Jonathan Vilma is still waiting to hear about his punishment for his role in the Saints bounty program and, according to a report on Monday, he thinks it is going to be fairly severe.
Jason La Canfora of NFL.com reports that a source close to Vilma said that the linebacker is bracing for a suspension of two to eight games when the league decides to hand down their decision. Because Vilma was the only player named in the NFL’s initial report about the bounties, the belief is that he will be suspended for at least the low end of that estimate.
The NFLPA’s statement about the league’s failure to provide detailed evidence of a “pay-to-injure scheme” could become part of any action against Vilma. The allegation about Vilma putting up $10,000 to any player who could knock Brett Favre out of the NFC Championship Game is damning, but a fight over whether there is direct evidence of such a scheme could wind up working out well for Vilma’s attempt to avoid a long suspension.
For their part, the Saints seem content to move on without Vilma. They’ve signed Curtis Lofton and David Hawthorne as free agents, leaving no clear role for Vilma on the New Orleans defense whenever he is available to resume playing.