Discipline for the current and former players on the New Orleans Saints who violated the league's anti-bounty policy will not be announced this week, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said on Wednesday according to Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com.
That discipline is coming, likely next week, with Freeman reporting that negotiations between the league and union officials have delayed the process. The union's contention is that the players were just doing what their coaches told them to do, a position that Goodell rejects, Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times reports.
"I don’t buy that, because the evidence is quite clear that the players embraced this," Goodell said during an interview with
Rich Eisen on the NFL Network. "They enthusiastically embraced it. They put the vast
majority of the money into the program and they actually are the ones
playing the game. They are on the field so I don’t think they are
absolved from any responsibility because of that. I think everyone bears
According to league's investigation, 22 to 27 players were allegedly involved in the program, though middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma is the only player to be publicly identified. Vilma, a team captain, is alleged to have offered $10,000 to any teammate
who knocked Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre out of the team's
2009 NFC Championship Game. Jason La Canfora of the NFL Network has reported that Vilma is currently bracing for a two-to-eight game suspension.