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Saints' Vilma appeals suspension

May 7, 2012 at 3:31 PM
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NEW YORK, May 7 (UPI) -- Linebacker Jonathan Vilma has formally appealed his season-long NFL suspension for his involvement in the New Orleans Saints' bounty program.

Vilma was suspended by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Wednesday. His penalty was the most severe of the four players disciplined by the commissioner. Goodell will hear Vilma's appeal.

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Goodell suspended defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove, now with Green Bay, for eight games, defensive end Will Smith for four games and linebacker Scott Fujita, now with Cleveland, for three games.

The NFL Players Association filed a grievance against the league last week on behalf of the suspended players.

The unpaid suspensions were meted out for the bounty system run from 2009-11 by former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.

Williams was suspended indefinitely in March. Saints head Coach Sean Payton was given a one-year suspension for his knowledge of the program.

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