While Scott Fujita was suspended for three games and Will Smith was suspended for four games for their roles in the New Orleans Saints bounty scandals, Anthony Hargrove was hit with a much harsher punishment. Even though he was not more actively involved in the bounty program than those players, he received an eight-game suspension for actively impeding the investigation by lying to NFL investigators.
There's certainly no excuse for that, but an NFL attorney had some interesting quotes on Thursday regarding the suspension and Hargrove in particular. This quote, from NFL attorney Mary Joe White, comes via ESPN's NFC North Blog and Kevin Seifert.
"In [the declaration], he acknowledges the nature of the program and his participation in it. And, which was really the thrust of the declaration, that he was told to lie about it and he did when he was asked about it in 2010 by the NFL investigators."
When asked if Hargrove revealed who advised him to lie, White said: "He did, but I don't think it is appropriate to reveal that."
I have no issue with Hargrove's suspension and, once again, I'm not going to excuse what he did, but this illustrates just how wrong this program was on every level and how morally corrupt the Saints were while Gregg Williams was the defensive coordinator. This story sheds a bit of light on how absurd the "Free Payton" and "F--k Goodell" t-shirts and stickers are.