Earlier this year four players were suspended by the NFL for their alleged roles in the New Orleans Saints bounty situation – Saints DE Will Smith (4 games), Browns linebacker Scott Fujita (3 games), free agent Anthony Hargrove (8 games) and Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma (the entire 2012 season).
Per a report from Sports Illustrated, an appeals panel has ruled in favor of the players and overturned those suspensions, effective immediately:
The panel overturned a ruling by NFL system arbiter Stephen Burbank that commissioner Rodger Goodell was within his powers under the collective bargaining agreement to suspend four players for their alleged roles in a pay to injure system.
According to source, the suspensions are voided immediately, howevever the commissioner can reconsider discipline if — and only if — there is evidence of intent to injure beyond just a performance pool.
All players are eligible to activated for their respective teams immediately. Suspensions for head coach Sean Payton and Saints GM Mickey Loomis were upheld.