NEW ORLEANS (SI.com) — A three-member appeals panel has overturned the player suspensions in the Saints bounty case.
Saints Jonathan Vilma, Will Smith, Anthony Hargrove, Scott Fujita won the bounty appeal and are eligible to play in Week 1.
According to Sports Illustrated, the report said that the panel overturned a ruling by NFL system arbiter Stephen Burbank that commissioner Rodger Goodell was within his powers under the collective bargaining agreement to suspend the players for their alleged roles in the bounty system that left a black eye on the team over the summer.
The suspensions are voided immediately, but the commissioner can reconsider the disciplinary measures if there is evidence of intent to injure beyond just a performance pool.
An appeals panel has vacated suspensions of the bounty four and remanded case back to the commissioner for a redetermination of appropriate penalties, according to Tulane sports law Prof. Gabe Feldman.