In the wake of a ruling from an appeals panel that will lift the suspension of four players suspended for involvement in the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal, the NFL Players Association released a statement Friday about the ruling:
"We are pleased that the appeals panel ruled unanimously to lift the players' suspensions immediately. We will continue to vigorously protect the rights of all players."
Each of the four players suspended (Jonathan Vilma, Anthony Hargrove, Will Smith and Scott Fujita) are now available for Week 1 of the regular season, but the ruling did not proclaim the players innocent. In fact, it verified that the players were involved in a bounty scandal, but the panel disagreed with the jurisdiction that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell took when suspending the players.
The case will be re-evaluated by Goodell and can still result in consequences for the players.