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)
For those who are unaware, Anthony Hargrove received an eight-game suspension for his role in the New Orleans Saints' bounty scandal, which he is appealing. He claims that coach Joe Vitt told him to lie to NFL investigators. Between the games the NFLPA is playing at the moment and some quotes from Vitt, Hargrove's appeal is not going to be a straightforward process.
It will come as no surprise that Vitt is denying that he told Hargrove to do anything. Unless someone has something on a recording or in writing, this is almost certainly going to become a case of he said-he said, and it'll be tough to prove anything. Here's what Vitt said to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
"At no time did I ever tell Anthony Hargrove to lie or deny the existence (of the alleged bounty program)," Vitt said. "He can say whatever he wants to say. It just didn't happen."
But wait, there's more!
The NFLPA is also reserving the appeal rights of Hargrove, Scott Fujita and Will Smith until they learn who will hear the cases. As we noted previously, the players' union does not believe that Roger Goodell has the authority to give out suspensions for actions that were taken before August. This is more or less the basis of their appeal.
While we hadn't seen it stated specifically before, it makes sense that the NFLPA is only going to go through with an appeal if Goodell isn't hearing it, since they think he had no right to give out the suspensions in the first place. There's no news yet about whether or not an arbitrator will hear the case, so there's obviously no appeal date in place either.
We might not know by the time preseason rolls around whether or not Hargrove will be serving a suspension this year.