League commissioner Roger Goodell was expected to come down hard on anyone who the NFL could prove had a significant role in the New Orleans Saints bounty program.
And after a long negotiation with the NFL Players Association, Goodell dropped the hammer on four players in an announcement by the league this morning.
Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma was suspended for the entire 2012 season. Former Seahawk defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove, who signed with Green Bay during free agency, was suspended for eight games.
Defensive end Will Smith was suspended for four games, and linebacker Scott Fujita, now with Cleveland, was suspended for three games.
According ESPN’s Adam Schefter, all four players plan on appealing the decision.
It’s a significant decision by Goodell that is sure to have reverberations around the league today and in the future.