Jonathan Vilma was one of four players suspended by the NFL for his involvement in a bounty program operated by the New Orleans Saints under former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. Vilma received the harshest punishment as he now faces an entire season on the sideline. Vilma's current teammate, Will Smith, received a four-game ban while former Saints players Scott Fujita (now with the Browns) and Anthony Hargrove (now with the Packers) received three- and eight-game suspensions, respectively.
According to the Saints' reserve quarterback Chase Daniel, Vilma learned of his year-long suspension in the same manner as many sports fans around the country -- by watching Sportscenter.
A leader of the Saints' defensive unit during the bounty program, Vilma reportedly offered $10,000 payments to anyone who knocked out opposing quarterbacks during the 2009 NFL playoffs. Vilma's suspension matched the one handed to Saints head coach Sean Payton, who will also miss the 2012 season.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Vilma and all four players will be appealing these decisions.
Given the way the news broke today, the Saints fans may learn the outcome at the same time as the players involved.