The investigation led to the indefinite suspension of Williams, who had taken a position with the St. Louis Rams and has since apologized for running the system, and the season-long suspension of Saints coach Sean Payton, who was found to have initially lied about the existence of a bounty program and instructed his defensive assistants to do the same.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell last week rejected an appeal of Payton's season-long suspension.
Some legal analysts said claims from players who weren't involved in the bounty system may not survive a challenge from defense attorneys.
"Everyone knows, including anyone who's played in the NFL, that it's a violent game, said Matthew Mitten, the director of the National Sports Law Institute at Marquette University. "You didn't need the unfortunate circumstances of bounty-gate to tell us that."
But Bruce Hagen, an Atlanta attorney who has filed two lawsuits involving 33 different players, said the bounty system could play an important part in the lawsuits working their way through the courts.
"It shows that it's an institutionalized effort by management to go outside the bounds of the game as a way to motivate players even if it means intentionally having them injured," he said. "And that's wrong."
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