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PUNISHMENT NFL Suspends 4 in ‘Bountygate’ Seth Perlman / AP Photo

NFL Suspends 4 in ‘Bountygate’

Now that’s one way to send a message. The NFL came down hard on four football players for the New Orleans Saints’ “Bountygate” scandal, suspending linebacker Jonathan Vilma for all of the 2012 season. Three other players were banned for eight games, four games, and three games. From 2009 to 2011, the Saints used a bounty system to pay players cash bonuses for vicious hits aimed at opposing players. Aside from suspending coach Sean Payton for next season, the Saints were fined $500,000.

May 2, 2012 12:19 PM