Saints Bounty Scandal: NFLPA Wisely Files Grievance Against Roger Goodell

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Saints Bounty Scandal: NFLPA Wisely Files Grievance Against Roger Goodell
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

When Roger Goodell handed down punishment to the players involved in the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal, we knew the NFLPA was going to respond.

To some, the league commissioner's authority to suspend players without a hearing, of sorts, is far too much authority.

The NFLPA is in a tough spot considering it is trying to defend players who were deliberately setting out to hurt other players it represents. But it's filed a grievance—one that strictly challenges the authority of Goodell to decide punishments.

ESPN business analyst and former NFL executive Andrew Brandt breaks down the NFLPA's grievance in three parts.

One:

Two:

Three:

 

The players' decision to appeal the suspensions comes as no surprise, but it is highly unlikely anything will come of it if Goodell is the one hearing the appeals. Even if it is other members of the league, such as Art Shell and/or Ted Cottrell, the league is desperately trying to send a message on player safety.

Again, the NFLPA is in a tough spot trying to defend two parties that it represents. Its grievance against Goodell's authority was the smartest thing it could do.

No matter what, there should be some type of punishment for Jonathan Vilma, Anthony Hargrove, Scott Fujita and Will Smith—the four players suspended by Goodell, according to NFL Communications—but if that is the case, the NFLPA is arguing they should be heard out by someone other than just the league commissioner.

It is a smart move not to challenge the actual rulings, but rather Goodell's authority to hand them down at all.

There will most certainly be a lot more to come of this, and we'll update when more is known.

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