The NFL Players Association sent a letter to the NFL today reserving Browns linebacker Scott Fujita's right to appeal his three-game suspension for his role in the New Orleans Saints' bounty scandal.
The appeal is pending the resolution of the jurisdictional questions the NFLPA raised last week in two grievances it filed against the NFL, the union stated. The NFLPA maintains NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is without jurisdiction to discipline the players for the conduct alleged or to rule on any appeals.
Last week, the NFL suspended Fujita, who played for the Saints from 2006-09 before signing with the Browns in 2010, and the three other players. Fujita may participate in the Browns' offseason activities, including preseason games, before the suspension is scheduled to take effect at the start the regular season.
In a statement released last week, the league said Fujita “pledged a significant amount of money to the prohibited pay-for-performance/bounty pool during the 2009 NFL playoffs when he played for the Saints. The pool to which he pledged paid large cash rewards for 'cart-offs' and 'knockouts,' plays during which an opposing player was injured.”
Fujita issued his first public comments about the suspension today in a statement published on his website and e-mailed to several news organizations.