NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Four players embroiled for nearly 10 months in the NFL’s bounty investigation of the New Orleans Saints no longer have to worry about suspensions or fines, and can try to move on with their careers on the field.
In a surprising rejection of his successor’s overreaching punishments, former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue threw out “all discipline” current Commissioner Roger Goodell had imposed on two current Saints, linebacker Jonathan Vilma and defensive end Will Smith, and two players no longer with the club, Browns linebacker Scott Fujita and free-agent defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove.
Tagliabue, appointed by Goodell to handle player appeals in the matter, essentially absolved Fujita, but agreed with Goodell’s finding that the other three players “engaged in conduct detrimental to the integrity of, and public confidence in, the game of professional football” and said fines coulde be justified.
The 22-page ruling Tuesday allowed both sides to claim victory more than nine months after the league first revealed the Saints’ bounty scandal to shocked fans, describing a performance pool operated by former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams that, among other things, rewarded hits that injured opponents. CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cleveland Indians have traded outfielder Shin-Soo Choo to the Cincinnati Reds and acquired pitcher Trevor Bauer from the Arizona Diamondbacks in a three-team deal involving nine players.
Center fielder Drew Stubbs was sent from Cincinnati to Cleveland as part of the trade announced Tuesday night.
In addition to Stubbs, the Indians received Bauer, the No. 3 pick in the 2011 draft, and right-handers Matt Albers and Bryan Shaw from the Diamondbacks.
Cleveland shipped Choo, infielder-outfielder Jason Donald and cash to the Reds, while sending left-handed reliever Tony Sipp and first baseman Lars Anderson to Arizona.
The Diamondbacks also received minor league shortstop Didi Gregorius from Cincinnati.
Choo, who has been Cleveland’s primary right fielder since 2006, will play center and bat leadoff for Cincinnati.