In the aftermath of the New Orleans Saints “Bounty Program” scandal, linebacker Jonathan Vilma has been suspended for the entire 2012 NFL season. Reports say that the suspension is effective immediately, and Vilma will be suspended with out pay.
It has been reported that Vilma was the leader in the “bounty program” amongst players regarding offering payment up to $10,000 for hit to take out the Minnesota Vikings quarterback Bret Farve in the 2009 NFC Championship game. In that game, Farve to on a number of hard hits which resulted in Farve leaving the game with an ankle injury. This is by far the most strident suspension for a player that NFL Commissioner Roger Godell has handed down for play on the field.
Vilma is not the only player who has been suspended, but his suspension is the longest among who was on that roster. Other players who were suspended are linebacker Scott Fujita who currently plays for the Cleveland Browns (3 games without pay), Anthony Hargrove who’s with the Green Bay Packers (8 games without pay), and Will Smith (4 games without pay). Saints Head Coach Sean Payton has been suspended for the year also, and Greg Williams who was the defensive coordinator has been suspended indefinitely.