Arbitrator Stephen Burbank said today that he lacked jurisdiction in the “bounty” punishments for current and former New Orleans Saints players, especially defensive tackle Anthony Hargrove. We also see why he was punished heavily second only to linebacker Jonathan Vilma.
It’s another blow to the players trying to seek an outside ruling on their punishments and have them either reduced or even wiped out completely.
Hargrove is suspended for the first eight games of the upcoming season and is ranked just below Vilma’s season long suspension. The wise thought would be Hargrove is being punished for a heavy involvement in a “bounty” program the Saints allegedly had..
However in a letter that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sent to Hargrove, the reason for the strict discipline is more for what he did off the field than on it.
In the letter Goodell tells Hargrove that the main reason for the eight game suspension is “lying” and “obstruction” of the investigation into the Saints alleged “bounty” program.
Now it appears that Hargrove and the others will have to go before Goodell for the appeal to their suspensions. This is not what he was counting on for a happy ending.