Fujita should feel lucky in filing his appeal

May, 7, 2012
5/07/12
1:00
PM ET

Browns linebacker Scott Fujita has appealed his three-game suspension for his involvement in the Saints' bounty system, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

This doesn't come as a surprise because Fujita was expected to take this step along with the three other suspended players. Fujita is arguing in his appeals that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is without jurisdiction either to discipline the players for the conduct alleged or to determine any appeals, league sources told ESPN. The NFL feels strong that Goodell has the final authority on this matter because the action was an off-the-field issue and was considered conduct detrimental to the league.

While the players are arguing who should handle their appeal, they should feel lucky that the NFL Players Association is actively fighting for their exoneration. The union is defending four players who are accused of intentionally trying to hurt other players. Fujita, who is a member of the NFLPA's executive committee, should understand why this looks wrong.

The NFLPA probably should take the stance of helping Fujita and the other players file their appeal and then let them argue their own cases. Why protect four players when they should be concerned about protecting all of the players they targeted?

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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