A mere 42 hours before Sunday’s 1:00 kickoffs, both Twitter and the brain of Roger Goodell are about to EXPLODE.
A three-member appeals panel has overturned all player suspensions in the New Orleans Saints bounty case, according to multiple reports.
With the appeals victory, suspensions to Jonathan Vilma, Will Smith, Scott Fujita and Anthony Hargrove are voided, as NFL commissioner Roger Goodell doesn’t have jurisdiction.
Goodell must redetermine the penalties for those four players now that the remanded case has been sent back to him. The commissioner retains the power to suspend players (likely on a much smaller scale) if he can prove there was an intent to injure.
Vilma, who is injured, will likely begin the season on the PUP, meaning he will miss up to week 6. But former Ohio State standout defensive end Will Smith could very well start this very weekend.
This entire situation was fucking ridiculous to begin with. What has been dubbed “Bounty-Gate” was nothing more than Darth Goodell covering his ass before the shit spraying from the massive concussion epidemic-related lawsuit filed by 2,000 former players hits the fan. The suspensions handed down were, in essence, Goodell’s Plan B pill that was forced down into the Saints’ stomach 4 months after conception.
Goodell knows his league is fucked. Don’t kid yourselves. There’s a VERY real possibility that football will not continue to exist in 20 years (at least how it’s played today. Check out this AMAZING article from our friends over at Grantland).
The Saints were supposed to be a symbol of Goodell’s newfound no-tolerance policy that claimed to put player safety first, even as the Commish was hypocritically pushing for an 18-game schedule. With the Appeals Panel’s decision today, it’s become evident that the only thing the Saints are now a symbol of is the confirmation that Roger Goodell is just a massive dick.