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Vilma files appeal of yearlong suspension

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Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, who last week was suspended for all of 2012 for his role in the Saints’ bounty scandal, has filed his appeal to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

In so doing, Vilma has also made clear that he does not believe Goodell should have final say over the matter.

“[W]e do not believe the Commissioner’s Office has jurisdiction over this issue, and we are filing the instant Appeal without waiving Mr. Vilma’s right to challenge the arbitral jurisdiction,” Vilma’s lawyer wrote in a letter to Goodell. “As you are aware, the National Football League Players Association (“NFLPA”), acting on behalf of Mr. Vilma and other players, has filed pleadings in two other forums seeking to resolve the issue of the proper jurisdiction to address the instant dispute.”

Although the NFL has indicated that Vilma would not provide the league office with information about the bounty program in New Orleans, attorney Peter R. Ginsberg suggested in his letter to Goodell that there is significant information that Vilma would like to provide if an appeal hearing does take place.

“I expect the Appeal Hearing, if it occurs, to last at least two and perhaps three days,” Ginsberg wrote.

Ginsberg also made clear that he believes the NFL has been less than forthcoming.

“The NFL has refused to provide a single piece of evidence to us,” he wrote. “That approach to this serious matter was reflected in the NFL’s outside counsel’s disturbing recent statement to the media that the players’ requests to review and understand the alleged evidence against them is a “red herring.’ Rather, to be able to share, discuss and analyze the supposed evidence that has been gathered is a fundamental cornerstone of a fair and just process, and a vital prerequisite to uncovering the truth. Indeed, the failure of the NFL to conduct itself in a just manner has compromised the process and resulted in erroneous and damaging conclusions.”

Among the pieces of information the Vilma camp is requesting is “The names and identification of all persons interviewed by the NFL and all persons acting on behalf of the NFL during the course of the ‘bounty program’ investigation.”

From Goodell’s perspective, he gets to decide whether Vilma plays in the NFL this year. From Vilma’s perspective, this is a long way from over.

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41 Responses to “Vilma files appeal of yearlong suspension”
  1. samapoc says: May 7, 2012 11:48 AM

    Remember the original reports that claimed 24+ players taking part in bounties?

  2. cutlerinception69 says: May 7, 2012 11:49 AM

    Where’s the NFL’s PR sense? Sure, they don’t want to release the “evidence” they have because it would look bad to air the dirty laundry. But they could have just released it all at once and it would have blown over.

    And now it’ll drag out, possibly for years. It’s going to look a lot worse when the discovery process of a civil action makes it all public record.

  3. skoobyfl says: May 7, 2012 11:50 AM

    It’s like clash of the titans in, just one has billions & the other has millions. Who looks to win here?

  4. eaglebobby says: May 7, 2012 11:50 AM

    He can probably start with the Saints’ D intern, the same guy that blew the whistle on thenm to begin with.

    Then, he can probably figure that Gregg Williams, in an effort to get back into the league next year, also probably fingered him.

    Then, since he’s in GB now, he can also figure that Anthony Hargrove in the letter SENT BY THE UNION, also fingered him.

    Gee, Vilma, is it so hard to figure out who turned you in???

  5. clarkisgod says: May 7, 2012 11:52 AM

    The NFL, although in the United States Of America, is not THE United States Of America. I believe dictator Goodell can do whatever he wants in his little playground. Vilma not going to win this one.

  6. 4evrnyt says: May 7, 2012 11:53 AM

    LOL at the spoiled children that are pouting and crying “unfair” because they got their hands caught in the cookie jar.

    Typical behavior from someone who either feels the rules don’t apply to them because they think they’re special or they simply never grew up and can’t handle the consequences of their actions. Either way they’re going to lose and the suspensions will be upheld exactly like they should be.

  7. nyyjetsknicks says: May 7, 2012 11:54 AM

    clarkisgod says:
    May 7, 2012 11:52 AM
    The NFL, although in the United States Of America, is not THE United States Of America. I believe dictator Goodell can do whatever he wants in his little playground. Vilma not going to win this one.

     ___________________

    How is Goodell a dictator when there is an appeals process?

  8. jimyritz says: May 7, 2012 11:57 AM

    So will the NFLPA represent the players supposedly targeted by the players who participated in the bounty program? It just doesn’t seem as if the players have any concern about the players who have been hurt just the ones who are being penalized…

  9. daysend564 says: May 7, 2012 12:03 PM

    Drag it out until just before the season starts, then enforce it. He’s getting older and missing training camp next season will be detrimental for him to ever return.

  10. thejuddstir says: May 7, 2012 12:04 PM

    I could tolerate the constant stories about Brett Favre retiring or not retiring better than these crybaby Taints. They got caught, take your medicine like the man you “claim to be”. I think it’s time for the NFL and Goodell to tell the entire Taints organization that “enough is enough, you keep whining and crying like the beatches you are and we are going to start increasing the suspensions and fines”. It is time for the NFL to bring the hammer DOWN!

  11. cwmorga says: May 7, 2012 12:05 PM

    @eaglebobby says: May 7, 2012 11:50 AM

    He can probably start with the Saints’ D intern, the same guy that blew the whistle on thenm to begin with.

    Then, he can probably figure that Gregg Williams, in an effort to get back into the league next year, also probably fingered him.

    Then, since he’s in GB now, he can also figure that Anthony Hargrove in the letter SENT BY THE UNION, also fingered him.

    Gee, Vilma, is it so hard to figure out who turned you in???
    —————————-

    The fact that the NFLPA sent the Hargrove letter yet still maintains that they have yet to see evidence of a bounty or “pay to injure” system means that there must not be anything overly incriminating in the letter (which Goodell refuses to release).

    This has been discussed ad nauseum. Try to keep up.

  12. cwmorga says: May 7, 2012 12:07 PM

    @nyyjetsknicks says: May 7, 2012 11:54 AM

    How is Goodell a dictator when there is an appeals process?
    ——————–

    Because he hears the appeals. He’s quite literally the judge, jury, and executioner.

  13. thejuddstir says: May 7, 2012 12:08 PM

    I also think it’s a conflict for the NFLPA to involve themselves in representing a handful of players who have attempted to harm the rest of the players who belong to the NFLPA. You hear the players talk about wanting more player safety but then they balk at the NFL trying to penalize the worst offenders. They want to have their cake and eat it too and it’s not gonna work that way. In essence, the rest of the players of NFLPA are paying their dues to the union for the union to represent a few players who were paid to assault them………go figure.

  14. desertviking64 says: May 7, 2012 12:11 PM

    “No soup for you!, Come back one year!”

  15. purplegreenandgold says: May 7, 2012 12:11 PM

    no matter what anyone thinks and says this is purely the first step in the process… before you can move on to the next phase(if you can)you must appeal to the commish. nothing more nothing less. will this appeal get a different ruling “no” however its part A of the process.

  16. blsdwnstr says: May 7, 2012 12:14 PM

    There is no evidence the Saints hurt anyone outside the bounds of the rules

  17. nyyjetsknicks says: May 7, 2012 12:15 PM

    cwmorga says:
    May 7, 2012 12:07 PM
    @nyyjetsknicks says: May 7, 2012 11:54 AM

    How is Goodell a dictator when there is an appeals process?
    ——————–

    Because he hears the appeals. He’s quite literally the judge, jury, and executioner.

    __________________

    Yup, I look like an idiot now… Lol

  18. mornelithe says: May 7, 2012 12:16 PM

    Guess maybe there are a few people in the NFLPA who probably should have read the CBA they were signing. Oh well, every player, guilty or innocent appeals a punishment, this is no different.

  19. daysend564 says: May 7, 2012 12:20 PM

    blsdwnstr says:
    May 7, 2012 12:14 PM
    There is no evidence the Saints hurt anyone outside the bounds of the rules
    ===========================
    Thats just because their defense was just that bad. They tried their damnedess, but failed.

  20. azcard says: May 7, 2012 12:21 PM

    cwmorga says:
    May 7, 2012 12:07 PM
    @nyyjetsknicks says: May 7, 2012 11:54 AM

    How is Goodell a dictator when there is an appeals process?
    ——————–

    Because he hears the appeals. He’s quite literally the judge, jury, and executioner.

    ___________

    however, vilma was invited to meet with goodell before the suspensions came out but opted not to…why not?

  21. jimyritz says: May 7, 2012 12:27 PM

    Love the bitching about Goodell’s power and the rules…Next time read the CBA….

    No different than the Franchise tag–the players hate it–Hello, you voted for it…

    if you don’t like it go wash cars….

  22. cakemixa says: May 7, 2012 12:28 PM

    I wish I could have seen all the proof that most of you commenting against the Saints have obviously seen to be so sure about this.

  23. purplegreenandgold says: May 7, 2012 12:28 PM

    thejuddstir says:
    May 7, 2012 12:04 PM

    I could tolerate the constant stories about Brett Favre retiring or not retiring better than these crybaby Taints. They got caught, take your medicine like the man you “claim to be”. I think it’s time for the NFL and Goodell to tell the entire Taints organization that “enough is enough, you keep whining and crying like the beatches you are and we are going to start increasing the suspensions and fines”. It is time for the NFL to bring the hammer DOWN!
    ===================================
    im no doctor but have you maybe thought about not reading every story that appears about the saints and then commenting on every story that appears about the saints. by the way the nfl has already gave the ruling on the matter and its in the appeal state right now.

  24. mike83ri says: May 7, 2012 12:29 PM

    cwmorga says:
    May 7, 2012 12:07 PM
    @nyyjetsknicks says: May 7, 2012 11:54 AM

    Because he hears the appeals. He’s quite literally the judge, jury, and executioner.

    ———————

    Goodell doesn’t execute anyone, so literally doesn’t mean what you think it means.

  25. stopyourlies says: May 7, 2012 12:31 PM

    “He’s quite literally the judge, jury, and executioner.”

    Is it the word “literally” or “executioner” that you have trouble with? I promise that literally no one will actually be executed.

  26. crubenst says: May 7, 2012 12:37 PM

    Its clear Vilma just wants names so he can try to intimidate his accusers and maybe call them “rats” like Warren Sapp. This is a privately run company, not the USA, so due process is not applicable. Vilma is not going to jail, he’s being suspended from work. And there are “whistle blower” laws which actually protect the guys who came forward. Goodell might actually get into legal trouble by giving Vilma the names.

  27. bozorocks says: May 7, 2012 12:40 PM

    “The names and identification of all persons interviewed by the NFL”

    In other words, he wants to know who rated him out.

  28. jpmelon says: May 7, 2012 12:41 PM

    The NFL policy book is not the constitution. The NFL is a business and it has it’s own policies that the players agree to adhere to when they agree to become employees of their respective clubs.

    The lawyer might be setting everything up for a future lawsuit, but the NFL does not need to share their evidence or provide Vilma with anything other than the punishment and the option to appeal the punishment. If Vilma doesn’t like the way the NFL does business, there is nothing that stopped him from signing a contract within the UFL instead.

  29. mitchdms says: May 7, 2012 12:48 PM

    The NFLPA has clearly read the CBA since that is exactly the grounds under which they are challenging Goodell’s authority. Everyone seems to thing that the CBA provides Goodell unlimited authority over every matter. There are limits built into the CBA, and that is what the NFLPA is saying. The argument that they signed it so they should shut up doesn’t really hold much water in this case.

    Anyway, I’d hope that if accused of wrongdoing and potentially losing our jobs, any one of us would expect to have an opportunity to see and discuss the evidence that led to the decision. It is really simple fairness. You don’t have to believe Vilma to believe in that.

  30. goodolebaghead says: May 7, 2012 12:48 PM

    1. No proof it ever took place before Aug4th. If you don’t know the importance of that date, you shouldn’t bother posting since you don’t know all the details in this case.

    2. The NFLPA doesn’t protect players bodies or players from other players. It is strictly there to represent the players from a financial stand point and to help protect them from the league’s attempts at collusion.

    Everyday there’s someone on here posting dumb statements, unaware of these facts.

  31. cantonbound13 says: May 7, 2012 12:49 PM

    He & Greg Williams should be banned for life.

  32. bchapman2011 says: May 7, 2012 12:49 PM

    Taking a full season away from a 30 year old player is too extreme. The coaches that implemented the system should be judged harsher and Payton received a year. I would give Vilma 1/2 or 3/4 of a season.

  33. dublindemonszfl says: May 7, 2012 12:56 PM

    Hey Vilma, I hear Bryant McKinnie knows where you can get a loan. Will 4 million get you thru the year?

  34. blackcatsluck says: May 7, 2012 12:58 PM

    Vilma just wants the list of names so he can start applying the price tags.

  35. tropicpurple says: May 7, 2012 12:59 PM

    The commissioner as this power because the players gave it to him in the CBA.

  36. andyreidisarrogantandfat says: May 7, 2012 12:59 PM

    The day of the appeals hearing:

    Ok Mr. Vilma the appeals committe , I mean Mr Goddell, will see you now.

    Vilma: Thanks for hearing my appeal Mr……

    RG: No. Leave.

    Vilma: Allrighty then. thanks for your time sir.

    Get a real system in place to hear these appeals. this is a complete joke. He has way too much power. The league will regret this at some point sooner than later.

  37. bucfandango says: May 7, 2012 1:14 PM

    Putin just won another re-election where he was the only one on the ballot. His people also counted all of the ballots to ensure fairness. Democracy at work.

  38. booker1974 says: May 7, 2012 1:17 PM

    There’s still no evidence of a true bounties, only “pay for performance” for big plays and turnovers, which the players and coaches have admitted to. The “bounties” on Favre and Warner are reportedly based on a locker room gag in which Williams gave Vilma $10000 to offer for Warner, and then repeated naming Favre the next week. Locker room theatrics — the money was immediately given back to Williams and was never paid out, and at least Vilma, if not other, if not everyone, understood it wasn’t sincere. Payton caught wind and told them to stop — notice there is no allegation of a bounty against Peyton Manning in the Super Bowl. The “bounties” on Rodgers and Newton are based on emails from Mike Ornstein to Payton that Ornstein said were jokes and Payton said he never read.

    This is a witch hunt out of Monty Python.

    “The Saints turned me into a newt!”

    “A newt?”

    “I got better.”

    “Burn them anyway!”

  39. cwmorga says: May 7, 2012 1:38 PM

    @stopyourlies says: May 7, 2012 12:31 PM

    Is it the word “literally” or “executioner” that you have trouble with? I promise that literally no one will actually be executed.

    @mike83ri says: May 7, 2012 12:29 PM

    Goodell doesn’t execute anyone, so literally doesn’t mean what you think it means.
    ——————————

    An executioner is “1. one who executes”.

    Execute means “1. to carry out; accomplish: to execute a plan or order.”

    So yes, as I said before, he is LITERALLY the judge, jury, and executioner. Thanks for playing though.

  40. bigjdve says: May 7, 2012 1:47 PM

    We may not have seen the evidence, however the NFL says there is.

    There are a couple interesting parts to this.

    1. Vilma, his lawyer, and the PA aren’t stating that Goodell is wrong. They are saying that he shouldn’t be able to hear the appeal.

    2. Last year during the lockout, there was alot of complaints from the players with regards to the fact that Goodell got to hear the appeals. However that being stated, those same players went and signed the CBA that allowed him to keep that power.

    3. Since the PA and players all gave Goodell that power, they can’t complain that he has it now. They should’ve thought about that then. They have a contract now.

  41. foul83 says: May 7, 2012 1:59 PM

    Good. The players shouldn’t get any more than 4 games. They were just doing what they were told by their employer.

    Slapping the coaches, gm and owner makes more sense for the harsh penalties. In other words, attack the head.

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