Jonathan Vilma has been suspended without pay for the entire 2012 season by the NFL for his part in the New Orleans bounty system. The linebacker is one of four players the league singled out for playing a lead role in the program.

Defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove, who is now with the Green Bay Packers, is suspended for eight games this season; Saints defensive end Will Smith is barred for four games; and linebacker Scott Fujita (fuh-JEE’-tuh), now with the Cleveland Browns, will miss three games. All of the suspensions are without pay.

The league’s statement says Vilma, Hargrove, Smith and Fujita were suspended because of “conduct detrimental to the NFL as a result of their leadership roles” with the bounties.

The NFL Players Association says it will fight the penalties.

The players have three days to appeal.

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