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NFL: No player discipline in Saints bounty case this week

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer
If the NFL wanted to announce any discipline for Saints players involved in the bounty scandal this week, they'd do so before Friday at 4 p.m. ET when the league office closes. But that's not going to happen, the NFL announced Friday.

According to NFL VP Jeff Pash, the NFL is "moving towards" the discipline for the Saints players, but won't announce them this week.

"We're moving towards making decisions on player discipline," Pash said via the Associated Press. "Players were clearly participants and clearly have a share of the responsibility."

Pash also said, per Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com, that there was no evidence of money for injuries in any other city but New Orleans.

With Roger Goodell in Minnesota for Vikings stadium purposes, it's not surprising that the NFL won't announce the suspensions on Friday.

Pash also indicated that the league is disappointed that the NFLPA is interested in protecting the Saints players. One problem: that's part of the union's job. (Yes, it's a very sticky situation for the NFLPA, with the Saints going after other players as well.)

"(The NFLPA was) protective of the players who could be disciplined in the next phase of this," Pash said. "That was their focus, on defending or excusing the conduct of players involved in this program. That's unfortunate; the players who could have been or even were injured are also members of the union. It's their players who put the safety of other players in jeopardy."

NFLPA Spokesman George Atallah pointed out that the union's responsibility is to all players. He also asked the league to turn over more information from its investigation of the bounty scandal.

"Given the current dynamic, we have an obligation to ensure that players have fair due process and we protect them from the league," Atallah said. "If the league was more forthcoming in the information they have related to what they are alleging took place, perhaps we could be in a better position to deal with this issue in a collaborative manner."

It's possible that the league could announce the suspensions next week, but with the draft scheduled for Thursday, that could be awkward timing. Still, it would obviously help the Saints to know who will be suspended -- and how long they'll be suspended -- before the draft begins.
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