Arbitrator Stephen Burbank on Monday rejected the appeals of four New Orleans Saints players, who were attempting to take NFL-imposed Bountygate suspensions out of comissioner Roger Goodell's hands, CBSSports.com has learned.
When Goodell suspended the players -- Jonathan Vilma, Scott Fujita (now with Browns), Will Smith and Anthony Hargrove (now with Packers) -- the NFLPA appealed on their behalf, saying discipline in the case should be under Burbank's jurisdiction. Burbank rejected that notion, several sources said. An official announcement is expected soon.
This means that Goodell's disciplinary process in the Saints matter will move forward under NFL jurisdiction.