- Pat Yasinskas, ESPN Staff Writer
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New Orleans linebacker Jonathan Vilma previously issued a statement on his season-long suspension. Teammate Will Smith just issued a statement through Centurion Strategies (a public-relations firm). Here’s what the defensive end had to say:
“I am disappointed the NFL has punished me with a four-game suspension. I have never in my career, nor as a captain asked others, to intentionally target and hurt specific opposing players. I was in no way involved in establishing or assisting Gregg Williams with implementing a bounty program. The accusations made against me are completely and 100 percent false, and I plan to appeal the decision along with the help of the NFL Players Association. Through this entire process, the NFL never notified me of what I was being accused of, nor presented me with any evidence or reasoning for this decision. I am interested in discovering who is making these specific and false accusations, and as well as why a decision was made without speaking with me and giving me the opportunity to review the facts. I am going to work with my union to clear my name and returning to the game I love and respect. Thank you to our fans for the continued support.’’
Smith went one step further than Vilma, who implied that he would appeal the suspension. Smith flat-out said he will appeal the suspension. Get ready for this saga to drag on a little longer.