NFL's Goodell to meet with 'bounty' players

New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, pictured here in 2010, has accepted the NFL's invitation to meet with commissioner Roger Goodell

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell plans to meet with the former and current New Orleans players whose suspensions for their alleged roles in a Saints pay-for-injury scheme have been overturned.

"We have agreed to meet with all four players in accordance with the Collective Bargaining Agreement," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said in a statement on Tuesday.

Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, who had been banned for the entire season, accepted the league's invitation to the meeting and the other three players, Cleveland linebacker Scott Fujita, Saints defensive end Will Smith and free agent defender Anthony Hargrove followed suit.

The league said Goodell will meet with them next week and any revised punishment will be handed down after the meeting.

Last week, a collective bargaining agreement panel overturned the initial suspensions meted out by Goodell, saying they appeared to violate the contract between league and players.

Vilma was banned for all of the 2012 season while Smith received a four-game suspension. Hargrove was suspended for eight games and Fujita for three.

Fujita and Hargrove played for New Orleans during the years in which the league says the bounty programme ran, from 2009-2011, when defensive players received cash bonuses for injuring opposing players.