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Posted: Jun 19, 2012 2:56:27 am

Summing up the day: The four players -- Vilma, linebacker Scott Fujita (now with Cleveland), defensive end Will Smith and Hargrove (now with Green Bay) -- due to have their appeals heard at NFL headquarters left in the morning because of Supra Skytop a procedural issue. They felt they hadn't had the 72 hours the Collective Bargaining Agreement mandated to examine the evidence in the case, and the NFL offered to adjourn the case till the afternoon, by which time the 72-hour window would be valid. Vilma and Ginsberg chose to leave and not return, protesting the Supra For Sale forum. Fujita, Smith and Hargrove returned for the afternoon session, just long enough to hear White's case against them. Then they left, apparently because they considered the probe unfair.
To be fair to the players, there was far, far more Supra Shoes evidence of the pay-for-performance claims than the bounty claims. In fact, the Harper claim was the only one the league showed that resulted in a payout to a player for knocking a player out of a game. However, the NFL has maintained all along that all it needs is evidence that a bounty program was in place and that money was offered to try to take Supra TK Society opponents out of the game -- not that players were actually taken out of the game.
(The NFL said what the reporters heard from security chief Jeff Miller, legal counsel Jeff Pash and White was the same as the three players, not including Vilma, heard from the three NFL representatives earlier in the afternoon.)
Pash said the league wouldn't rule on the appeals immediately -- a full year suspension for Vilma, eight games for Hargrove, four for Smith and three for Supra Vaider Fujita. He said Goodell will keep the case open for the remainder of the week in the hope that the players will make statements in their defense before he renders his decision.

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