NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- The NFL has denied the appeals of four
players suspended in connection with the league's bounty
investigation of the New Orleans Saints.
In his latest ruling handed down on Tuesday, NFL Commissioner
Roger Goodell tells Jonathan Vilma, Anthony Hargrove, Will Smith
and Scott Fujita that each of them is still welcome to meet with
him to give their side of the story, and that he reserves the right
to reduce the suspensions should new information be brought forth.
Goodell says he did not take his initial decision lightly. He
also points out that although players have said they were wrongly
accused based on insufficient evidence, they chose not to
participate fully in their appeal hearings.
Vilma is suspended for the entire 2012 season, while Smith will
miss four games. Hargrove, now with Green Bay, was suspended eight
games, while Fujita, now with Cleveland, suspended three games.