Tania Dall / Eyewitness News
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NEW ORLEANS -- The NFL is scheduled to hold hearings later this week on the appeals that Coach Sean Payton and other Saints officials have filed.

With that scheduled, Saints players are being told to lawyer up because they now could face criminal charges.

'It just doesn't make sense. You want to go after the people who initiated the policy? That's fine. But now you're going after the players?' said Saints fan Thomas Jones.

It's been a month since the scandal broke, and now the players engulfed in the performance bonus scandal are in the hot seat, again.

The NFL Players Association is warning Saints players who took part in the bounty program that they could face criminal charges. The NFLPA says it is hiring outside counsel to represent dozens of Saints players.

'There job is to go out there and tackle somebody. How are you going to prove that they tackled somebody harder and injured somebody? How are you going to prove that?' Jones said.

On Monday night Who Dat fans weighed in on the controversy at the Bulldog Uptown. Fans like Paul O'Neil say NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is barking up the wrong tree.

'It seems like he doesn't have any evidence to prove this, so the only evidence he's going to get is if players start confessing. So as a loyal Saints fan I would tell all the player, shut up and don't say a word about anything and you'll get through this,' said Saints fan Paul O'Neil.

With 22 to 27 defensive players under investigation by the league for allegedly taking part in the Saints' pay-for-pain bounty pool, West Bank native Megan Morvant says criminal charges will be hard to prove.

'It will be a long time before they're able to pinpoint certain players and prove any accusations against them,' said Morvant.

The league has not given any timetable for when Goodell will decide on penalties for the players.

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