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Roger GODdell loses, & so does Sean Payton

VilmaPolice commissioner Roger Goodell has found a place where his authority is not enforced.

According to's Jim Trotter, an appeals panel has overturned the suspensions of four New Orleans Saints players for their role in the "Bounty Gate" scandal. Click here for the link.

According to Trotter, a three-member panel ruled Goodell over stepped his powers as outlined in the NFL's collective bargaining agreement with the players.

This means that linebacker and Saints stud Jonathan Vilma is eligible to play immediately for Los Saints in their opener against RGIII and the Washington Dan Snyders.

Vilma, however, is injured and probably won't play.

Of the four - defensive end Will Smith, linebacker Scott Fujita of the Browns and current free agent defensive tackle Anthony Hargrove - Vilma is easily the highest profile player. To have him back is a major score for the Saints.

The reversal of these suspensions does not include Saints head coach Sean Payton and GM Mickey Loomis. They still have to sit and watch.

Can this new ruling be changed? Yes. Goodell has the power to enforce discipline if there is evidence to say that there was intent to injure beyond just the performance pool.

I have been of the opinion that having Goodell exercise as much power and discipline as he does has been a good thing for the NFL. The players may hate him, but he has made cleaning up the image of his product a priority and there have been positive results. In a system like this, having a dictator is not necessarily a bad thing.

Goodell's decision to suspend these players, however, went a bit too far. Suspend the leaders, and fine the hell out of the players.

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Patricia Martin

All they have to do is watch the replays to see if there was any unnecessary roughness over and above what is deemed appropriate for the play! I don't think so.

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