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Smith, Hargrove met with NFL on Tuesday, but not Fujita

Scott Fujita

Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita watches from the sidelines in the first quarter of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in Cleveland. Fujita was not activated for the game. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)


Lost in all the commotion regarding the Monday meeting between Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma and Commissioner Roger Goodell is the fact that two of the other players who were suspended (and likely will be suspended again) met with Goodell on Tuesday.

As Albert Breer of NFL Network explains it, Saints defensive end Will Smith and free-agent defensive end Anthony Hargrove were questioned deposition-style by former U.S. attorney Mary Jo White.

Browns linebacker Scott Fujita didn’t attend. He’s receiving treatment for a knee injury in Cleveland, and team doctors suggested that he not fly. Fujita was set to participate via video conference at a local law firm, but the NFL wanted to do it in person.

And Fujita therefore benefits, because the NFLPA will have seen the process unfold with the other players before Fujita’s meeting, which will allow him to be even more prepared.

Since the Browns play the Ravens next Thursday night, Fujita likely won’t be making the trip next Tuesday, either. The next question becomes whether the NFL will delay the eventual appeal hearings before Commissioner Roger Goodell so that all of them can be done at once. If that happens, this dispute may not land back on the bench of Judge Helen G. Berrigan until mid-October, at the earliest.