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Saints Suspensions: NFL Players React To Jonathan Vilma Punishment For Role In Bounty Program

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In this Friday, Aug. 14, 2009, photo, New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma returns an interception against the Cincinnati Bengals in an NFL preseason football game in New Orleans. Vilma did not score on the play. The Saints defeated the Bengals 17-7. New Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is relying on Vilma to be the field general of a unit that is under pressure to improve markedly in 2009. (AP Photo/Bill Haber) | AP

The NFL suspended four players on Wednesday for their roles in the New Orleans Saints' bounty scandal, most notably Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, who now must sit out the entire 2012 season.

Scott Fujita (now with the Browns) and Anthony Hargrove (now with the Packers) were handed three- and eight- game suspensions, while current Saints defensive end Will Smith was docked the first four games of the season.

ESPN's Adam Schefter tweeted that the four players plan on appealing the punishments, quoting a source saying "Get ready for a massive multiple legal battle over this on several fronts." He also reported on SportsCenter that the players are expected to take their case to federal court instead of the usual appeals process with the league office (Via ProFootballTalk).

Judging from the reactions of players around the league, it seems most will (not surprisingly) be on the side of the players. Scroll down to see how the league responded to the Saints suspensions.

NFL Players' Reactions To Saints Suspensions
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