As expected, the National Football League Players Association has filed a grievance challenging Commissioner Roger Goodell's authority in the suspensions of four players in the NFL Bounty allegations against the New Orleans Saints.

The grievance claims Goodell was not authorized to punish players for conduct committed prior to Aug. 4, which is when the current collective bargaining agreement went into effect.

The grievance claims only an arbitrator, not the Commissioner, has the authority to suspend players for conduct prior to the agreement.


Goodell suspended Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma for one year and defensive end Will Smith for four games.  Green Bay defensive tackle Anthony Hargrove and Cleveland linebacker Scott Fujita, both former Saints, were suspended eight and three games, respectively.