4 players file bounty appeals to NFL

Topics: From the Wires,

4 players file bounty appeals to NFLFILE - In this Sept. 5, 2012, file photo, NFL ommissioner Roger Goodell gestures to fans before an NFL football game between the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys in East Rutherford, N.J. Jonathan Vilma, Will Smith and the NFL players union left little doubt they remain determined to challenge Commissioner Roger Goodell’s authority to suspend players in connection with the league’s bounty investigation of the New Orleans Saints. Goodell ruled Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012, that Vilma, a linebacker, would remain suspended for the season, while Smith, a defensive end, still would face a four-game ban. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun, File) (Credit: AP)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — All four players punished in the NFL’s bounty investigation have filed appeals with the league. People familiar with the situation say the players have asked Commissioner Roger Goodell to remove himself as arbitrator because they do not believe he can be impartial.

One of the people also says New Orleans linebacker Jonathan Vilma expects to play at Tampa Bay on Oct. 21 while his appeal is pending. The people spoke to The Associated Press Friday on condition of anonymity because the appeals were filed as private documents with the league

Vilma is suspended for the season, while Saints defensive end Will Smith is suspended four games, free agent defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove seven games and Cleveland linebacker Scott Fujita one game.

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