The NFL Players Association has reportedly filed a grievance challenging the authority of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to suspend four players for their involvement in the New Orleans Saints' bounty program.

According to a story by ESPN, the grievance claims that conduct prior to the new collective bargaining agreement, which was ratified last August 4, is not subject to discipline by the league.

Additionally, since the actions in question took place on the field, the appeals should be handled by hearing officers Ted Cottrell and Art Shell, not Goodell, the story said.

On Wednesday, Goodell suspended Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma for the 2012 season, current Green Bay defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove for eight games, Saints defensive end Will Smith for four games and linebacker Scott Fujita, now with Cleveland, for three games.