NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) - New Orleans Saints linebacker and former New York Jet Jonathan Vilma has been suspended without pay for the entire 2012 season by the NFL, one of four players punished for participating in a pay-for-pain bounty system.
Defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove, a Brooklyn native now with the Green Bay Packers, is suspended for eight games this season; Saints defensive end and Queens native Will Smith is barred for four games; and linebacker Scott Fujita, now with the Cleveland Browns, will miss three games. All of the suspensions are without pay.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's ruling was announced Wednesday.
All four players have three days to appeal.
An NFL investigation determined that the Saints had a bounty system from 2009-11 that offered thousands of dollars to players for big hits that knocked opponents out of games.
Vilma was the 12th overall pick by the Jets in 2004 out of the University of Miami, and played with Gang Green until 2007. During his tenure in East Rutherford, the six-foot-one, 230-pounder was the AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2004 and the NFL combined tackles leader in 2005. He was selected to the Pro Bowl that same season.
Jets fans, how do you feel about the former first-round pick being suspended for the entire season? Sound off with your thoughts and comments below...
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