Per league rules, the NFL has overturned the evidence used to suspend four players in connection with the New Orleans Saints bounty program. League spokesman Greg Aiello said Friday that the NFL followed "the procedures set forth in the CBA on appeals of commissioner discipline," but lawyers of defensive ends Will Smith and Anthony Hargrove, and linebackers Scott Fujita and Jonathan Vilma are seeking more in preparation for their appeals in front of Roger Goodell on Monday.
Vilma's lawyer, Peter Ginsberg, looked over the evidence handed over by the league and said he found nothing linking any of the players to the bounty program. According to Ginsberg, the evidence centered mostly on then-Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.
"The NFL provided a slideshow of Gregg Williams' most outrageous comments," Ginsberg said. "It is evidence that reflects an assistant coach in the NFL has a style that might rightfully be distasteful but that has been tolerated for years by several NFL teams. It in no way supports any of the accusations that Commissioner Goodell has so publicly made against Jonathan.
"There is nothing that evidences opposing players were targeted. There is nothing that evidences any of the players were involved in putting money on the heads of opposing players the way the Commissioner has suggested."
The league will maintain their case to suspend all four players Monday using the same evidence now in possession of the players and their legal teams.