Former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue lifts suspensions and fines for four Saints players

Goodell may still face defamation suit

TAMPA - Former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue has overturned the suspensions of four current and former New Orleans Saints players in the league's bounty investigation of the club.

Tagliabue, however, found that the players' conduct was detrimental to the league. He says they participated in a performance pool that rewarded key plays -- including hard tackles -- that could justify fines.

But the former commissioner said Tuesday that "this entire case has been contaminated by the coaches and others in the Saints' organization."

Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma initially had been suspended the whole season, while Saints defensive end Will Smith, Cleveland linebacker Scott Fujita and free agent defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove received shorter suspensions.

It appears that Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma is still strongly considering suing present NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for defamation of character.

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