GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 10: Linebacker Jonathan Vilma #51 of the New Orleans Saints stands on the sidelines during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on October 10, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Saints 30-20. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
The NFL has brought down the hammer on the New Orleans Saints for the bounty program they had in place under former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. After suspending several coaches and the General Manager, the NFL has now suspended four New Orleans players for their role in the bounty scandal. Linebacker Jonathan Vilma has been suspended for the season, while defensive end Will Smith will miss the first four games of the upcoming season. In addition, the NFL has suspended current Cleveland Brown Scott Fujita for three games and current Green Bay Packer Anthony Hargrove for eight games. Jonathan Vilma's suspension is active immediately, while the suspensions of the other three players will start the first week of the regular season.
According to Mike Freeman of CBS, all players will appeal their suspensions. Given the fact that they're appealing to the same authority that handed out these suspensions, it seems unlikely they'll have much success.
The Saints have spent much of this offseason adding defensive talent and especially linebackers to help mitigate the effect of these suspensions. Among others, they signed linebackers Curtis Lofton and David Hawthorne.