Arbitrator hears bounty bans cases
PHILADELPHIA -- An arbitrator has met with the NFL and the players' union in a dispute over commissioner Roger Goodell's authority to punish players in the New Orleans Saints bounties scandal.
The NFL Players Association has challenged Goodell's power to impose penalties for what the league says was a three-year bounties program that targeted specific players.
The union has asked arbitrator Stephen Burbank of the University of Pennsylvania to decide whether the players should be punished for the system. It also has asked that Burbank, not Goodell, hear appeals by the four players: current Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, suspended for the 2012 season, and defensive end Will Smith (four games); Green Bay DE Anthony Hargrove (eight games); and Cleveland linebacker Scott Fujita (three games).
League sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter that the meeting lasted 90 minutes and Gregg Levy spoke for the NFL, while Jeffrey Kessler stood for the NFLPA. Burbank said he expects to render a decision in about a week, the sources said.
Fujita attended the hearing.
Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.
MORE NFL HEADLINES
- San Francisco, Houston win Super Bowl bids
- Romo out at least 3 weeks after surgery
- Jets' Goodson to plead not guilty to charges
- Kraft: Positive reports on Gronk's surgery
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
The NFL on ESPN.com