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Report: NFLPA wants Tagliabue to step aside

The SportsXchange

If the NFL Players Association considered it a victory when commissioner Roger Goodell agreed to recuse himself from the appeals process in the Saints' bounty case last week, the players aren't cheering the appointment of Paul Tagliabue.

ProFootballTalk.com reported Tuesday the NFLPA will ask Tagliabue to step aside, too, considering the Goodell mentor unfit for the role of objective arbitrator in bounty punishment appeal hearings for Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, defensive end Will Smith, Browns linebacker Scott Fujita and free agent Anthony Hargrove.

The basis for the objection includes Taglibue's employment at Covington and Burling, a law firm that represents the NFL in the bounty litigation. Tagliabue is also considered a potential witness based on the NFL condoning programs that toed the line of "pay for performance" in the 1990s when he was the league's commissioner.

The NFLPA has not formally made the request to have Tagliabue removed, but a letter has been sent to the former commissioner and the NFL, PFT reported.

The hearing is scheduled for Oct. 30.

Goodell re-issued bounty punishment for all four players after an appeals panel asked him to review the initial suspensions announced in March.

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