New York, NY (Sports Network) - NFL commissioner Roger Goodell reaffirmed thediscipline for four players in the New Orleans Saints' bounty case Tuesday,but did adjust certain aspects after meeting with the players individually.
"The discipline being imposed today is entirely based on my finding that theplayers engaged in conduct detrimental and in no way based on any issue ofundisclosed payments in violation of the salary cap," Goodell said in astatement on Tuesday. "The four disciplined players either were involved inspecific bounties on an opposing player, contributed substantially to thebounty program, engaged in payments that violated league rules or wereuntruthful when the program was initially investigated."
Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma remains suspended for the season but willretain the salary he received for the first six games of the season while onthe physically unable to perform list.
Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita had his suspension reduced from threegames to one, while free agent defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove saw his banreduced one game from eight to seven.
If Hargrove is signed by a team, he will only serve a two-game suspensionafter receiving credit for the five games he already has missed this season.
Saints defensive end Will Smith's four-game suspension was upheld.
"For more than six months, the NFL has ignored the facts, abused the processoutlined in our collective bargaining agreement and failed to produce evidencethat the players intended to injure anyone, ever," the NFLPA wrote in arelease. "The only evidence that exists is the league's gross violation offair due process, transparency and impartiality during this process. Truth andfairness have been the casualties of the league's refusal to admit that itmight have made a mistake. We will review this decision thoroughly and reviewall options to protect our players' rights with vigilance."
All four players had their suspensions overturned last month when the NFLPAfiled an appeal on their behalf, making them eligible for play this season.
Fujita has appeared in three games for the Browns, while Smith has appeared inall five games for the Saints. Vilma hasn't played in a game this seasonbecause of a knee injury.