New Orleans Saints  

 

Roman Harper, Will Smith could be punished in 'bounty' case

While much of the attention regarding pending player discipline for the New Orleans Saints' "bounty" program has focused on linebacker Jonathan Vilma, safety Roman Harper and defensive end Will Smith also featured prominently in the NFL's investigation, sources with knowledge of the situation said Monday.

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Harper and Smith were probed in depth and could end up facing more severe discipline than the majority of the players whom the league believes were active in the program. The NFL's report indicated 22 to 27 players were involved during the three years the Saints' defense was investigated.

Vilma is expected to face the most stern punishment of any Saints player, sources said. The linebacker is preparing for a suspension between two and eight games.

Linebacker Scott Fujita has been mentioned in connection to the case, and he was a part of the NFL Players Association contingent that met with NFL officials in New York on Monday, serving in his capacity in the union's executive committee. But Fujita was with the Saints for only one of the three seasons under review before going to the Cleveland Browns. Others, like Vilma, Smith and Harper, were there for all three seasons and have been focal points in the investigation from a player standpoint, sources said.

Saints quarterback Drew Brees said Monday that the NFL still has not presented him with "meaningful evidence" in the Saints' "bounty" case.

Follow Jason La Canfora on Twitter @JasonLaCanfora.

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