Players say no to bounty deal

New Orleans linebacker Jonathan Vilma and defensive end Will Smith (and two other former Saints) reportedly have rejected a settlement offer in the bounty case.

The report says the NFL was willing to lessen some of the punishments and the deal also asked Vilma to drop his defamation lawsuit against NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. But the players reportedly rejected the deal because part of it was admitting some degree of guilt.

The players have been steadfast in saying there was no bounty program.

Rejecting the deal may look like a gamble by the players because this means their fate now will be in the hands of former commissioner Paul Tagliabue, who is acting as the appeals officer and is expected to issue a decision in the next few days.

But, if the players are so sincere in their belief they did nothing wrong, they might as well stick with what they believe.