At a base level, this is surprising. The league has essentially come down on those involved in a pay-for-performance scheme that rewarded players for threatening the livelihood of contemporaries. Why would any player be upset about punishments designed -- at least indirectly -- to make the game safer?
The answer likely goes back to the NFL brotherhood. To players, Jonathan Vilma isn't seen as a monster with the "bounty" checkbook. He's a 30-year-old three-time Pro Bowler whose career was just taken out of his hands by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Here's a sample of what players are saying: