All four players punished in the NFL’s bounty investigation have filed appeals with the league. People familiar with the situation say the players have asked commissioner Roger Goodell to remove himself as arbitrator because they do not believe he can be impartial.
One of the people also says New Orleans linebacker Jonathan Vilma expects to play at Tampa Bay on Oct. 21 while his appeal is pending. The people spoke to the Associated Press Friday on condition of anonymity because the appeals were filed as private documents with the league.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello confirmed Friday that all four players had filed appeals, but said the league would decline comment on the substance of those documents.
This marks the second round of appeals by the players.
About a month ago, a three-member appeal panel created by the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement vacated initial disciplinary rulings handed down by Goodell. Then Tuesday, the commissioner upheld his initial suspensions of Vilma and Saints defensive end Will Smith, and revised his suspensions of Cleveland linebacker and former Saint Scott Fujita, from three games to one, and free agent defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove, from eight to seven.
The new appeals are only the latest of many maneuvers in a contentious months-long back-and-forth involving the players, the NFL Players Association and the league office.
Vilma has a related defamation case pending against Goodell in federal court in New Orleans.
Revis placed on IR
There will be no dramatic Super Bowl return for Darrelle Revis.
The New York Jets placed the star cornerback on season-ending injured reserve, a few weeks after coach Rex Ryan said the team would wait until after knee surgery in case there was a “0.0002 chance” Revis could recover in time to play in the NFL’s big game.
Ryan said Revis will have surgery next week to repair the torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee suffered almost three weeks ago at Miami. Revis’ roster spot was filled by rookie safety Antonio Allen.
Suburban Detroit police say the Thursday auto accident involving Detroit Lions defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh was minor and fault cannot be determined. … Tennessee Titans safety Michael Griffin has been fined $21,000 by the NFL for a helmet-to-helmet hit. Green Bay linebacker Nick Perry, Seattle defensive end Chris Clemons, St. Louis defensive end Robert Quinn and San Diego linebacker Melvin Ingram were all fined $15,750.