NEW ORLEANS - NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell rejected Tuesday the appeals of four players suspended in connection with the league's bounty investigation of the New Orleans Saints.
Goodell told Jonathan Vilma, Anthony Hargrove, Will Smith and Scott Fujita that each of them is still welcome to meet with him to give their side of the story, and that he reserves the right to reduce the suspensions should new information be brought forth.
Instead, the players intend to fight Goodell's rulings through the federal court system, arguing he lacked the jurisdiction to rule in the matter and has violated the spirit of the league's Collective Bargaining Agreement with public statements about the case that showed he could not be a neutral arbitrator.
• Ben Davidson, the hulking defensive end who starred for the Oakland Raiders in the 1960s before becoming an actor and a famous TV pitch man with his handlebar mustache, died Monday night at 72. He had prostate cancer.
• Browns defensive tackle Kiante Tripp is in a Georgia jail on a burglary charge.
• Suspended Saints coach Sean Payton and his wife of nearly 20 years filed divorce petitions in Texas.