Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 9/11/12

Allow me to preface this argument by saying I haven't seen the "evidence" that the NFL claims to have against the suspended Saints players and their involvement in the Bounty Scandal, but I have to believe they didn't pull these four names out of a hat.

Over the weekend, the courts uplifted the suspensions of Anthony Hargrove, Will Smith, Scott Fujita, and Jonathon Vilma, allowing them to play football this season. 

Hargrove is a free agent, but Will Smith was actually able to start for the Saints, and Vilma is out for six weeks with an injury (not sure how you get hurt when you haven't been able to play).  Fujita is a Cleveland Brown and will play once he is healthy and ready.

In case anyone doesn't realize the severity of what the Saints did during this "Bounty Scandal", let's recap.

First off, the NFL is in the middle of multi-billion dollar lawsuit from former players because the NFL did not inform them of the severity of concussions and didn't test properly for them.

In the midst of a severe culture change in football geared towards player safety, the Saints defensive coordinator and a number of players participated in a bounty system that paid players for hurting or knocking other players out of a game.  

So for all of you that hate Commissioner Roger Goodell for being too much of an authoritarian, look at the position he's been put in.  He has players breaking rules and putting other players in serious threat of injury, and he has those same players suing the NFL for not keeping them safe during their playing days.  So what is the commish expected to do?  

What this decision by the courts has told us is that the NFL stands no chance in their lawsuit with the former players.  Jim McMahon is on the cover of Sports Illustrated this week with his story on the NFL and his medical issues.  The part he leaves out is the fact that he's on NFL Films classics with no helmet on head-butting a player with a helmet on the sideline.  Sorry, Mr. McMahon, but you shouldn't be able to sue the NFL for your own stupidity.

The NFL, as well as doctors across the country, are just now making strides on how to deal with concussions.  They are trying to put the players in the best situation, but the players have to tell the doctors that they are having symptoms.  Players are the first to admit that they lie about having symptoms so they can stay in the game.

The whole situation is going to get ugly, but one thing is for sure; this overturn of the suspensions with the Saints players is a clear indication of which way this may go.



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