It doesn't appear Anthony Hargrove has much of a leg to stand on with his appeal of an 8 game suspension for his role in "Bounty Gate" while a member of the New Orleans Saints. Hargrove was signed by the Packers as a free agent from Seattle but he played with New Orleans in 2009 and 2010 when defensive coordinator Gregg Williams apparently ran the bounty program, cash payouts for knocking out or injuring opposing players. Hargrove, along with current Saints players Jonathan Vilma and Will Smith along with Scott Fujita, now with Cleveland, all appealed their discipline on Monday. Vilma was suspended for the entire season, Smith got four games, Fujita three. They claim commissioner Roger Goodell doesn't have the authority to suspend because the alledged incidents took place before the most recent collective bargaining agreement was signed. The league claims the conduct was "detrimental" to the league and falls under the CBA's current language. In Hargrove's case, there's a damning piece of evidence against him. The league has a copy of a signed declaration from Hargrove which details how he was told by Williams and assistant coach Joe Vitt to deny the existence of the program in 2010. That statement was dated April 13, about two weeks after he signed his free agent deal with the Packers. Vitt, along with New Orleans GM Mickey Loomis and head coach Sean Payton all had their appeals denied by the league. Williams, suspended indefinately, didn't appeal his punishment. Payton is already serving a one year suspension while Loomis will miss 8 games and Vitt 6 once the 2012 season begins. The Packers and Hargrove have not commented on the case since the suspension was announced.
Ryan Longwell scored more points than any player in Green Bay Packers history during his nine year career with the Pack. 1054 points from his rookie year of 1997, when the Packers went all the way to Super Bowl XXXIII which they lost to Denver, until he departed as a free agent after the 2005 season. He signed with the dreaded Minnesota Vikings and scored another 633 points in purple and gold, third highest in that franchises' history behind Fred Cox and Cris Carter. Last year, Longwell signed a four year contract extension, but he won't see it through. He was due about 7 million dollars on the final three years, scheduled to make 1.75 million in 2012. After the Vikes drafted Georgia kicker Blair Walsh in the 6th round of last month's draft, Longwell received his walking papers on Monday. Longwell ruffled a few feathers on his way out of Green Bay, claiming Applebee's was considered fine dining in Titletown. He was also a persnickaty placekicker, often blaming misses on the others involved in the "operation", namely the snapper and holder. But he was mighty consistent, scoring over 100 points a year until his final season in Green Bay. Before nearly every Green Bay-Minnesota game at the Metrodome, I would seek out Ryan during his pre-game warmup to catch up. Longwell enjoyed his time with the Vikes but admitted the front office structure was a mess, with a half dozen people considering themselves the man in charge, with more often than not, disappointing results. Whether it was the collapsed dome roof, the Brett Favre circus, the firings of Mike Tice, then Brad Childress and the infamous "Love Boat" scandal, there were very few dull moments in the Twin Cities. He ranks 13th all-time in points scored, 4th among active players and age 37, still has a few swings left in his right leg, I hope he catches on somwhere else this fall.