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NFLPA files suit on behalf of Smith, Hargrove, Fujita

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By PFW staff

The NFLPA filed a lawsuit against the NFL on behalf of Will Smith, Anthony Hargrove and Scott Fujita.

According to The Associated Press, the lawsuit, which was filed in federal court in New Orleans on Thursday, says that commissioner Roger Goodell violated the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The lawsuit states that Goodell showed publicly he had determined Smith, Hargrove and Fujita participated in the Saints’ bounty program before serving as an arbitrator at their hearing.

Smith was suspended four games, Fujita three games and Hargrove eight games for their respective roles in the bounty system. Fujita is now with the Browns and Hargrove plays for the Packers. LB Jonathan Vilma, who was suspended for the entire year, filed a separate lawsuit against Goodell previously.

The players appealed their suspensions and Goodell upheld his decision on Tuesday. This lawsuit asks for a judge to set aside earlier arbitration rulings and order a new arbitrator.

The NFL released the following statement, per NFL.com, in response to the lawsuit: "As in the case of Mr. Vilma's lawsuit, this is an improper attempt to litigate an issue that is committed to a collectively bargained process. There is no basis for asking a federal court to put its judgment in place of the procedures agreed upon with the NFLPA in collective bargaining. These procedures have been in place, and have served the game and players well, for many decades."

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