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Fitzgerald: Feel bad for suspended Saints, but Goodell had to act


Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald can sympathize with NFL players who are suspended. But that doesn’t mean he thinks the NFL is wrong to do it.

Fitzgerald said on the Rich Eisen Podcast that he feels badly for the Saints players who were suspended as a result of the league’s investigation into bounties. But he doesn’t think the league could sit by and do nothing when it learned of the Saints’ bounty program.

“I’ve known Jonathan Vilma for a very long time, and Will Smith actually hosted me on my visit to Ohio State in college,” Fitzgerald said. “So I’ve known these guys for a really long time and they’re not bad men by any stretch of the imagination. I feel bad that they’re losing game checks and losing the opportunity to make a living. But I think Roger Goodell, our commissioner, had to do something to let everybody know that this is not going to be tolerated, and moving forward this is not something that’s going to be acceptable.”

We’ve heard a lot of extreme reactions to the bounty scandal and the subsequent suspensions, but Fitzgerald’s reaction is one of the most reasonable. You can feel badly for Vilma that he’s losing a year of his NFL career while also understanding why Goodell had to do what he did.