New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma has been suspended for the entire 2012 season for his role in the bounty scandal that rocked the league.
He is one of several current and former Saints players to face a suspension. The suspended players also include Scott Fujita, Anthony Hargrove and Will Smith.
The NFL also came down hard on Hargrove, a defensive end with the Green Bay Packers, who got an eight-game ban. Smith, a Saints defensive lineman, got a four-game suspension. Fujita, now a linebacker for the Cleveland Browns, received a three-game suspension.
"It is the obligation of everyone, including the players on the field, to ensure that rules designed to promote player safety, fair play, and the integrity of the game are adhered to and effectively and consistently enforced," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. "Respect for the men that play the game starts with the way players conduct themselves with each other on the field."
The suspensions comes several weeks after the NFL suspended Saints head coach Sean Payton for the entire season for his role. The penalties doled out to the Saints include:
Team - Fined $500,000 and forfeiture of the Saints' second-round draft picks in 2012 and 2013.
Management - General manager Mickey Loomis, suspended first eight regular-season games.
Coaches - Coach Sean Payton suspended for 2012 season.
- Former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams suspended indefinitely.
- Assistant coach Joe Vitt suspended for first six regular-season games.
Players- LB Jonathan Vilma, suspended for 2012 season.
- DL Anthony Hargrove (now with Green Bay), suspended for first eight regular-season games. May participate in offseason activity, including preseason games.
- DE Will Smith, suspended for first four regular-season games. May participate in offseason activity, including preseason games.
- LB Scott Fujita (now with Cleveland), suspended for first three regular-season games. May participate in offseason activity, including preseason games.