In a decision that should surprise no one, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell upheld the original suspensions for those involved in the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal on Tuesday, meaning Jonathan Vilma (suspended for the entire season), Anthony Hargrove (eight games), Will Smith (four games) and the Cleveland Browns’ Scott Fujita (three games) are essentially out of luck.
While there are ways in which the players can prolong this fight (such as seeking a preliminary injuction, which will stop the league from enforcing the suspensions until the lawsuits are completed), the fact remains that Goodell is not going to change his mind and it’s not likely there will be any way to reverse the ultimate decision.
Nevertheless, this means fans will be subjected to even more of this news as training camp nears. For Scott Fujita, one gets the sense that Browns fans are getting tired of hearing about this, and while Fujita continues to proclaim his innocence, most people just want this to go away.
By fighting this with such intensity, it’s hard not to consider that maybe – just maybe – the players are telling the truth in this whole situation. Though that’s really just what they want, right? Either way, it will be a huge relief to everyone to eventually forget about this and finally start focusing on football.