NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- The NFL has denied the appeals of four players suspended in connection with the league's bounty investigation of the New Orleans Saints.
In his latest ruling handed down on Tuesday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell tells Jonathan Vilma, Anthony Hargrove, Will Smith and Scott Fujita that each of them is still welcome to meet with him to give their side of the story, and that he reserves the right to reduce the suspensions should new information be brought forth.
Goodell says he did not take his initial decision lightly. He also points out that although players have said they were wrongly accused based on insufficient evidence, they chose not to participate fully in their appeal hearings.
Vilma is suspended for the entire 2012 season, while Smith will miss four games. Hargrove, now with Green Bay, was suspended eight games, while Fujita, now with Cleveland, suspended three games.