Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma (season) and defensive lineman Will Smith (four games), Packers defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove (eight games) and Browns linebacker Scott Fujita (three games) all sought to reduce their suspensions and drum up public sympathy for their cause.
"Shame on the National Football League and Commissioner Goodell for being more concerned about 'convicting' us publicly than being honorable and fair to men who have dedicated their professional lives to playing this game with honor," Fujita, Hargrove and Smith said in a joint statement, according to ESPN.
In addition to the four players, Saints head coach Sean Payton was suspended for the entire 2012 season. Saints general manager Mickey Loomis will miss eight games, while assistant coach Joe Vitt will miss the team's first six games. Former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who allegedly oversaw the bounty program, was suspended from the NFL indefinitely.
The slew of suspensions and controversial nature of the allegations has drawn a mixed response from NFL fans. Some have supported Goodell for punishing those involved, arguing that the league's punishments must be strict if they wish to be in accordance with Goodell's stance of placing a high emphasis on player safety.
Others make the point that the Saints may not have been alone in their actions, and that they were simply the first team to get caught. These same fans might view Goodell's suspensions as the latest example of the commissioner overstepping his bounds and wielding too much power.
What do you think?