New Orleans' Jonathan Vilma, shown celebrating a defensive stop… (Chris Graythen / Getty Images )
Now that the NFL draft is over, the league will turn its attention to disciplining the New Orleans Saints players involved in the pay-for-performance bounty scandal. It's possible that suspensions could be announced Monday.
"With the discipline that involved the players, we hope to be doing that very soon and get that behind us," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Thursday, before the start of the first round.
"We want to complete the work that we've been starting. We want to make sure that we're thorough and fair. ... Once we're done, we'll issue it. But we're going to probably be distracted here with the draft for the next couple of days, so I don't know how much time I'll be able to spend on it.
"We have others working on it full time, and I'll meet with them over the next several days. If we're done, we'll get it out."
It's telling that the NFL waited until after the draft to issue a ruling on player discipline -- another gut punch to the Saints, who weren't afforded the luxury of knowing what positions they might need to concentrate on to help compensate for the suspensions.
By the league's count, between 22 and 27 Saints players were involved in the improper program, including linebacker and defensive captain Jonathan Vilma, who offered $10,000 to anyone who knocked Minnesota quarterback Brett Favre out of the 2009 NFC championship game.
Other notable players facing discipline are safety Roman Harper and defensive end Will Smith.
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