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NFL bans Saints LB Vilma for entire 2012 season

The punishment in the New Orleans Saints’ pay-for-
performance/bounty program continued to be doled out
Wednesday morning.

The harshest punishment was given to New Orleans
linebacker
Jonathan Vilma, who was suspended for the entire 2012
season.

According to the
official NFL release
, Vilma offered a $10,000 reward
to anyone who could knock Arizona Cardinals’ quarterback
Kurt
Warner out the game during their 2010 NFC Divisional
Playoff matchup in New Orleans. During the second quarter
of the game, Warner threw an interception and during the
return, was hit by Saints’ defensive lineman Bobby McCray.
Warner left the game and missed the Cardinals’ next
possession, but returned in the third quarter.

Vilma also offered a similar reward to any Saints player
who could knock Minnesota Vikings’ quarterback Brett Favre
out of the NFC Championship Game the following week.

Defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove, who is now with the
Green Bay Packers got an 8-game ban, Saints defensive end
Will Smith got a four-game suspension and linebacker Scott
Fujita, who now plays for the Cleveland Browns, got a
three-
game suspension.

Fujita, Hargrove and Smith may take part in all off-season
team activities, including preseason games.

Vilma is eligible for reinstatement after the Super Bowl
in
2013.

All four players may appeal the decision with three days,
and those appeals
would be heard by league commissioner Roger Goodell.