NFL: Brees wins case; bans are upheld

Posted: July 05, 2012

The New Orleans Saints continue to dominate the news cycle during the NFL's so-called offseason.

In rapid fire announcements Tuesday, quarterback Drew Brees won his arbitration case against the team; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell rejected the appeals of four players suspended in connection with the league's investigation of the Saints' bounty program; and coach Sean Payton and his wife, Beth, filed divorce petitions.

Arbitrator Stephen Burbank, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, ruled the Saints would have to give Brees a 44 percent raise, to about $23.5 million, if they applied the franchise tag to him again in 2013.

Brees was franchised once in San Diego, and the Saints have already used the tag on the star quarterback for 2012.

The NFL had argued Brees would be due a 20 percent raise in 2013 because it would have been only his second franchise tag with one team.

Brees will earn $16.371 million in 2012 under the tag

Goodell told Jonathan Vilma, Anthony Hargrove, Will Smith, and Scott Fujita that, while he retains the authority to reduce their suspensions, the original rulings will stand.

Vilma is suspended for the entire 2012 season, while Smith will miss four games. Hargrove, now with Green Bay, is suspended eight games, while Fujita, now with Cleveland, is suspended three games.

Noteworthy

Ben Davidson, 72, the hulking defensive end who starred for the Oakland Raiders in the 1960s died. Davidson died Monday night in Alameda, Calif., former Raiders coach John Madden said. He was being treated for prostate cancer.

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