The NFL Players Association has filed documents in a New Orleans federal court disputing Commissioner Roger Goodell's sworn statement in the bounty-related case centered around Jonathan Vilma.
Goodell stated in the court document filed this week by the league's attorneys that he was prepared to discipline the four players - two current and two former Saints - for their involvement in the payment pool back in March but waited until May as a courtesy to the union.
Attorneys for the union and the four players seek to have the punishment handed down by Goodell overturned, claiming the commissioner's public statements last spring showed he had already made a finally judgment regarding the players' involvement before handing down the suspensions and the subsequent appeals process.
Scott Fujita, suspended for three games for his alleged involvement, said in a sworn declaration that he had a phone conversation with Goodell in March in which the commissioner indicated he was unsure at that time how to discipline Fujita, Vilma, Will Smith and Anthony Hargrove.
NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith also has a sworn statement as part of the union's dispute of the NFL's latest filing in the court. A copy of a letter the NFL Players Association sent the league on March 7 asking Goodell to delay punishment of players implicated in the bounty investigation
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