NFL Network Adam Schefter reports that DE Will Smith, LB Scott Fujita, DL Anthony Hargrove, and ILB Jonathan Vilma won the appeal on the 2009-2011 Bounty Scandal. They are now eligible to play on Week 1 for their respective teams.
- Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk provides some quotes regarding the thought process behind the decision.
“In light of the serious nature of the penalties imposed,” writes Richard J. Howell on behalf of the arbitration panel. “We believe caution is appropriate.”
- However, Sports lawyer Gabe Feldman reports that the players implicated aren’t out of woods yet, since the commissioner still has another chance to impose discipline, only if there’s evidence of intent to injure beyond just a performance pool.
- The Saints are expected to place Jonathan Vilma on the reserve/PUP list, which will keep him out of the team’s first six games, per Mike Triplett.
While the players will be allowed to report to their respective teams, the league imposed suspensions for Sean Payton, Mickey Loomis, Joe Vitt, and Gregg Williams will remain in tact.