com. "This matter has now been reviewed by Commissioner Goodell, two CBA grievance arbitrators, the CBA Appeals Panel, and Mr. (Tagliabue) as Commissioner Goodell's designated appeals officer.

"... The decisions have made clear that the Saints operated a bounty program in violation of league rules for three years, that the program endangered player safety, and that the commissioner has the authority under the CBA to impose discipline for those actions as conduct detrimental to the league. Strong action was taken in this matter to protect player safety and ensure that bounties would be eliminated from football."

Shortly after the announcement was made, Drew Brees tweeted in support of his former and current teammates.

https://twitter.com/drewbrees/status/278569841248571392

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