Three other players — Scott Fujita, Anthony Hargrove, Will Smith — in addition to Vilma were notified that they have been suspended without pay for conduct detrimental to the NFL as a result of their leadership roles in the “bounty” program that endangered player safety over three seasons from 2009-2011.
“It is the obligation of everyone, including the players on the field, to ensure that rules designed to promote player safety, fair play, and the integrity of the game are adhered to and effectively and consistently enforced,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “Respect for the men that play the game starts with the way players conduct themselves with each other on the field.”
Unlock HQ Video HQ video delivered by Akamai The discipline breaks down, per a league release, as follows:
• Linebacker Jonathan Vilma of the Saints is suspended without pay for the 2012 NFL season, effective immediately per league policy for season-long suspensions.
• Linebacker Scott Fujita (now with the Cleveland Browns) is suspended without pay for the first three games.
• Defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove (now with the Green Bay Packers) is suspended without pay for the first eight games.
• Will Smith of the Saints is suspended without pay for the first four games.