The New Orleans Saints have scored a major victory over the NFL. The four players involved in the Saints bounty scandal are no longer suspended. A three-man arbitration panel overturned Commissioner Roger Goodell's ruling today. Jonathon Vilma, Will Smith, Scott Fujita and Anthony Hargrove are now able to suit up for their Week 1 matchup vs. the Washington Redskins and beyond. The decision affects the players only, not suspended coaches Gregg Williams, Sean Peyton and Joe Vitt.
This is a surprise victory for the players who were vilified for their alleged involvement in a bounty system that paid players cash money for injuring the opposing team. The NFLPA and the four players involved filed lawsuits accusing Goodell of abuse of power and using improper procedures to discipline the players.
Vilma had this to say after hearing the decision:
Victory is mine!!!! -stewie griffin
— Jonathan Vilma (@JonVilma51) September 7, 2012