NFL Players' union 'bounty' grievance to be heard Wednesday

NEW YORK -- The NFL players' union will have its grievance against the league in the Saints bounties case heard Wednesday by arbitrator Shyam Das.

The union claims NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell doesn't have the authority to hand out discipline for player conduct that occurred before the current collective bargaining agreement was finalized last August. The players argue that a CBA arbitrator, and not Goodell, has the right to decide player punishment under such circumstances, as well as rule on any appeals.

The NFLPA also maintains that appeals for on-field behavior should be heard by appeals officers Art Shell and Ted Cottrell, not the commissioner.

Goodell suspended four players, including linebacker Jonathan Vilma for the 2012 season, after the league's investigation uncovered the bounties program. Also suspended were Saints defensive end Will Smith; linebacker Scott Fujita, now with Cleveland; and DE Anthony Hargrove, now with Green Bay.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press

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