Around the NFC South: Bounty edition

We’ve weighed in from a lot of different angles on the NFL’s announcement that New Orleans linebacker Jonathan Vilma has been suspended for the 2012 season and defensive end Will Smith will be suspended for the first four games.

Now, let’s look at what some others are saying and writing about the NFL’s discipline.

  • John DeShazier writes that the Saints may have gotten off easy. He’s got a point. Although the season-long suspension of Vilma might have been harsher than many anticipated, things could have been a lot worse. The NFL initially said 22 to 27 players were involved in the three-year bounty program. The fact Vilma and Smith are the only current Saints facing suspensions has to come as something of a relief for an organization that probably was bracing itself to lose more players.

  • Brian Allee-Walsh has a similar take.

  • Peter King writes that, at least in terms of discipline, the Saints' bounty program has made Spygate look small. I don’t know that this thing was dramatically worse than Spygate, but the NFL obviously treated it that way.

  • You can head over to SportsNation and weigh in on if you think the Saints’ penalties were too harsh or not harsh enough.

  • New Orleans backup quarterback Chase Daniel said he was standing next to Vilma when the news about the suspensions came on television.

  • Here’s a good sampling of what current and former New Orleans players had to say about the suspensions. As you might imagine, they’re not very happy. Also, good to hear from Reggie Bush.

  • Here’s the NFL Players Association statement on the suspensions. It’s the typical NFLPA response to just about everything -- they haven’t seen enough evidence.

  • Here’s the release the NFL used to announce the suspensions, which includes details of the involvement of the players in the bounty program.