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Saints Punishment: Players Expected To Appeal, 'Massive Legal Battle' Coming

Four NFL players were suspended multiple games for their role in the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal. Two current Saints players, Jonathan Vilma (one year) and Will Smith (four games), were suspended. Two former Saints players, Anthony Hargrove (eight games), who is now with the Green Bay Packers, and Scott Fujita (three games), who is now with the Cleveland Browns, were also suspended by the league.

According to several reports. all four players plan to appeal the suspensions with an assist from the NFLPA. ESPN's Adam Schefter quotes a source who says: "Get ready for a massive multiple legal battle over this on several fronts."

Vilma was reportedly bracing for a 2-8 game suspension, but he was banned for the entire year, so it's a reasonable assumption that the players are surprised at the length of their suspensions.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who is the one that levied the discipline, will also hear the appeals. It's also possible the Saints players use other legal maneuvers, like federal court, to appeal their suspensions.

For more on New Orleans Saints, head over to the SB Nation blog Canal Street Chronicles. Also be sure to stay up to date with our ongoing StoryStream.