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Vilma’s lawyer makes sweeping request for information

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Claiming that the “NFL has refused to provide a single piece of evidence” proving that linebacker Jonathan Vilma allegedly participated in a bounty program, Vilma’s lawyer has submitted with the appeal of Vilma’s one-year suspension a sweeping request for documents and other evidence regarding the claim.

Peter Ginsberg’s letter to Commissioner Roger Goodell, a copy of which Ginsberg has provided to PFT, seeks 17 categories of information.

The request encompasses, among other things, documents proving the existence of a bounty program (such as notebooks, ledgers, etc.), documents showing that Vilma assisted in the establishment of the program, documents showing that Vilma “pledged” to make payments for “cart-offs” and/or “knockouts” and/or injuries inflicted on opponents, documents proving that Vilma “targeted” opponents in a way that violates NFL rules, all  witness statements, interview notes, recordings of interviews, and a full list of all witnesses who will present evidence at the appeal hearing.

It’s a very broad request, but it’s a normal part of pre-trial discovery in civil and criminal litigation.  If the NFL refuses to comply or provides only summaries of evidence without specifics by contending that the in-house appeal process isn’t a full-blown legal proceedings, Vilma’s eventual legal attack against the outcome of the arbitration could become stronger.

Regardless, it’s only fair for the NFL to make the evidence available to Vilma, so that he can defend himself against the charges.  Right or wrong, guilty or innocent, he deserves a chance to test the evidence against him, even if the man who made the decision to suspend him will also be handling the appeal of that decision.

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64 Responses to “Vilma’s lawyer makes sweeping request for information”
  1. biggerballz says: May 7, 2012 1:11 PM

    i just hate the saints more and more each time one of these turds files another appeal.

  2. crazycane says: May 7, 2012 1:13 PM

    Fidel Goodell doesn’t need evidence. He does what he wants when he wants to do it.

  3. Chris Fiorentino says: May 7, 2012 1:17 PM

    Vilma is the NFL’s poster boy for this nonsense. They will never hand that stuff over and the legal system will allow Vilma to play this year because his lawyers will file an injunction and win. Then, just as with Starcaps, two years from now, it will all blow over and when Vilma is not even playing anymore, his year suspension will be upheld.

    Mark these words down…Vilma WILL play the 2012 season in the National Football League. I have no doubt about that.

  4. caliangel08 says: May 7, 2012 1:20 PM

    I think everyone would like to see the evidence now in this case . The league has been asked multiple times for the evidence and has failed to produce it .

  5. kmart0319 says: May 7, 2012 1:21 PM

    Sounds like Vilma and his lawyer want to out the snitch…

  6. bunjy96 says: May 7, 2012 1:21 PM

    Is Brees his lawyer?

  7. thefirstweaponofchoice says: May 7, 2012 1:24 PM

    Vilma is a punk. Always has been always will be.

  8. txxxchief says: May 7, 2012 1:24 PM

    This is an employee discipline issue being handled under a private system to which the NFL and NFLPA have both agreed. I don’t believe Vilma and his attorney are entitled to legal discovery in he normal sense here. As an attorney, Florio should know and acknowledge the difference.

    Mr. Vilma should be careful for what he requests. There could be substantial evidence of criminal activity on his part. If that went public, he might find himself in prison rather than merely suspended for a season.

  9. booker1974 says: May 7, 2012 1:30 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!”

  10. usmutts says: May 7, 2012 1:31 PM

    Thanks, Florio, for putting on your lawyer cap and getting it right. Now perhaps more readers will understand, if not appreciate, the players’ unfavorable position with the commissioner.

    The commissioner has certain rights under the CBA, including the right to suspend players. But I don’t think the CBA says that the commissioner can suspend a player without producing the actual evidence to support the suspension. Nor do I believe the CBA gives him the right to suspend a player without giving him the opportunity to confront and cross-examine witnesses who purportedly said incriminating things against him. (Given that Vilma wiseley refused to meet with Goodell, the commissioner can’t claim that Vilma himself made inculpatory statements ).

    Vilma is facing a severe punishment – banishment and loss of income for a year – and if the CBA says the commissioner can punish a player this way without revealing the actual evidence and without allowing Vilma the opportunity to test it, then I believe the CBA might be found to be an illegal contract as being against public policy, not to mention in violation of the US and most state constitutions.

  11. kathyisintheroom says: May 7, 2012 1:32 PM

    This is finally getting to where I was hoping this would lead to.

    All players should line up the best attorneys and start firing away at Gestapo Goodell. Sue the league and himself personally if possible. It’s becoming more apparent that Gooell doesn’t have much ammo, even thou that sad excuse for a female Mary Jo says what Goodell wants her to say.

    Once the players prove that Goodell has no case, then Payton, and the organization should sue also.

  12. footballgenius101 says: May 7, 2012 1:34 PM

    due process

  13. hedleykow says: May 7, 2012 1:34 PM

    The legal outcome hinges on whether or not witness statements will or will not become available to Vilma’s camp, which is hedging a bet that the league won’t expose those who identified Vilma as a ring leader.

  14. thingamajig says: May 7, 2012 1:34 PM

    The NFL should show the evidence during the sit down appeal process between Goodell and Vilma.

    The NFL Union approved of the NFL penalty and appeal process so if Vilma doesn’t like it, he and his lawyer can get jobs elseware.

  15. paulitik74 says: May 7, 2012 1:37 PM

    Gregg Williams:”It was a terrible mistake, and we knew it was wrong when we were doing it,”

    End of story.

  16. windycity0301 says: May 7, 2012 1:39 PM

    I’m not a lawyer and would love to hear from one about this thought. If I went out and offered $10K to have someone injured, I would assume that I am committing a crime punishable by jail time. Is what Vilma allegedly did any different? With all of this evidence possibly going to be going through the court system can the justice system step in and prosecute him as well? Are Vilma’s lawyers opening a can of worms?

    I would love to hear from the lawyers on this…

  17. mdd913 says: May 7, 2012 1:39 PM

    biggerballz says: May 7, 2012 1:11 PM

    i just hate the saints more and more each time one of these turds files another appeal.

    —————————————————————–
    And if it is found that there is no actual evidence of “these turds” doing what has been suggested they done, what then?

    Will you still take the side of a league who suspended seven people without evidence for its own purposes?

  18. cosmoman11 says: May 7, 2012 1:40 PM

    I’m sure that by now the bounty evidence has joined the Spygate evidence at the bottom of the Atlantic. Roger doesn’t like to keep this kind of stuff around too long. It gives other people too much opportunity to review.

  19. azcard says: May 7, 2012 1:41 PM

    vilma should be careful what he asks for. some really ugly stuff could come out.

  20. chillyp says: May 7, 2012 1:43 PM

    “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.”
    ————————————————————–
    You know, I think I’ve seen this defense where people try to hire people to kill someone. Then they state in court that they were never serious about it and that the $$$ was just a gag….HILARIOUS>

  21. theashleyguy says: May 7, 2012 1:52 PM

    If the players appeal, wanting the length of their suspensions changed, they also risk the possibility that Goodell could say something like, “You know, you’re right. Now that I’ve thought about it, your sentence isn’t long enough.” He can always increase the length of their suspensions. Why? Because these players are NOT employees, they are independent contractors. You can choose not to renew an independent contractor’s work anytime you want (as long as they don’t violate the contractual relationship). And the players through their union gave Goodell the right to make precisely these determinations.

  22. pixelito says: May 7, 2012 1:53 PM

    I love watching Saints fans fall further into disgrace!

    Is it ‘cane season yet?

  23. nflsecurity862 says: May 7, 2012 1:54 PM

    Vilma is scum and the more I read about this, the more I despise the Saints for allowing this.

  24. luckyexpert says: May 7, 2012 1:55 PM

    I seriously doubt Roger Goodell just woke up one morning and decided he hated the saints and Vilma, and proceeded to make up a story about bounties and how everybody in the Saints organization lied to him.

    I’m pretty sure he would feel pretty confident about the evidence to back this up. Especially since he spent years investigating. And I’m sure he did all he could to get them to stop before all this mess had to be made public.

    But I could be wrong, maybe Goodell is some sort of Crazy Evil Genius Power Hungry Liar looking to destroy the very own organization he is running.

  25. bigjdve says: May 7, 2012 1:55 PM

    kathyisintheroom: Catch a clue

    The NFL is trying to protect the whistleblowers, and in doing that protect themselves from all of the lawsuits from the players.

    You call him Gestapo, look at what the players are doing each other. Complaining about the rules getting tighter, while others are suing that they weren’t tight enough.

    Oh yeah and by the way, the players gave Goodell the power to do what he is doing. That doesn’t him a dictator, that means he is doing what the players agreed to in their contract.

  26. rayburns says: May 7, 2012 1:56 PM

    Mary Jo White was the lead prosecutor against John Gotti. It amuses me to see people snidely suggest that the NFL could in any way intimidate or influence her.

    No matter what you think of Roger Goodell and the NFL brass, I don’t think they have big enough ones to try and get Judge White to say anything that she doesn’t believe to be legally true.

  27. mancave001 says: May 7, 2012 1:56 PM

    I’m no fan (nor hater) of the Saints, but this lawyer/legalese/civil suit crap is really starting to annoy me. The NFL handed out disciplinary action, as is its role in the CBA. They are following the appeal process as outlined. That should be the end of it. Neither Vilma nor the other players have any right to “evidence,” nor should a lawsuit be allowed to proceed. What’s next, suing the league for officials making calls we don’t like? Suing the league for fines? This is stupid.

  28. usmutts says: May 7, 2012 1:56 PM

    It’s too late now, because the CBA has a 10 year term, but while it was being negotiated last year I kept arguing that the players’ association should be demanding that the commissioner be selected by mutual agreement between the union and the owners, and be paid by both. A simple process could have been set up to assist in the selection and, if the commissioner isn’t fair to both sides, his removal. It’s seems obvious now that the present commissioner is not fair minded. If he backs down on his ruling regarding the cap space for Dallas and Washington, and I predict he will, then we’ll have a clearer understanding about his biases.

  29. Wisconsin77 says: May 7, 2012 1:57 PM

    The commish should ban this clown for two years instead of one.

  30. mitchdms says: May 7, 2012 1:58 PM

    Why would anyone NOT want the evidence to come out? It seems to me that if you hate the Saints or believe Goodell is completely in the right, nothing would be better than him completely laying out all the evidence and putting this to rest.

    Even the media who was sympathetic a few weeks ago has even begun to feel uneasy with the NFL’s behavior here. No one’s name has to be named, just put the facts out there and put it to rest.

  31. mdpickles says: May 7, 2012 1:59 PM

    Between the lockout last year, the Boys/Skins Cap Scandal, and Bountygate, this site is more legal talk than football. I’m sure MF has no problem with that.

  32. caliangel08 says: May 7, 2012 2:01 PM

    “Vilma is facing a severe punishment – banishment and loss of income for a year – and if the CBA says the commissioner can punish a player this way without revealing the actual evidence and without allowing Vilma the opportunity to test it, then I believe the CBA might be found to be an illegal contract as being against public policy, not to mention in violation of the US and most state constitutions.”

    I keep wondering if the state of Louisiana has a case against the NFL for failure to produce evidence in a case that could end up costing the state , based upon their contract with the Saints ….

  33. weepingjebus says: May 7, 2012 2:02 PM

    The IRS will probably also be interested in all this unreported income.

  34. mancave001 says: May 7, 2012 2:02 PM

    usmutts says:
    May 7, 2012 1:31 PM

    ….The commissioner has certain rights under the CBA, including the right to suspend players. But I don’t think the CBA says that the commissioner can suspend a player without producing the actual evidence to support the suspension
    —————————————————-

    Sounds to me like you’re pulling that out of your butt. You have no idea what it gives him the right to do. Based on past suspensions, the league doesn’t need to provide “evidence” at all.

    —————————————————–
    usmutts says:

    Nor do I believe the CBA gives him the right to suspend a player without giving him the opportunity to confront and cross-examine witnesses who purportedly said incriminating things against him. (Given that Vilma wiseley refused to meet with Goodell, the commissioner can’t claim that Vilma himself made inculpatory statements ).

    —————————————————-

    Are you kidding me? Cross examine witnesses? Tell you what…go get a copy of the CBA and show me where it gives the players that right.

    ——————————————————
    usmutts says:

    Vilma is facing a severe punishment – banishment and loss of income for a year – and if the CBA says the commissioner can punish a player this way without revealing the actual evidence and without allowing Vilma the opportunity to test it, then I believe the CBA might be found to be an illegal contract as being against public policy, not to mention in violation of the US and most state constitutions.

    ——————————————————–

    ROTFL! You’re really going for the gold here, aren’t you? And I love it…you’re trying to cover your position by first stating what you THINK is in the CBA (benefits the player, of course) and then stating that if the CBA isn’t written that way, the CBA is an “illegal contract” or in violation of the U.S. and state constitutions. Are you a real person? You clearly have absolutely zero law background or even knowledge.

  35. Marv says: May 7, 2012 2:04 PM

    To simply stand by their mistakes is not really one of any Saints’ strength!

  36. drozman says: May 7, 2012 2:06 PM

    I do hope this goes to court. We will then see the players, coaches, and owner begin to panic when they are put on a witness stand. “Oh, you want the whole truth or I can go to jail?” They attorney is grandstanding and will never allow his client in front of Congress or any other witness stand for that much.

    I want a trial date so Vilma and everyone else start to turn on each other once perjury becomes punitive.

  37. NationalFlagFootballLeague says: May 7, 2012 2:07 PM

    biggerballz says: May 7, 2012 1:11 PM

    i just hate the saints more and more each time one of these turds files another appeal.

    ==============================
    “Thank you sir, may I have another?”

  38. gweez76 says: May 7, 2012 2:08 PM

    I wonder how many of you would be willing to lose a year of your salary without seeing evidence against you?

    Id imagine not many.

    It’s one thing to like Vilma or dislike him. But to suggest he’s in the wrong for wanting to know why he’s being docked a few Mill doesn’t sound unreasonable to me.

  39. ericflynt says: May 7, 2012 2:10 PM

    booker1974 says:
    May 7, 2012 1:30 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.”

    Exactly! Check all of the confessions. If they admitted to anything, it was a PayForPerformance program (interceptions, fumbles, etc), not a Bounty program. What the league’s been doing from the start is conflating the 2, talking about the P4P program in a way that made it sound like it was talking about a Bounty program. Because they know it’s only the bounty stuff that’s horrifying people, not a veteran paying a rookie special teamer for a fumble recovery.

    All I’m asking is, if you absolutely know the Saints are guilty of a Bounty program, what’s you’re evidence? Lay it out for me with direct quotes. Have you actually seen any, or are you just buying what the commish is feeding you?

    This is Duke Lacrosse all over again.

  40. hawkforlife says: May 7, 2012 2:13 PM

    usmutts,

    You sound like a shill for the union / lawyer for Vilma.

    So every player that is suspended for conduct detrimental to the League, illegal drugs, late hits, PHDs, etc., should have a full trial where lawyers make money and the sport becomes a joke.

    Whether one thinks Goodell is a good or bad commissioner is irrelevant, he’s the commissioner and the NFLPA and owners agreed to this format.

    Like it or not it is what it is.

  41. dan39564 says: May 7, 2012 2:15 PM

    I sincerely believe that the Judge, Jury and Executioner, should all be seperate people.

    Or at least, “Wait till Dad gets home and we’ll ask him.”

  42. furedmccombs says: May 7, 2012 2:16 PM

    For all you pay-for-play idiots out there…Just because they couldn’t actually hit hard enough to pull off the injury, doesn’t mean the system wasn’t in place or that they weren’t trying.

    To the they need to show the evidence people…this isn’t a court of law, and if it was I’m sure the NFL would drag their feet during Discovery with various objections in the Interrogatory Responses to the Discovery requests. Do you really think there is a successful legal strategy in tipping your hand?

    A contract is a contract usmutts…anyone willing to sign away rights provided them is allowed to, it is their right to allow others to limit theirs. They agreed to the terms…they might not have understood them entirely, but they agreed to them none the less.

    Get over it Taint fans…take your medicine with the rest of your team.

  43. darthsaint says: May 7, 2012 2:25 PM

    As a true Saints fan, I personally can’t wait for all of this to just go away. If I never hear the word “bounty” again in my life, it will be a blessing. =)

    Point is, most people called Saints fans crazy when this story broke. Either because we stood by our team and didn’t line up to burn them at the stake, or as delusional fans not able to see passed our black and gold shaded glasses. I will agree most of our fans are so loyal we could be delusional. But we clearly saw the issue at hand. We watch all the Saints games, it was 100% obvious our team was not going out each week and trying to hurt the other teams players. At least no more so than any other team each given week.

    To have your team dragged through the mud repeatedly is not easy to watch. Especially when in the first two months the media NEVER asked the questions only Saints fans were asking. It wasn’t long ago, we as Saints fans were told to get a life, shut up, etc, because we said, WHERE IS THE EVIDENCE? Everyone simply took what the NFL spoon-fed to the media, the media regurgitated that to the public and it seemed everyone wanted second helpings.

    NOW the media is the one starting to realize the dots in this story don’t exactly connect. They are starting to realize that 50,000 pages of evidence, zero “cart-off” player injuries during this supposed bounty period, and appeals by ALL parties involved except the one person (Williams) who faces indefinite suspension unless he fully cooperates.

    I’m positive my team had some form of pay for performance program in place. I also know Williams stepped over the line in his pre-game speech, at least with the 49ers game. But I’ve watched 50+ Saints games over the past 3 years. And I can honestly say, I’ve never once thought Saints players were dirty or trying to injure other players. The Saint haters will brush this comment off as a delusional Saints fan. But I’m not…my head is on straight…I believe in taking responsibility for ones actions. If my team was guitly of this, I’d want them to pay a price and ensure it doesn’t happen again.

    Show us the evidence, black out the informants names. I don’t need a witch hunt. I just need to know the NFL didn’t railroad my team because it needed a sacrifice to appease the lion at the gates…that being the 1600 ex-NFL players ready to sue the league over player safety.

  44. mrgroovesd says: May 7, 2012 2:26 PM

    I’m going to actually have to agree with the writer and usmutts on this issue of presenting evidence. If there is hard evidence that shows the bounty program then so be it, the suspension holds up. If not then they have to reverse the decision. That’s all I would want to see if I was accused of anything.

  45. lawyermalloy says: May 7, 2012 2:30 PM

    “it’s only fair for the NFL to make the evidence available to Vilma”
    PLEASE! The CBA makes it quite clear that the Comish is the FINAL say on appeals. Rules of evidence don’t apply; there is NO discovery and there is NO further appeal process after the commissioner rules.
    The NFLPA agreed to this process and the players are stuck with it.
    I guess “Smitty” should have read the document before he obligated his membership to the procedures contained therein!

  46. mike83ri says: May 7, 2012 2:32 PM

    This isn’t a court. This isn’t a jail sentence. This is the NFL, run by a guy with the rights you gave him in your recent CBA bargaining.

    Pacman got suspended after multiple arrests, but not a single conviction. He wasn’t even ‘guilty’ of anything. But the suspension held.

    Even if there was no ‘pay for injury’ aspect of the bounty as you have been accused of, there was still a pay for performance program. The coaches have since admitted it. Some of the players have admitted it. You were questioned about it and lied about it. Any type of pay for performance program has been against NFL rules since you were born. You knew it was against the rules, that’s why you lied when you were questioned. Again, Greg Williams has taken responsibility. Loomis admitted but claimed it wasn’t his fault. Peyton’s defense wasn’t “there was no program” but rather “There was, but I didn’t know about it”.

    Just give it up. You did wrong. Arguing the details don’t really matter at this point.

  47. jakek2 says: May 7, 2012 2:36 PM

    There are a lot of posters on here blindly passionate that Vilma and the rest have created this heinous sin. Opponents of this position, such as me, roundly get thumbs down.

    Us opponents can appreciate your passion and belief that any assault on the shield must be met with swift and severe consequences. However, you should equally appreciate our position that, while assaults on the shield must be met severely, there has to be measures in place to protect from the arbitrary rulings of Goodell.

    For instance, if we can all agree that SpyGate had more of an impact on competitive balance than Bountygate (how could it not?), then how can NFL employees be subject to a system that punishes offenders worse for a lesser offense against the shield? This is the biggest problem that opponents have with Goodell….not that he is a bad person. It’s just that there is an air of arbitrariness surrounding his decisions. This must be corrected somehow especially when livelihoods such as Vilmas are on the line.

  48. goredskins11 says: May 7, 2012 2:46 PM

    @darthsaint,

    Very well said sir. You pretty much expressed my feelings on this whole mess. The NFL has to explain how they have come to their conclusions or they will lose fans and obtain a black eye. All these guys saying the NFL doesn’t have to explain their evidence will be singing a different tune as soon as their team is being accused of something without evidence shown.

  49. drbrousters says: May 7, 2012 3:25 PM

    Typical legal nonsense.
    It isn’t that he didn’t do it; it is a matter of “Can you prove it.”
    After that it will be a matter of, “Sure, but why do you have to be so hard on him? Other people did stuff too.”

  50. iseek11 says: May 7, 2012 3:31 PM

    Remember when Michael Vick denied everything and lied directly to the Commish when his actions were being investigated by a small town sheriff? But once the FBI took over and everyone involved faced perjury charges, obstruction of justice charges and federal prison, the story changed. Then remember Vick apologetic and saying how he was afraid, and ashamed, etc… and that was why he lied.

    Remember during the steroid scandal in MLB how everyone involved denied everything to the league and media? But once the Feds got involved and they had to testify under oath before congress and face perjury charges, and obstruction of justice and federal prison, the story changed or people took the 5th. And afterward the excuses for the lies to the media and MLB were that they were afraid, and ashamed.

    There have already been threats by Congress to begin a criminal investigation into these activities. Once the feds get involved with unlimited resources and budget and subpoena power, things will change. Why does it have to come to that?

    These guys know their involvement. There are 18,000 pages of testimony and evidence. The league does not want every single ugly detail to be made public. The people whose testimony is recorded will be subjected to public vilification simply for telling the truth. Careers will be affected both by the ones who were honest and the ones who weren’t. Why are these guys forcing the hand of judicial recourse?

    If Congress subpoenas these guys and the FBI investigates criminal wrong-doing, I think we will be hearing that the reason they lied to the Commish and the media was because they were afraid and ashamed, etc… Right now it is this guys word against the other guys. The only thing at stake is game time and money.

    I’m willing to bet none of them will risk prison for their stories.

  51. spartyfi says: May 7, 2012 3:41 PM

    really, you still think this is a court of law? They are NOT obligated to comply and if the lawyer takes it to court after that then it’s just more tax payer dollars wasted. The employer sets the punishment, the employee takes his punishment or finds another job. Pretty simple!

  52. stevemdlthn says: May 7, 2012 4:01 PM

    Here’s the bottom line. I could say that the majority of these post are by morons and you people have threatened me through emails. Should the police lock you up??? Or better yet should the magristrate even issue a warrant.The NFL is different from the criminal justice system but Due Process is essential in our society. Furthermore the 2012 Saints are going to run through your pathetic teams like bad mexican food. Can’t wait to shut your pie holes

  53. silentcount says: May 7, 2012 4:01 PM

    This current mess of accusations can never be proven no matter which team is the next target. Instead, just rely on the current system of judge & punish — Officials on the field watching your every move. If you make an illegal hit, then your team gets punished right there on the spot. Not, 3 years later for something you MIGHT have said in a pre-game pep rally. Goodell is opening up a can of worms.

  54. gingerkid2000 says: May 7, 2012 4:08 PM

    The NFL should just let Ginsberg and Vilma see the all evidence, on the condition of them not sharing it with the public and without disclosing the source names. There’s no reason for the public to know the details but I do think Vilma has a right to know what all this evidence against him is. He’s protesting quite a bit for guy who has so much evidence against him so the NFL needs to just call his bluff hand him what ever proof they’re requesting and shut him up about it.

  55. eztargetone says: May 7, 2012 4:11 PM

    Jonathan,
    Dude,
    You got busted. No matter how many lawyers or how much time you spend fighting this, you still did the crime. Now be a man and do the time without crying like a lil girl whose doll you probably stole when you were a kid. The more you hide behind a lawyer and try to get Goodell to give you the names of the people who talked, the more of a fool you look.

    Signed,
    The rest of the world NOT Saints fans

  56. mancave001 says: May 7, 2012 4:19 PM

    I must say, I’m quite surprised at the number of fans here who seem to be claiming that things “don’t add up” and are screaming “where’s the evidence?” I really am. Again, I’m not a Saints fan, nor I am a Saints hater. I’m just surprised that given many people claim they are “sure” there was a payment system, they’re not satisfied with the outcome. These guys were flat wrong…period. They all deserve what they got. If they want to appeal under the process…fine. But don’t start this “we want the evidence” and “reasonable doubt” crap. This isn’t Matlock.

  57. gibson67us says: May 7, 2012 5:14 PM

    I always am amused by the comments here, and on other boards. First off, if you know nothing about the law, don’t talk or write about it. Second, stop throwing out names and catch phrases that don’t mean anything. Check it: I’m an attorney for 20+ years; I am an employee of a law firm. If any one of my 6 bosses came into my office as I type this and said” you are goofing off at work, you’re fired!” I would have to get up an walk out….NOTHING I could do about it. The principle is called “employment at will.” So they can fire me for any reason or no reason. The only exception is for racial, religious, age, sexual or handicap related discrimination. The other exception is if you have a contract or are in a union. Most of us don’t have either protection. The NFL players do; so they get to appeal, and they get to grieve. BUT they AGREED to this process in the CBA. So NO!! They are NOT entitled to any and all evidence that the NFL has. And Goodell is within his authority to hand down suspensions and to hear the appeal. And BTW: for those of you who don’t know, Mary Jo White was US Attorney in Manhattan(same position Rudy Guiliani had)…that is one of the most powerful and well respected positions you can have in the legal community and it is in NY, not Podunk. Why would Ms White lie? No motivation at all. I would sooner take her word than Jon Vilma or De Smith

  58. mjkelly77 says: May 7, 2012 5:23 PM

    Peter Ginsberg’s letter to Commissioner Roger Goodell, a copy of which Ginsberg has provided to PFT, seeks 17 categories of information.
    ________________________

    So in other words, the guy is a crybaby d-bag who thinks the public will side with his client?
    Wow, that makes him a STUPID crybaby d-bag.

  59. huuzhadaddee says: May 7, 2012 5:32 PM

    This is a basic issue of employer-employee greviance. The Commish has powers granted by NFLPA, duh.. but did he abuse/over-use them? Can he suspend & cause financial ‘harm’ (loss of MILLIONS) to Vilma without just cause / proof or accountability?? If so, should he be allowed to sexually harrass cheerleaders & secretaries too? For let’s say.. (after a lengthy investgation) determined to be too sexy? & good-lawd I’m all for player safety (former 172 lb. slot WR in Southwest conf with 3 cracked ribs & the balls to go across the middle), but this is just alarming. With all the millions of viewers watching the Saints games did we see any blatant hits? Any Vilma ejections? Any in-season Vilma fines? OMG did Vilma kill Kennedy too?? World Trade Center?? What’s next? Yes Commish-prove it!! Oh & Louisiana is right-to-work state. 51 please sue his ass personally as well as league & henchmen. Who-Dat!

  60. ajpurp says: May 7, 2012 6:32 PM

    With over 50,000 pages u can simply say the request is overly broad and unduly burdensome according to civil procedure rule 34. Those requests are not specific enough at all, it basically requests everything, the review of which for privilege and A-C work product would be immense and take and incredibly long time.

  61. drunkwino says: May 8, 2012 10:52 PM

    I’d say that I’m ashamed of and disappointed my fellow Americans for yelling against things like due process and fair treatment from authority but then I look at the stuff coming out of Congress and just have to accept nowadays people want Big Brother making all their decisions.

    It’s easy to black-out a name. If this evidence that these or any players were paying for other players to get hurt is so tight, you’re right we shoulda want the evidence presented. If it means criminal charges, so be it. If the NFL has been blowing this up with no evidence AND the NFL doesn’t change those punishment, I don’t care.

    How doesn’t showing the proof, minus the names of the whistleblowers, annoy anyone?

  62. drunkwino says: May 8, 2012 11:21 PM

    With over 50,000 pages u can simply say the request is overly broad and unduly burdensome according to civil procedure rule 34. Those requests are not specific enough at all, it basically requests everything, the review of which for privilege and A-C work product would be immense and take and incredibly long time.
    _______________________

    Ummmmmm, dude? You obviously know what computers are. So, why is it that you think the NFL is keeping all of it’s 1500 pages of evidence in a really big trapperkeeper?

    /or for that matter, completely disorganized?

  63. larryjames836 says: May 9, 2012 12:20 AM

    We all are talking about who right and who wrong me myself I gives a rats buns on who right or who wrong. All I know Vilma has his rights he is his own boss he is the one contracting his body to the NFL and he can broke that contract without pay. NFL its just a money making organization that just care about what they want and talking about players safety. All of this is hog wash I’m just waiting for the season to start I know one thing at the end of the playoff the New Orleans Saints will be the Super Bowl Champions in 2013 this is something Roger Goodell and no one else can take from the Saints this will close a lot of mouths from running action speak louder than words.

  64. drbrousters says: May 9, 2012 10:44 AM

    “If any one of my 6 bosses came into my office as I type this and said” you are goofing off at work, you’re fired!” I would have to get up an walk out….NOTHING I could do about it. The principle is called “employment at will.” So they can fire me for any reason or no reason. The only exception is for racial, religious, age, sexual or handicap related discrimination. The other exception is if you have a contract or are in a union. Most of us don’t have either protection. The NFL players do; so they get to appeal, and they get to grieve. BUT they AGREED to this process in the CBA. So NO!! They are NOT entitled to any and all evidence that the NFL has. And Goodell is within his authority to hand down suspensions and to hear the appeal. And BTW: for those of you who don’t know, Mary Jo White was US Attorney in Manhattan(same position Rudy Guiliani had)…that is one of the most powerful and well respected positions you can have in the legal community and it is in NY, not Podunk. ”
    The most informed intelligent response available here.
    Thank You

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