Players reject bounty settlement
The four players involved in the New Orleans Saints bounty case reportedly rejected a settlement offer because it required admission of some wrong-doing, according to ESPN.com.
Scott Fujita, Anthony Hargrove, Will Smith and Jonathan Vilma, who are appealing suspensions handed down by the NFL for their apparent involvement in the program, are still believed to be OK with how former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue has arbitrated the case.
In particular, the players reportedly appreciated that they were able to cross-examine important witnesses, including former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. They believe the information provided by witnesses proves their innocence.
Tagliabue is expected to render a decision on the players' appeals Tuesday.
The league's offer included reducing Hargrove's suspension from eight games to two and fining Smith four games instead of suspending him four games. Tagliabue would then decide whether to hold up Vilma's one-year suspension, in exchange for Vilma dropping his defamation suit against commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL. It is not known what offer was made to Fujita, who was originally suspended for one game.
The NFL said it would continue abiding by Tagliabue's request to not comment on the case.