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Hargrove, others start appeals process

May 07, 2012 -- 11:52am
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GREEN BAY – Anthony Hargrove has officially appealed his eight-game suspension for his involvement in the New Orleans Saints’ bounty scandal, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Monday.

The Green Bay Packers defensive end, who signed with the team as a free agent this offseason, filed the appeal through the NFLPA. He has not yet spoken about the suspension. The suspension was handed down last Wednesday by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Per the collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and the NFL Players Association, the appeal is to be heard by the commissioner, although the NFLPA has disputed the commissioner’s jurisdiction on the appeal.

According to ESPN’s Andrew Brandt, a former Packers executive, Hargrove, Fujita and Smith filed a "Reservation of Rights" to Goodell, meaning they reserve their rights to appeal but don't recognize Goodell's authority to preside over the appeal; thus no appeal hearing.

Hargrove was one of four current or former Saints players – linebacker Scott Fujita, defensive end Will Smith and linebacker Jonathan Vilma being the others – who were notified last week that they have been suspended without pay for, in the words of the NFL, “conduct detrimental to the NFL.” Hargrove’s penalty was harsher because he lied to investigators, according to the NFL.

Hargrove, who spent last season with the Seattle Seahawks, signed a one-year, $825,000 deal with the Packers on March 28 that included no signing bonus, which would indicate that the Packers were well aware of the possibility of Hargrove being suspended and protected themselves accordingly.

Vilma, who remains with the Saints, has been suspended for the entire 2012 NFL season. Fujita, now with the Cleveland Browns, is suspended for the first three games. Smith, who is still with the Saints, is suspended for the first four games.

Saints coach Sean Payton has been suspended for the entire 2012 season, while assistant coach Joe Vitt, who’ll serve as the interim coach, has been suspended for the first six games. GM Mickey Loomis is suspended for the first eight games of the season.

The 6-foot-3, 272-pound Hargrove, a seven-year NFL veteran, had 18 tackles and three sacks last season in Seattle.

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