Video: Saints' Linebacker Vilma Banned for Season in Bounty Case part of Jonathan Vilma

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Last mentioned in San Francisco : CA : USA

Jonathan Polynice Vilma (born April 16, 1982 in Coral Gables, Florida) is an American football linebacker for the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League. He was originally...

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Saints' Linebacker Vilma Banned for Season in Bounty Case

The National Football League banned linebacker Jonathan Vilma for the entire 2012 season without pay and suspended three more players for their roles in the New Orleans Saints' bounty program. Defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove, now with the Green Bay Packers, was suspended for the first eight games of next season; Will Smith, the Saints' defensive end, for four games; and Scott Fujita, a linebacker now with the Cleveland Browns, for three games, the NFL said in an e-mailed statement. Eight-Year Veteran Vilma, 30, is an eight-year NFL veteran who's played the last four seasons for the Saints after beginning his career with the New York Jets. A defensive team captain in New Orleans, he was named to the Pro Bowl for the 2005, 2009 and 2010 campaigns. The league said Saints players were paid bonuses for on- field accomplishments, including forcing turnovers and injuring opponents. All such payments violate NFL rules on non-contract bonuses. Players funded a bounty pool that paid $1500 for a "knockout" in which an opposing player was unable to return to the game and $1000 for a "cart-off" in which opponents were carried off the field, according to the NFL. Payments doubled or tripled during the playoffs. The Saints won the Super Bowl after the 2009 season. Favre Was Targeted Vilma was the only player initially named by the NFL, which said it wanted to consult with the NFL Players Association before handing down player punishments. "Multiple sources have confirmed that several <b>...</b>
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