Green Bay Packers DE Anthony Hargrove Suspended 8 Games For Saints Bounty Scandal

NEW ORLEANS LA - DECEMBER 12: Anthony Hargrove #69 of the New Orleans Saints leads the crowd in a pregame chant before playing the St. Louis Rams at the Louisiana Superdome on December 12 2010 in New Orleans Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Green Bay Packers defensive end Anthony Hargrove has been suspended for the first eight games of the 2012 NFL season without pay, via a press release issued by the National Football League. Hargrove was a member of the New Orleans Saints while Gregg Williams was the defensive coordinator, and he admitted to the NFL that he knew about and participated in the New Orleans Saints' bounty program, in which players received bonuses for injuring or attempting to injure opposing players.

Hargrove is one of four current or former Saints players who have been suspended. Scott Fujita received a three-game suspension and Will Smith received a four-game suspension. Hargrove's suspension was likely longer because of his initial unwillingness to cooperate with NFL investigators. Jonathan Vilma has been suspended for the entire season after offering a specific bounty to his teammates with his own money.

Below the jump, you can find an excerpt from the NFL's release, emphasis added by me.

Hargrove actively participated in the program while a member of the Saints. Hargrove submitted a signed declaration to the league that established not only the existence of the program at the Saints, but also that he knew about and participated in it. The evidence showed that Hargrove told at least one player on another team that Vikings quarterback Brett Favre was a target of a large bounty during the NFC Championship Game in January of 2010. Hargrove also actively obstructed the league's 2010 investigation into the program by being untruthful to investigators.

Hargrove was already going to have an uphill battle towards making the roster due to Jerel Worthy's acquisition in the NFL Draft and the signing of another minimum salary 3-4 DE prospect, Daniel Muir. The Packers' reportedly wrote protections into Hargrove's contract knowing that he might be suspended during the 2012 NFL season, and I'll post more on that if details become available.

Though he is suspended for the first eight games of the regular season, Hargrove can participate in all offseason activities, including preseason games. He has three days to file an appeal if he chooses to do so.

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