There appears to be an outside chance that the players involved in the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal could be charged criminally if they intentionally injured others for payment. In case that does happen, the NFLPA has hired outside legal counsel to represent players, if needed.
The league has not yet handed down suspensions to players involved in the bounty scandal. This week, the NFLPA will meet with the league to review evidence, as the league continues to work towards coming to a decision on what kind of discipline to hand out to the players who participated in the bounty program.
If any players are charged criminally, it would be hard to prove they actually committed criminal assault, as Gabe Feldman of the Tulane Sports Law Program explained when the NFL made their investigation public.
"They're difficult cases to bring, because it's hard to prove the injury was caused by a tackle with specific intent to injure, rather than a regular tackle. We all know injuries are a part of football. There can't be legal liability anytime there is an injury. Otherwise, you can't have football."