Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita and other players involved in the ongoing New Orleans Saints’ bounty program investigation will get their chance to appeal suspensions handed down by the NFL. Per reports, the league has set a June 18 date for Fujita, along with linebacker Jonathan Vilma and defensive ends Anthony Hargrove and Will Smith, to state their case in regard to their suspensions of of varying sizes and fines of varying amounts.
The players and the NFL Players Association have fought back, stating that league Commissioner Roger Goodell lacks the authority to suspend/fine players for activities that occurred before the new collective bargaining agreement was signed prior to the start of the 2011 season. Earlier this week, the suspended players saw an arbitrator reject the NFLPA’s other grievance, ruling Goodell was in his power.
Filmmaker Sean Pamphilon recently released a chronicle of text messages between he and Fujita, furthering the veteran linebacker’s involvement in the case. On Wednesday, reports ciruculated that Saints players Roman Harper and Jo-Lonn Dunbar each received cash payments for their involvement in plays that took place in a past playoff win over the Detroit Lions.
[Related: Pat Shurmur and the Burden of Proof]