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Vilma sues Goodell for defamation

Jonathan Vilma Portrait Shoot Getty Images

Like so many other developments in the Saints’ bounty drama, the latest one has arrived out of the blue, without warning.

During last Friday’s PFT Live, lawyer Peter Ginsberg vaguely hinted at additional legal action that he may be taking on behalf of Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma.  But there was no indication that Vilma would file a lawsuit against NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

That’s precisely what Vilma has done.  It’s Vilma v. Goodell, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, the federal court that encompasses New Orleans.

As specified in paragraph 1 on the complaint, the claim is defamation, which means that Vilma contends Goodell lied about Vilma when making public statements about Vilma’s role in the alleged bounty program.

What follows over the next 112 numbered paragraphs are a variety of specific allegations that, in short, claim the Commissioner has been untruthful about Vilma’s involvement in the bounty program, and that Vilma never “pledged” and “never paid, or intended to pay” $10,000 or any amount of money as an incentive to knock Brett Favre or Kurt Warner out of 2009 playoff games, or any other player in any other game.

Curiously, Vilma never says that he never “offered” to pay $10,000 as an incentive to knock Brett Favre or Kurt Warner or anyone else out of any games.  The use of the phrase “never paid, or intended to pay” copies the content of Vilma’s May 2 statement, which seemed to dance around the possibility that Vilma, perhaps in the heat of the moment, made a hollow offer to pay the money as part of an exercise in standard pregame hyperbole.

Above all else, the lawsuit appears to be a mechanism for forcing the NFL to put the evidence against Vilma on the table.  Since truth is an absolute defense to any defamation claim, Goodell can vindicate himself by offering up proof to support the statements he has made.

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194 Responses to “Vilma sues Goodell for defamation”
  1. bearsrulepackdrool says: May 17, 2012 3:35 PM

    O Boy. Nothing good comes from suing your boss and still hope to be employed.

  2. Liga Del Tacos Rosa says: May 17, 2012 3:35 PM

    Vilma, are you sure you’ve thought about this completely?

  3. delmonte55 says: May 17, 2012 3:36 PM

    This is going to get messy

  4. paallday says: May 17, 2012 3:37 PM

    Get ‘em, Vilma!

  5. ilovefoolsball says: May 17, 2012 3:39 PM

    HAHAHAHA! Man good ole Commissar stepped in a big ole pile of doggy doo doo now. He’s going to need a fire hose to clean off those expensive dress shoes. I hope he’s ready to get down and dirty and release some of that “damning evidence”.

    On a serious note, I hope this brings him down from that perch that he’s used to justify the ridiculous punishments that he’s handed down with little to no visible proof to back up any of the allegations that he has so recklessly made in the media.

    I guess he will soon realize that this isn’t the “People’s republic of NFL” but the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE operating in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

    Cue the “he doesn’t have to show anything, it’s a private company” tards.

    Well I guess he does now, he sure does.

  6. miles58a says: May 17, 2012 3:39 PM

    Its about time

  7. dobberdubinsky says: May 17, 2012 3:39 PM

    *

  8. lbrad413 says: May 17, 2012 3:40 PM

    As a Saints fan.. This is all we wanted from the beginning… Show us how saints defenders actually went out and “tried to kill gore’s head” and show us how they went after crabtree’s ACL..Having a psycho coach tell the players to do one thing and the players not responding to it does not make them guilty…

  9. sdisme says: May 17, 2012 3:40 PM

    Ok for all you Saints haters.

    This is a complete denial of the bounty program. Try not to misconstrue this as Vilma already admitted guilt.

  10. truthhurtstoo says: May 17, 2012 3:40 PM

    Man… these Aint’s are just digging their hole deeper and deeper… Man Up Already!

  11. veence69 says: May 17, 2012 3:40 PM

    What a worm. And a terrible liar. I’ve lost all respect for Jonathan Vilma.

  12. hawkforlife says: May 17, 2012 3:40 PM

    “or intended to pay” $10,000 ”
    —————————————–
    So on top of everything else he was going to stiff his teammates. Nice.

  13. maxvv says: May 17, 2012 3:40 PM

    Yes. Yes. Awesome. Yes.

  14. rando74 says: May 17, 2012 3:41 PM

    Oh man I hope he wins. That would be fantastic. Goodell is bad for the game.

  15. sonvar says: May 17, 2012 3:41 PM

    If Goodell isn’t willing to reveal the whistleblower I could see Vilma winning this in court

  16. skoobyfl says: May 17, 2012 3:42 PM

    LOL, his unemployment checks will run longer than planned.

  17. skeebo80 says: May 17, 2012 3:42 PM

    Goodell better have some proof and not be messing around

  18. veence69 says: May 17, 2012 3:42 PM

    This lawsuit will eventually lead to depositions, under oath, by other players/coaches/staff in that locker room. It’s going to tear the Saints completely apart.

    What a great teammate you are, Jon.

  19. burgundyandgold says: May 17, 2012 3:44 PM

    Good for him. Goodell is a bully and he needs to be stopped.

  20. rickastleydancemoves says: May 17, 2012 3:44 PM

    Come on Vilma. Roger Goodell is more untouchable than John Gotti.

  21. tigerdactyl says: May 17, 2012 3:44 PM

    The NFL hasn’t gotten any closer to showing us the facts, so Vilma really had no other course of action. If you claim someone is crooked you’d better back it up.

  22. tomtravis76 says: May 17, 2012 3:45 PM

    And the floodgates are open.

    So glad this is happening and Roger will hopefully be put in his place, he is not the face of the league like he has tried to make himself.

  23. gotampabay52 says: May 17, 2012 3:45 PM

    Said he went to my college

  24. captatl says: May 17, 2012 3:46 PM

    Seems like just another step in the Unions process that is alleging Goodell has to much power. Basically it is grandstanding. The CBA is a done deal. The NFL’s attorneys will move to have the suit dismissed by Monday morning on the grounds that the CBA allows Goodell to publically announce player discipline with impunity.

  25. paulitik74 says: May 17, 2012 3:46 PM

    I wonder if if he’s going to sue Nevin Shapiro, the NCAA, and the U too. He took bounties in college too.

    I’m loving this. The delusional folks down on the bayou think it’s”The Saints against the World”. When Vilma unwittingly forces Goodell to release all the evidence and he realizes half of his teammates snitched on him, it’s going to be the “Saints against themselves”.

    Get your popcorn ready, this is going to be fun!

  26. shotgungrampa says: May 17, 2012 3:48 PM

    Vilma. Bite me.

  27. neemdaddy13 says: May 17, 2012 3:49 PM

    Good luck with that one Bounty-Boy!! You may have wanted to wait until the evidence gets released. I am starting to think that Vilma may have played his last NFL game.

  28. dexterismyhero says: May 17, 2012 3:49 PM

    That pic looks like he is going for Goodell’s neck!!

    Or maybe Favre’s head.

  29. thegreatgabbert says: May 17, 2012 3:49 PM

    No, not “Dad”, Jonathan! How could you? Ingrate.

  30. sclement65 says: May 17, 2012 3:49 PM

    This lawsuit will eventually lead to depositions, under oath, by other players/coaches/staff in that locker room. It’s going to tear the Saints completely apart.

    What a great teammate you are, Jon.

    You do understand that not one player or coach has admitted to a bounty program I’d be willing to bet all the players and coaches would love to be able to open up in court where Goddell can’t shut them up with threats of never coaching again in the NFL, they will be required to tell everything.

  31. prior913 says: May 17, 2012 3:50 PM

    Shouldn’t he wait to file a lawsuit claiming defamation of character until after his suspension is removed???

  32. ottograham says: May 17, 2012 3:50 PM

    yeeeeeaaaahhhh buddy… this is about to get really good.

  33. ghostofnflpresent says: May 17, 2012 3:50 PM

    Good Luck Vilma…you were the team captain of Greg Willams’ defense…evidence or not…you helped command a defensive unit that was caught promoting bounties

  34. suhnami says: May 17, 2012 3:51 PM

    im just curious exactly how all of this is possible…wouldn’t the NFLPA have to sue the league on behalf of Vilmas essentially seeing as he is a member of the union and this is a “work” issue??

  35. norseyapper says: May 17, 2012 3:51 PM

    Lawyer ball, great. Lot’s of misdirection, lot’s of double talk, not much else.
    Vilma is sliding on the fence rail and it reminds me of another hearing where a fairly famous guy said, “it depends on what your definition of ‘is’ is.

  36. snowpea84 says: May 17, 2012 3:51 PM

    You would think the players would have had their fill of bad ideas after trying to strike. I guess you really can’t teach common sense.

  37. chawbaw says: May 17, 2012 3:51 PM

    I wouldn’t say it came out of the blue. He didnt like what the comish had to say during appeals.

    If Vilma does win, your gonna look at a list of players lining up to sue. Harrison will be the first.

  38. pftcensorssuck says: May 17, 2012 3:51 PM

    Here we go, the gloves will be coming off!

    Does anyone remotely think Gooddell doesn’t have the goods on Vilma, to have made the decision he did?

  39. miles58a says: May 17, 2012 3:51 PM

    hawkforlife Never “pledged” means never offered

  40. chiadam says: May 17, 2012 3:51 PM

    Good idea. Now he can lose a year’s salary AND a few mill for the attorneys needed to take on the NFL legal machine.

  41. myopinionisrighterthanyours says: May 17, 2012 3:52 PM

    Some would argue that Vilma’s already lost since he has no character to defame.

    Seriously, though, hopefully this will force the NFL to lay their cards on the table sooner rather than later. Vilma just better hope the NFL doesn’t have a Royal Flush.

  42. bucrightoff says: May 17, 2012 3:53 PM

    When this suit fails, we can expect the lifetime ban to be dropped on this dirty cheater. Good riddance.

  43. mikev65 says: May 17, 2012 3:54 PM

    You are right on the money, the guys that runs this doesn’t like anyone mentioning that, look out….

  44. racerx1225 says: May 17, 2012 3:54 PM

    The hell with Goodell! Go Vilma! Its about time somebody stuck up for themselves and got in this a$$holes face. Fuk Goodell.

  45. dvdman123 says: May 17, 2012 3:54 PM

    Goodell is not Vilma’s boss. Anyway Al Davis sued the NFL and won so don’t laugh at this lawsuit.

  46. racerx1225 says: May 17, 2012 3:55 PM

    I hope more people sue him and the league for that matter. They are ruining our past time.

  47. jimbo75025 says: May 17, 2012 3:55 PM

    bearsrulepackdrool says:May 17, 2012 3:35 PM

    O Boy. Nothing good comes from suing your boss and still hope to be employed.
    ______________

    Yup. Like it or not there are only 32 employers and they are all interconnected at some point. Teams will be very leary to givw this guy a contract. Aging middle linebacker. Anyone know how this impacts his contract-I mean baed on timeline years or years actually playing? I know NO has him under contract for 2 years but does the suspension year count? Say if he plays in 2013 would that be the end of the contract

  48. tmar1961 says: May 17, 2012 3:55 PM

    Well its about time someone stood up and punched the bully in the nose. I hope this eventually leads to the removal of Goodell and the restoration of the NFL that we all knew and loved. The radical decisions and penalties of Goodell and his unchecked power over the NFL needs to be stopped and hopefully this will be the first step. Kudos to Vilma for punching the bully in the nose.

  49. johnnycamparm says: May 17, 2012 3:55 PM

    Drew Brees is “frustrated”, wants an “explanation”.

  50. nflhof says: May 17, 2012 3:56 PM

    This should get Vilma on the field real soon.

  51. yssupasigninnamnotyep says: May 17, 2012 3:56 PM

    All you Goodell bashers act like he did this all on his own. Found out about it on his own, investigated it on his own, created the punishments on his own.

    You idiots need to realize he has a very large team of investigators and lawyers that have found undeniable evidence not only from players, but Gregg Williams himself.

    I will agree that the NFL needs to release the evidence providing proof beyond a reasonable doubt…but you morons need to stop bashing Goodell.

    Vilma brought this on himself, and he just needs to serve his suspension and shut up already.

  52. eagleswin says: May 17, 2012 3:56 PM

    May 17, 2012 3:42 PM

    This lawsuit will eventually lead to depositions, under oath, by other players/coaches/staff in that locker room. It’s going to tear the Saints completely apart.

    What a great teammate you are, Jon.

    ——————————

    Bingo. People who might’ve thought twice about coming completely clean to goodell will most likely spill their guts under threat of perjury. Can you imagine players having to miss training camp or game time because they have to be in court to testify?

    If this goes to court this ends badly for the Saints, not for Goodell. He doesn’t need to show the rest of his evidence to the court, all he needs to show is that one person heard Vilma say what he said and it gives him the NFL lawyers the power to depose anyone and everyone on the Saints staff/players that they choose.

  53. benh999 says: May 17, 2012 3:57 PM

    LOLOL @ THAT

  54. thegreatgabbert says: May 17, 2012 3:57 PM

    Goodell’s countersuit against the Stains will be for “defecation”.

  55. beastup22 says: May 17, 2012 3:57 PM

    Fire Goodell

  56. steviekthr3e says: May 17, 2012 3:58 PM

    the NFL is all the reality tv I need, thanks.

  57. TSizzleBallSoHard says: May 17, 2012 3:59 PM

    Get your popcorn ready.

  58. musicman495 says: May 17, 2012 3:59 PM

    Now we are getting somewhere. Someone is lying or bluffing regarding the evidence in this case, and my guess is that it is not Jonathan Vilma.

  59. iknowurider72 says: May 17, 2012 3:59 PM

    anyone want to bet they have Vilma on audio offering up the $10k?

  60. blizzard01 says: May 17, 2012 4:00 PM

    What character?

  61. kathyisintheroom says: May 17, 2012 4:00 PM

    bout damn time!!!!
    I’ve been waiting for the lawsuits to start flying against the Gestapo.

    Lying, fabricating, distorting and misleading. Those are everything he has done and said regarding the so-called imaginary “bountygate”

    Waiting for more suits to follow against Goodell the fraud

  62. hulkhogansays says: May 17, 2012 4:00 PM

    I’d rather work for McMahon again then to ever work for Godell brother. At least the latter tells me BS to my face then that two face clown Goodell.

  63. RavenzGunnerz says: May 17, 2012 4:00 PM

    Innocent until proven guilty.

  64. timbuttrum says: May 17, 2012 4:01 PM

    Come on Vilma. Roger Goodell is more untouchable than John Gotti

    ———————————————–

    I beg to differ…..

    Signed,

    Rudy Guiliani

  65. hedleykow says: May 17, 2012 4:02 PM

    Nothing has changed. Vilma’s lawyers suckered the poor guy into going this route, in which Vilma’s reward will be a big fat bill from his lawyers.

  66. electionconfidential says: May 17, 2012 4:02 PM

    Vilma is outgunned…

  67. musicman495 says: May 17, 2012 4:02 PM

    pftcensorssuck says: May 17, 2012 3:51 PM

    Here we go, the gloves will be coming off!

    Does anyone remotely think Gooddell doesn’t have the goods on Vilma, to have made the decision he did?
    —————————————–
    My hand is up.

  68. patfic15 says: May 17, 2012 4:02 PM

    If Goodell wins, will we see one of those marvelous handshakes with his attorney’s?

  69. shrike3000 says: May 17, 2012 4:04 PM

    Good on ya Jon! Goodell has overplayed his hand and just got caught with a pair of deuces when he made everyone think he had a Royal Flush! (callback to previous comment)

  70. sonnyboychris says: May 17, 2012 4:05 PM

    Im glad that he’s standing up for himself. Take the process to a real court, not Goddells tyrannical land.

  71. shrike3000 says: May 17, 2012 4:05 PM

    @iknowurider72

    I would take that bet in an instant. I would bet $10k in fact. If they had that they would release it. Period. They would have absolutely no reason not too.

  72. nyfcat says: May 17, 2012 4:07 PM

    Watch Goodell walk into the room, throw down 100 pages of evidence against Vilma, not say a word, turn around and walk right out.

  73. threedeep1998 says: May 17, 2012 4:07 PM

    If its in Louisiana court the jury could maybe be slightly biased.

  74. sportsinhd says: May 17, 2012 4:07 PM

    Don’t we all say stupid things in the heat of the moment? How many of you pledged to love a girl forever only to leave her the following week? How many of you have made a stupid threat about a politician under your breath to your friends? So Vilma in the heat of the moment yelled “10 grand to whoever can knock Favre’s head off!” and it’s suddenly a bounty program?

    Get off your high horses.

    Goodell and the league have to prove that bounties were actually paid by the players for any of these suspensions to make sense. Otherwise he’s just punishing a bunch of gasbags for talking.

  75. northeastkiller says: May 17, 2012 4:08 PM

    Uh oh Spaghetti-Os, Roger “just trust me” Goodell.

  76. realitypolice says: May 17, 2012 4:10 PM

    On one hand, extremely savvy move by Vilma and his lawyers. Goodell will absolutely be required to turn over all evidence now to prove there was a basis for Goodell’s claims.

    On the other hand, I hope Vilma realizes that he just ended his career.

  77. rcali says: May 17, 2012 4:10 PM

    Now this is entertaining. Didn’t see that one coming did you Goodell?

  78. falconsfan says: May 17, 2012 4:12 PM

    Somebody has been sitting around the house too long watching those 1-800-Lawyer commercials…. this is a bad move by Vilma. IF Vilma loses this case and there’s evidence he DID offer a bounty on opposing players he’s opening himself up directly to lawsuits himself.

    Appeal the suspension, wait for the evidence in support of the bounty program THEN sue, not the other way around.

  79. cliffordc05 says: May 17, 2012 4:13 PM

    For a guy who may not be collecting a paycheck this year, it is nice to see that he has plenty of money to waste on a frivolous lawsuit. He is getting screwed with bad advice from his lawyer.

  80. jwcarlson says: May 17, 2012 4:13 PM

    ilovefoolsball says:
    May 17, 2012 3:39 PM
    HAHAHAHA! Man good ole Commissar stepped in a big ole pile of doggy doo doo now. He’s going to need a fire hose to clean off those expensive dress shoes. I hope he’s ready to get down and dirty and release some of that “damning evidence”.

    On a serious note, I hope this brings him down from that perch that he’s used to justify the ridiculous punishments that he’s handed down with little to no visible proof to back up any of the allegations that he has so recklessly made in the media.

    I guess he will soon realize that this isn’t the “People’s republic of NFL” but the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE operating in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

    Cue the “he doesn’t have to show anything, it’s a private company” tards.

    Well I guess he does now, he sure does.
    ————————————————

    Let’s get rid of the NFLPA then, I’m all for that!

  81. rockthered1286 says: May 17, 2012 4:15 PM

    So in suing Goddell and calling him out as a liar, if Goddell wins this case, I’m thinking he should counter-sue Vilma for the same charge of defamation of character.

    Goody didn’t act on his own here, he had investigators, a committee and other influence presenting him with information. Let the people involved speak up and I’m thinking Vilma is gonna be eating crow very soon…

  82. vikings1979 says: May 17, 2012 4:15 PM

    I like it…what’s he got to lose? Either Goodell comes out and shows what he knows and Vilma walks away no worse than his now or Vilma actually wins and he gets to tell everyone, “look at me now, look at me now.”

  83. jimw81 says: May 17, 2012 4:16 PM

    May 17, 2012 3:42 PM

    This lawsuit will eventually lead to depositions, under oath, by other players/coaches/staff in that locker room. It’s going to tear the Saints completely apart.

    What a great teammate you are, Jon.

    ——————————

    Bingo. People who might’ve thought twice about coming completely clean to goodell will most likely spill their guts under threat of perjury. Can you imagine players having to miss training camp or game time because they have to be in court to testify?

    If this goes to court this ends badly for the Saints, not for Goodell. He doesn’t need to show the rest of his evidence to the court, all he needs to show is that one person heard Vilma say what he said and it gives him the NFL lawyers the power to depose anyone and everyone on the Saints staff/players that they choose.

    ——————————

    That includes the owner of the team, Tom Benson, I would love to hear under oath of what he knew. If he force to testify under oath, he could be in serious trouble. I wonder if NFLPA had a role in this lawsuit.

  84. peachyc39 says: May 17, 2012 4:16 PM

    Well was nice knowing ya in the NFL Vilma…oh boy!

  85. peachyc39 says: May 17, 2012 4:19 PM

    Funny…don’t recall the coaches doing this..You would think that if any one would have the balls to do this it would be Sean… C’mon man!

  86. steelgrave says: May 17, 2012 4:21 PM

    I wonder if Vilma realizes that the truth is considered to be a defense in a defamation lawsuit? And that Goodell has a fairly low standard of proof in order to prevail in court?

    And I love the Saints, but all you Saints defenders who are taking the commissioner to task for trying to clean up the league have blinders on. I’m sorry it’s the Saints who got caught up in this mess, but a lot of you would be singing a different tune if it was the Raiders or Steelers or some team that you weren’t a fan of. Don’t be such homers that you can’t see an honest attempt to make the league safer as a bad thing. Because if the commish fails here, what do you think is going to happen to the sport we love when the former players who are suing for old concussion injuries prevail? At least Roger is trying to be proactive and protect the NFL from the lawyers waiting to pick the bones clean.

  87. tomtravis76 says: May 17, 2012 4:26 PM

    or as “yssupasigninnamnotyep” is trying to say, “LEAVE ROGER ALONE…please…LEAVE ROGER ALONE.”

  88. rickrock6661982 says: May 17, 2012 4:26 PM

    You Big Dummy

    Signed,

    Fred G. Sanford

  89. vikes8480 says: May 17, 2012 4:27 PM

    The Saints players who are appealing the suspensions, Vilma and the NFLPA all need to drop the issue.

    Do people really think that Goodell wanted to punish the Saints? They were the darlings of the NFL and a cinderella story after Katrina. No doubt the NFL wanted them to win the Super Bowl above all other teams that year and it was blatantly obvious. I guarantee that Goodell punished the Saints to this extent only because he HAD to because their actions and the results of the investigation were so overwhelming that something HAD to be done.

    Keep forcing the NFL’s hand to show the evidence and you can bet the evidence is going to be substantial and shocking and will leave a mark on the NFL and the Saints championship (if it hasn’t all ready).

    Some things are better left alone and the Saints and the NFLPA need to shut their mouths and accept their punishment before the NFL has to drop the bomb and release evidence that will seriously scar the game for fans of all teams. It’s over, accept your punishment and move on.

  90. musicman495 says: May 17, 2012 4:27 PM

    If this goes to court this ends badly for the Saints, not for Goodell. He doesn’t need to show the rest of his evidence to the court, all he needs to show is that one person heard Vilma say what he said and it gives him the NFL lawyers the power to depose anyone and everyone on the Saints staff/players that they choose.
    ————————————
    No, that is called heresay, and all it would show is that one person SAYS he heard Vilma say something. In court, the league has to PROVE that what it uncovered is true. And it also gives Vilma’s lawyers the power to depose Goodell and his supposed witnesses.

    My guess is that Goodell settles the case without ever revealing how flimsy his evidence actually is, or because he does not want anyone to know that the league’s investigation actually showed that dozens of players and teams did the exact same thing, which exposes the league to huge legal liability in the “concussion” lawsuits.

  91. bucs13 says: May 17, 2012 4:28 PM

    My guess is that Vilma is getting bad advice.

    First, the extensive discovery won’t be against the NFL, it will be against Vilma and others in the Saints organization. This could make matters much, much worse.

    Second, Vilma is a public figure, and this is a matter of public concern. While truth is a defense to defamation, so is the First Amendment. In this case, Vilma would have to show Goddell acted with actual malice. This means that Vilma must prove that Goddell acted maliciously, or with a reckless disregard for the truth. Even if he didn’t do the things Goddell alleged, he likely still won’t win. (This is why you rarely see public figures file defamation suits, even over fairly outlandish lies).

  92. jakek2 says: May 17, 2012 4:28 PM

    GOOD FOR VILMA!

  93. angrycorgi says: May 17, 2012 4:29 PM

    So can Jerry Jones and Dan Snyder sue Goodell and Mara for saying crap about them violating rules that didn’t exist? Let’s do it!!

  94. buddybowl69 says: May 17, 2012 4:29 PM

    threedeep1998 says:
    May 17, 2012 4:07 PM
    If its in Louisiana court the jury could maybe be slightly biased.
    =================

    Yes, move it to Minnesota or Arizona.

  95. dcalisto1 says: May 17, 2012 4:30 PM

    I can’t believe how stupid you people are for even remotely thinking this will affect Goodell. First of all HE IS AN ATTORNEY and a pretty damned good one. Do you not have a clue that he and his team of NFL lawyers are already 10 steps ahead of these guys! Do you think quite possibly someone said to Roger, “Hey, what if one of these guys sues us?” Open your eyes people!

    Quite frankly, Goodell has anticipated being sued all along. And remember, the OWNERS love the guy. He makes them richer. Why would they want to let him go?

  96. saintsfan26 says: May 17, 2012 4:32 PM

    Like i have said from the beginning. Being a private company is fine and all, but when you make all of these accusations in PUBLIC, defamate someone’s character in PUBLIC, ruin their reputation in PUBLIC, then you are stepping into a whole different area. Vilma is fighting for his own personal reputation. Goodell better have his “ducks in a row”.

    Goodell you idiot. You picked the wrong team to punish for you ulterior motive. You shoulda picked a team like the Jaguars or somebody who wouldnt have fought back like this. You are now going straight into the heart of the Who Dat Nation to fight the Black & Gold. Pssst Hey goodell, we are undefeated at home bro ;)

  97. scytherius says: May 17, 2012 4:33 PM

    Good. Smart move.

    And I am still AMAZED by the ignorance of the non-lawyers here who suggest, or outright say, he can get fired for this. Ppl made the same pro-management whine back in the day when the leagues were sued to let underclassmen play.

    Sad that ppl just can’t find the time to get an education.

  98. mornelithe says: May 17, 2012 4:33 PM

    Now the NFL will be required to disclose their evidence, however, it will not be put upon a table anyone can see, and it will only be disclosed to the individuals in Vilma v Goodell case. And I think it’s a pretty safe bet that the proceedings will be sealed to the media and the public.

  99. myeaglescantwin says: May 17, 2012 4:34 PM

    you cant seriously like Gdell.

    i mean, i fully support these suspensions.

    but Roger is making our sport completely lame. From the increased TV timeouts, to all these “defenseless player” penalties.. NO ONE IS DEFENSELESS,,ITS THE NFL.

    players made a name for themselves by being tough enough to go across the middle and hold the ball. Now its a bunch of pansy calls and laundry flying all over the field.

    (off topic but Roger is a tool)

  100. bearsandjazz says: May 17, 2012 4:34 PM

    Goodell…only the football purists, those who understand and love the game for what it is support you. Everyone else is nothing more than idiot fans who cant see past losses in a 16 game season. The NFL and Goodell did not make up this whole story just up to fry 1 guy. Everyone wants the smoking gun, circumstantial evidence is enough to put criminals away in our court systems but not enough to warrant a suspension when the evidence announced is enough to prove something happened. Wake up people you can’t have it both ways. The NFL can’t be a viable entity if they don’t enforce rules. Nobody ever admits to wrong doing when they are caught. Vilma is a coward, everyone who defends him is a coward. I never cared to see the evidence but now I hope Goodell shows his hand…sits back kicks up his feet and whispers….you want it? You got it! I can’t wait for the evidence that will shut Vilma up and shut you stupid fans up. It’s one thing to love and support your team but to be oblivious to facts and circumstances etc is just embarrassing. You fans defending this clown are going to eat your words one day.

  101. iseek11 says: May 17, 2012 4:37 PM

    It’s one thing to make a mistake. Even one you are too embarrassed to admit. But these guys are betting that Goodell is more afraid of the firestorm that would erupt and possible Congressional investigation that could follow if all the details became public.

    Right now Vilma has nothing more to lose (anyone who thinks no team will give him a job later is naive). If he loses his bid, he simply has to live out the penalty already imposed. If he is successful, then Goodell backs down and reduces the penalty. No downside.

    I think Goodell should sit these guys down behind closed doors and tell them that the reason for the penalty imposed is for not just the bounties themselves, but also the denials/lies when confronted and refusal to stop afterwards. He should then follow by informing them that if they persist in denying/lying and bring further embarrassment on the league by forcing the facts that they already know to be true to be made public, then further penalties will be issued.

    If this goes to trial, not just players, coaches, investigators, front office and league officials will be made to testify under oath, but also parents, children, friends, agents, ballboys, or anyone else who may have heard or seen anything will be forced to testify. It will become a spectacle like the MLB steroid investigation or Michael Vick’s FBI investigation. The penalty for denying/lying then will be prison for perjury and obstruction of justice.

    In the beginning, I wanted this all to go away as soon as possible. Now I want to see these guys brought down for their lies and cowardice. They were man enough to do it, but not man enough to own up.

  102. rpkllc says: May 17, 2012 4:40 PM

    This lawsuit wont cost Vilma a dime. Go look up contingency in the dictionary. His attorney will be the big loser if Vilma does not prevail.

  103. saintsfan26 says: May 17, 2012 4:41 PM

    Hey bucs: did it ever occur to you that all of the Saints are innocent? There was no bounty program!!!!

  104. gallogj says: May 17, 2012 4:43 PM

    The fact that Goodell is acting in an official capacity as Commissioner using the information that was supplied to him in that capacity…he’ll never be forced to pay damages. Sorta like trying to sue a police officer for calling you a bum. Vilma should have sued the NFL…he’d have a better chance than to seek personal damages from Goodell. He can always hide behind his position in good faith.

  105. ksm31311 says: May 17, 2012 4:44 PM

    If there is no evidence then why did Payton and Williams apologize:

    Payton – “Sean Payton apologized Friday for the bounty system under which Saints players were offered payouts for big hits on opponents, saying he takes “full responsibility” for the program that operated for three years under his watch.”

    Williams – “In a new statement, Williams does not argue with the terms of the suspension and says, ”I accept full responsibility for my actions.”

    Williams says he will cooperate with the league and its ongoing investigation, and said he’ll serve as an advocate for player safety and sportsmanship.”

    Godell may have some issues but I have to believe that he would not have overstepped his authority without getting a legal opinion.

    Just like in the lockout, my money is on the NFL to win this one…

  106. rpkllc says: May 17, 2012 4:44 PM

    Perhaps Godell will claim that all of the evidence was destroyed, just like those from Spygate.

  107. rbirving says: May 17, 2012 4:44 PM

    It’s amazing how many here think that Roger is a lone wolf acting as a tyrant. He’s supported by a super majority of the owners. Without it, he wouldn’t hold down the job.

    I’m not sure Vilma would have found a team to play for, for any sizeable amount. This could be a big paycheck for him, but I seriously doubt this case will ever see the light of day. It will be settled in a dark room with a bunch of lawyers gangbanging the NFL’s checkbook.

  108. lolb23 says: May 17, 2012 4:48 PM

    Vilma really thinks he is suing Goodell for “the information”. He’s just not a good reader, or speller.

  109. ejmat2 says: May 17, 2012 4:48 PM

    LOL. I have a question. How did Goodell lie about Vilma when he hasn’t made the evidence public? Isn’t that the complaint of the Saints and their fans? Am I missing something?

  110. ikoikofinanay says: May 17, 2012 4:48 PM

    You think WE’RE morons, yssupasigninnamnotyep? It seems there are morons a plenty, but they’re not the ones fighting unproven allegations. The morons are those like you who would defend the the guy who trotted out these sentences hoping it’ll look like he’s trying ever so hard to protect the players…against themselves.

    Goodell has a team alright, but the dream team lost themselves in their accustomed power. They’re not used to being challenged, especially since Payton & Vitt bent over, hoping to get a reduction in their ridiculous suspensions. When the coaches executed their only right, an appeal to the king of morons, Goodell, they had no other recourse. But the players have a union, thank goodness.

    The NFL will be defending themselves for quite some time. They better sell a lot of jerseys because this is going to cost them PLENTY!!

  111. dzor22 says: May 17, 2012 4:49 PM

    I’ll take Goodell over Vilma. KO in the 4th! All you Goodell haters…you do understand that the NFL is ‘successful’? He is NOT ruining the game for protecting its players and interests. Of course you’d rather have Vilma to run his own show. Goodell didn’t make this stuff up. You’re fooling yourself if you think so. Get the popcorn!

  112. broncobrewer says: May 17, 2012 4:51 PM

    I was hoping the coaches would do this. Go get him. Everyone know the NFL is covering something

  113. vikes8480 says: May 17, 2012 4:52 PM

    saintsfan26

    The wrong team to mess with?

    The last thing you or any other true Saints want is for the “Who Dat Nation” to keep pushing and challenging Goodell until the league has to release the evidence. Evidence that would surely put an asterisk on the Taints SB Trophy.

    Goodell and the NFL wanted the Saints to win the Super Bowl. I’m sure it really chapped him to have to punish them for the bounty crap but he had to because the evidence from the investigation left him no choice.

    Mark my words, this won’t turn out good for the Saints, their fans or the NFL in general if the league releases the evidence to the public.

  114. renhoekk2 says: May 17, 2012 4:56 PM

    A lot people posting stuff on these bounty threads to the effect the Goodell has complete authority to rule whatever he wants. Not so. As a company operating in the United States, US federal employment regulations still apply. Which means Vilma can sue his employer for any reason he feels justified for doing so. Since the NFL has been successful in making a monopoly of the sport, they have to be careful in restricting someone’s opportunity for income as it applies to the league. If a guy gets cut because he’s not good enough to play that is one thing. But suspending a guy for a year with out producing any evidence of wrong doing is another thing.
    It would be no different than your employer firing you for allegedly watching inappropriate videos on your work pc. But you never did. You ask who made the claims and what evidence they have and they tell you it doesn’t matter you don’t need to know. You can sue for wrongful termination if you are actually innocent. Goodell is no different than the HR dept at your job. They have been given complete authority to rule on your status as an employee. They can suspend you or put you on probation with no real appeals process. But they can’t accuse of wrongdoing without offering up some sort of evidence. And if the evidence they are claiming to have is the least bit shady then you can sue to get your job back. Just like Vilma.

  115. briang123 says: May 17, 2012 4:57 PM

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Kommissar Goodell thought he could just act like an East German apparatchik forever, unanswerable to anyone.

  116. bucs13 says: May 17, 2012 4:59 PM

    “Hey bucs: did it ever occur to you that all of the Saints are innocent? There was no bounty program!!!!”

    It doesn’t bother me one way or the other. I was just pointing out that there is a high bar to defamation suits involving public figures in a matter of public concern. Even if (and to me, that a pretty big *if* given what we know) the Saints and Vilma are completely innocent, then:

    1. The *Plaintiff* must prove the statement is false (note- the burden is not of Goddell to show the statement is true, although he can use discovery to dig around);

    2. Actual malice (as I wrote above) is required. Briefly put, Vilma has to (in non legalese) pretty much show that Goddell intentionally lied in order to harm Vilma.

  117. saintsfan26 says: May 17, 2012 5:01 PM

    We want the evidence!! Duh! The NFL and the Media and fans like YOURSELVES have already labeled the Saints as some barbaric disgusting human beings! Ok we will accept that when you show us the PROOF!!!

  118. bonato55 says: May 17, 2012 5:02 PM

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME, VILMA IS TRYING TO FIGHT A BATTLE HE JUST WILL NEVER WIN… WRONG OR RIGHT HE LOSES THIS ONE, THE COMMISSIONER COME ONNNNN!

  119. bucs13 says: May 17, 2012 5:04 PM

    “It would be no different than your employer firing you for allegedly watching inappropriate videos on your work pc. But you never did. You ask who made the claims and what evidence they have and they tell you it doesn’t matter you don’t need to know. You can sue for wrongful termination if you are actually innocent.”

    Nope. Unless you’re a union member. If you work in the usual at-will job, without a contract, the employer can terminate you for any reason they want to, so long as it isn’t specifically prohibited by law (race, gender, use of FMLA or worker’s compensation etc.).

    The only reason Vilma has any protection or rights is because he is a union member. (The companion, of course, is that the NFL can artificially restrict salaries pursuant to the CBA).

  120. whodatgirl1 says: May 17, 2012 5:06 PM

    I think when he used the word “intended” he was mirroring the words Goodell used.

  121. cuda1234 says: May 17, 2012 5:09 PM

    Vima doesn’t think he did anything wrong because he’s doing what he’s ALWAYS done, at the college and HS level in Miami. Its not his fault. He’s the real victim here.

  122. effedinLA says: May 17, 2012 5:09 PM

    I’m not calling anyone stupid here but some of you act like Godell went out and made this all up. Like he wanted to hurt the Saints and some of their players and coaches. The LAST thing Godell wanted was this to go public. He would have preferred that the Saints just stopped their defensive incentive program but, apparently they did not. So, the Saints forced him to make an example of an organization that plays by their own rules and defies the request of the commissioner to obey the rules. Godell is the last one who wanted to make a big deal about this. His desire is to keep the NFL’s image as clean as possible.
    The Saints forced him into it.

  123. hatesycophants says: May 17, 2012 5:09 PM

    The one thing we know for certain is that Vilma has a great attorney. Excellent move.

  124. besdayz says: May 17, 2012 5:14 PM

    This guarantees a few things. First Vilma will play this year.
    Second it suggests that the truth on the players and Saints side. You usually say to someone that if they are truly unhappy about an outcome and aren’t afraid of the truth, then sue. This along with the NFL writing all the statements, releasing manipulated evidence and cherry picking suggests the NFL is in a lot of trouble in the eyes of the law.

    This will galvanize further the New Orleans team and base. Will win over a lot of non saints players (ie those that want Goodell to go down which is probably 50-75 % of the players).

    Now we understand why coaches didn’t react to their punishment with opposition. They simply don’t have the legal mechanism the players have with unions. And they probably did run some kind of pay for performance program, not exactly a bounty gate, but something that was wrong.

    This will ask the question why were the saints the only ones singled out? When you attack the players individually you can’t get away with selective prosecution as you can with just the team.

    In this case, Kill the head and the body will live.

  125. lawyermalloy says: May 17, 2012 5:16 PM

    Of course discovery in the civil case will not occur until after Vilma’s suspension is complete.
    By filing a civil cause of action for the obvious purpose to gain leverage in an EXCLUSIVELY Labor issue( per the CBA) I expect league attorneys fees to be ordered against Vilma for filing a frivolious claim.

  126. mojodoa says: May 17, 2012 5:17 PM

    So, I guess we’ll find out if Shockey was the snitch after all.
    Let’s finally have some transparency in this matter, Godell if you have proof then put up or otherwise pay up.

  127. saintsfan26 says: May 17, 2012 5:18 PM

    EffedinLA you are Effedinthe Head! If Goodell didnt want this to go public then why did Vilma hear about his suspension by watching ESPN?

    This was a designed witch hunt by Goodell and the SHEEP like yourself just followed right along!

  128. rajbais says: May 17, 2012 5:19 PM

    This might be more entertaining than any one of Jonathan Vilma’s tackles!!!

  129. realdealsteel says: May 17, 2012 5:19 PM

    Good for Mr. Vilma

    Because Roger (Adolph Hitler) Goodall has no on the field proof of Vilma hurting anyone! Talk is just that…………TALK!

    In the end, Roger will end up giving Vilma all the money he missed for the upcoming season. And then some.

    Again for all the supporters of these bounty punishments:THERE IS NO ON THE FIELD PROOF WHATSOEVER of Vilma hurting anyone for pay.

  130. dublindemonszfl says: May 17, 2012 5:24 PM

    What a bunch of idiots, Goodell also fined the Redskins and the Cowboys, they got better lawyers than Vilma. You think Goodell hasn’t thought this thru? Vilma is a dummy, and the dummy found a greedy lawyer to take his money. Vilma will be broke 3 years after football, not because he paid bounties.

  131. papaweedandtrich says: May 17, 2012 5:28 PM

    suhnami says: May 17, 2012 3:51 PM

    im just curious exactly how all of this is possible…wouldn’t the NFLPA have to sue the league on behalf of Vilmas essentially seeing as he is a member of the union and this is a “work” issue??

    It ceased being a work issue when Goodell spoke publicly about it. Had he just gave out the suspensions and contacted the players privately, he wouldn’t be in this mess. Bounty or not, you don’t suspend your employees thru ESPN.

  132. besdayz says: May 17, 2012 5:28 PM

    This is what happens when you go on all with a pair of sixes. And the opponent calls your semi-bluff..

    Goodell will be ousted I hope as the outcome from all this.
    The nfl will be better off..

  133. bucs13 says: May 17, 2012 5:29 PM

    “This guarantees a few things.”

    This guarantees nothing. Do you know what a complaint means? That someone had a filing fee. Attorneys take a really skeptical view of defamation claims in general, and public figure/public concern defamation claims in particular, for a reason. There may be a strategy his attorney is pursuing that this advances, but for the life of me, I can’t figure it out.

    “This will ask the question why were the saints the only ones singled out?”

    Based on what I’ve heard, my assumption has been that the reason they were singled out is because there was an investigation, they lied and performed a coverup, there was a whistleblower which required further investigation, that investigation was more fruitful, and the release of the audiotape prior to the 49ers game pretty much sealed the deal in terms of public opprobrium. Combine that with the general backdrop of “player safety”? That’s my understanding. What’s yours?

  134. vikingamericann says: May 17, 2012 5:34 PM

    I speak for all Vikings fans when I say Goodell screwed us with the Starcaps nonsense, and Saints fans came to our defense. We Viking fans support Vilma and the Saints in their endeavors to clear their reputation which was wrongly tarnished by Goodell.

  135. veence69 says: May 17, 2012 5:35 PM

    sclement65 says: May 17, 2012 3:49 PM

    You do understand that not one player or coach has admitted to a bounty program.

    _______________

    Are you new to this story, or just the internet altogether..? Wow.

  136. bearsandjazz says: May 17, 2012 5:38 PM

    Realdealsteel—I’m glad you know more than the rest of the world what evidence they do have and how viable the evidence is. Gla that you can state facts without knowing the facts. Makes you a very cedible individual. Cowardly cowardly cowardly idiots like you make the world a bad place. Something happened and. Onside ring thy ha the nes of 22 players and suspended 4 means they had evidence enough to only warrant a suspension for 4 players. When it all comes out and proves Vilma is a lying i hope you can crawl back In that conspiracy hole and lose yourself, you would be doing the world a favor.

  137. veence69 says: May 17, 2012 5:39 PM

    realdealsteel says: May 17, 2012 5:19 PM

    Because Roger (Adolph Hitler) Goodall…

    _________

    It’s always the smartest man in the room that invokes “Adolph Hitler” and compares him to someone he disagrees with.. *dismissive wank*

    I’m guessing you drink a lot of TEA.

  138. goodellsadouche says: May 17, 2012 5:42 PM

    Does anyone find the fact that the lead investigator for the NFL resigned a couple of weeks ago??? They don’t walk away from the table right before they get to be seen as Champions of Right and Virtue.

  139. mogogo1 says: May 17, 2012 5:44 PM

    So, his case is going to revolve around him being so cheap that he intended to stiff his teammates even though he’d told them he’d pay?

  140. granadafan says: May 17, 2012 5:48 PM

    Vilma is getting some REALLY REALLY bad advice from some people and/or his lawyer. It’s one thing to deny what you did for public relations purposes and spin jobs, but to take it the step further and sue Goodell is just a terrible idea. It sounds like this is 100% a PR stunt.

  141. silentcount says: May 17, 2012 5:52 PM

    There’s a good reason why the NFL’s lead investigator resigned. He knew there wasn’t any kind of evidence that would could pass cross examination. He probably told Goodell, “If you’re actually going through with this, I’m outta here. You think you can mess with a guy like Jon Vilma, but trust me, you’ll most certainly lose!”

  142. bozosforall says: May 17, 2012 5:53 PM

    besdayz says:
    May 17, 2012 5:28 PM
    This is what happens when you go on all with a pair of sixes. And the opponent calls your semi-bluff..

    Goodell will be ousted I hope as the outcome from all this.
    The nfl will be better off..

    __
    Why would the NFL oust their hand-picked puppet?

  143. besdayz says: May 17, 2012 5:54 PM

    5 yrs from now Law and Order will do an episode on this case.
    Goodell will play himself and when he gets called on his bluff he shoots himself in the end, end of episode.

  144. nypd1056 says: May 17, 2012 5:55 PM

    Do all you drug store lawyers really think Roger Goodall did not have his battery of attorneys check every piece of evidence they had before he made any statemenrs or doled out any punishment.

  145. lnfinite says: May 17, 2012 6:01 PM

    Singular activity is not going to end well for Vilma. When the outcome is shown it will only show Vilma bit the hand that fed him.

  146. vikingamericann says: May 17, 2012 6:06 PM

    effedinLA | May 17, 2012, 5:09 PM EDT
    I’m not calling anyone stupid here but some of you act like Godell went out and made this all up. Like he wanted to hurt the Saints and some of their players and coaches. The LAST thing Godell wanted was this to go public. He would have preferred that the Saints just stopped their defensive incentive program but, apparently they did not. So, the Saints forced him to make an example of an organization that plays by their own rules and defies the request of the commissioner to obey the rules. Godell is the last one who wanted to make a big deal about this. His desire is to keep the NFL’s image as clean as possible.
    The Saints forced him into it.

    There is one major flaw in your theory. Typical the NFL comes out of nowhere announces the consequences then moves on. Just like the handled Washington and Dallas earlier this year. In the case of the Saints the NFL announced a Bounty in a press release ( inflammatory language for publicity perhaps) then waited weeks before announcing the coaches penalties. Then kept the story alive by dangling 22 to 27 players involved before suspending for. This does not sound like something the NFL did not want publicized.

  147. jason1980 says: May 17, 2012 6:08 PM

    It would surely be interesting if some of you haters knew what the hell y’all were talking about. God, it feels good to be a Saints fan!! Just knowing the fear we put into NFL fans is worth all the upheaval this offseason has spurned.

  148. nolarules says: May 17, 2012 6:14 PM

    all of you claiming that Goodell did not want all of this to go public are just WRONG. Goodell wanted this public. if he wanted it to be handled privately, he would have. But he WANTS this public. And the reason can be found by simply googling: NFL concussion lawsuits.
    As a Saints fan, I just want all of this to go away but that is far from happening. At least all of the cards will possibly be on the table. We Saints fans can see whether the NFL is full of it and wanted a fall guy in the face of all of these lawsuits or if our favorite team was really up to this horrible stuff they have already been convicted of.

  149. peachyc39 says: May 17, 2012 6:16 PM

    I wonder…can a player be fired from the NFL without cause? You know like it is in some states you can be fired for no reason at all at any time. Just curious about what Vilma’s chances would be to be able to return after all this stuff.

  150. peachyc39 says: May 17, 2012 6:17 PM

    Although there is plenty of cause here…just sayin

  151. sdisme says: May 17, 2012 6:25 PM

    “nypd1056 says:
    May 17, 2012 5:55 PM
    Do all you drug store lawyers really think Roger Goodall did not have his battery of attorneys check every piece of evidence they had before he made any statemenrs or doled out any punishment.”

    —————————————–

    No. But you know what all the NFL has to do is allow a 3rd party to view the evidence.

    Why do you think that is so difficult?

  152. radrntn says: May 17, 2012 6:27 PM

    Good for him, and good to know he has the balls to do so….at the very least the commishner can come down from his high horse, and get into the real world. Reality says you can’t be like BSPN, and say you have unidentified sources. Now the whole world gets to see who the snitch was.

  153. stanklepoot says: May 17, 2012 6:28 PM

    “ilovefoolsball says: May 17, 2012 3:39 PM

    HAHAHAHA! Man good ole Commissar stepped in a big ole pile of doggy doo doo now. He’s going to need a fire hose to clean off those expensive dress shoes. I hope he’s ready to get down and dirty and release some of that “damning evidence”.

    On a serious note, I hope this brings him down from that perch that he’s used to justify the ridiculous punishments that he’s handed down with little to no visible proof to back up any of the allegations that he has so recklessly made in the media.

    I guess he will soon realize that this isn’t the “People’s republic of NFL” but the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE operating in the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

    Cue the “he doesn’t have to show anything, it’s a private company” tards.

    Well I guess he does now, he sure does.”
    ___________________________________
    Technically speaking, to defend himself against this lawsuit, Goodell doesn’t need to prove that Vilma was guilty, simply that he had a reasonable belief that Vilma was guilty. That’s not really that hard of a thing to demonstrate. So, at best this is an attempt to see whatever evidence the league has against Vilma so that a counter argument can be made in an appeal against Vilma’s year long suspension.

    As for the People’s Republic of the NFL bit, grow up. This is a privately owned company we’re talking about, not a country. We, the fans, are consumers. We have no ownership stake. The only power we have over how things are run is our ability to buy or not to buy tickets and merchandise and to watch or not watch the games on tv. Other than that, the real decisions are made by the 32 owners and those they empower to act on their behalf. So, even if you want to make a national government comparison, it still wouldn’t be a democracy. It would be an Oligarchy, in which a small group of individuals have a firm hold on pretty much all of the power.

  154. laserw says: May 17, 2012 6:38 PM

    Nothing like the ego of a bad football player – when caught with your hand in the cookie jar, sue the one who caught you.

    Idiot.

  155. stanklepoot says: May 17, 2012 6:43 PM

    silentcount says: May 17, 2012 5:52 PM

    There’s a good reason why the NFL’s lead investigator resigned. He knew there wasn’t any kind of evidence that would could pass cross examination. He probably told Goodell, “If you’re actually going through with this, I’m outta here. You think you can mess with a guy like Jon Vilma, but trust me, you’ll most certainly lose!”
    __________________________________
    You must know the league’s former investigator really well to know so fully why he chose to resign. Surprising, because I would have thought that anyone who knew him so well might at least feel the urge to mention his actual name (Joe Hummel btw) while describing his closely held reasons for resigning his position. The truth is people switch jobs all the time, and unless some other information comes out we have nothing that indicates he had any issues with the investigation. As for Vilma, I’m sure a former Special Agent for the FBI like Hummel is simply terrified of him. The truth is that Vilma simply can’t win this case. He wouldn’t simply have to demonstrate that he had no part whatsoever in any bounty program, he’d have to demonstrate that Goodell KNEW he had no part whatsoever in any bounty program. As long as there’s anything that would give Goodell a reasonable belief that Vilma played a part in a bounty program, Vilma’s lawsuit is dead on arrival. Sorry, but that’s the law. Defamation isn’t an easy case to make.

  156. bigbadal21 says: May 17, 2012 6:45 PM

    vikings1979 says:May 17, 2012 4:15 PM

    I like it…what’s he got to lose? Either Goodell comes out and shows what he knows and Vilma walks away no worse than his now or Vilma actually wins and he gets to tell everyone, “look at me now, look at me now.”

    What he has to lose is an enormous legal bill plus he may have to pay the legal fees for Goodell because if it is shown that he did the acts alleged the lawsuit could be deemed frivolous.

  157. silentcount says: May 17, 2012 6:55 PM

    It’s funny how the gullible think Goodell had his lawyers look over the “evidence” before accusing Vilma. But that’s the whole point, Vilma knew he didn’t do what Goodell told the world he did. Therefore, he knew there’d be no evidence that would prove he did. Vilma is an employee of the Saints, not Goodell. The NFL is only the territory they do business in. Vilma is changing the way the NFL will do business in the future. They will not let THE NEW commish slander a player in public with false accusations unless they meet with him and have everything proven first. Which should have been the procedure all along. Instead of calling Vilma a cry baby, these people should be thrown in jail on trumped up charges and see how it feels.

  158. tweeter75 says: May 17, 2012 6:55 PM

    Why is Roger Goodell the bad guy in the bounty scandal???? There was obviously strong evidence found in a two month investigation against Vilma and his accomplices. So Vilma thinks we’ll believe his B.S.? Is he trying to convince himself? He should be a man and stand up and take some responsibility for what he did, at least then I would have at least a little bit of respect for him. What a joke.

  159. mojosmagic says: May 17, 2012 7:24 PM

    Meritless.

  160. stew48 says: May 17, 2012 7:26 PM

    If anyone here who has commented is a lawyer or attached to the profession, I would suggest you try some other endeavor.

    A long time ago, a single baseball player, acting alone and on advice from an attorney, sued the world of major league baseball and won, forever changing the structure of baseball. My suggestion is to wait a bit on your uninformed and uneducated judgements and see what happens. And, don’t let non-working lawyers influence you, either.

  161. cmstrick says: May 17, 2012 7:37 PM

    I don’t want to live in this league any more…

  162. silentcount says: May 17, 2012 7:39 PM

    The term “bounty system” was coined by Goodell, not the Saints. What the coaches admitted to was pay-for-performance verbal jokes during pre-game pep rallies. Buying a team mate a beer for an interception, sack or hard legal hit was common for most teams. If you look at this as if you were Jon Vilma, and you knew you didn’t do what Goodell accused you of publicly, then wouldn’t you go after him, too? Goodell deserves a hornet’s nest if he doesn’t have clear proof that can stand cross examination. I’m expecting Goodell to lose his job over this. What he did is THAT serious.

  163. saintsfan26 says: May 17, 2012 7:56 PM

    Tweeter: this evidence that you speak of, could you hand it over to the NFL? Because they dont have it yet.

  164. mistermayhem7 says: May 17, 2012 7:59 PM

    Vilma is an idiot as well as a piece of %&#@ human being. This is the second time he’s been part of a bounty scandal. Worthless piece of #%$@. That’s my opinion of him and it’s my right. If some of you don’t like well, that’s just to bad.

  165. blackdonnelly says: May 17, 2012 8:02 PM

    stew48 makes a very valid point here, and should be entertained, especially by these “dilletante” part-timers who may or may not have any legal education or training.

    It doesn’t look good for either side, truth be told, so maybe we get some exposure to this “evidence” Goodell has, and settle this issue once and for all. Honestly, outside of media reports, I haven’t seen or read enough about this entire debacle to make an informed opinion.
    What I do know is several careers have been jacked, many accusations made and many, many bad posts ending up in here.

    It is rather humorous to see the haters out there, doing what they do best (LOL) I won’t hate on these Saints until it all comes out.

  166. brianjoates says: May 17, 2012 8:36 PM

    Fans just don’t care who the Commish is, Roger has made himself the “face” of the league. His grandstanding at the draft, his bullying of city and state officials over stadiums,all of his look at what I have done is not what fans care about. The business side should stay out of the public eye.

  167. fmwarner says: May 17, 2012 8:44 PM

    Defamation cases are hard to win, but this is a special case because Goodell is not a pundit or reporter making vague accusations. He made specific accusations and attached punishment to them. If the NFL’s evidence does not prove the accusations of a bounty program and Vilma’s specific participation in it, Vilma can win.

    Actual malice does not require malice in the everyday use of the word. It simply requires that the defendant either know the statements are false or have serious doubts about their truth. I think a key factor here will be the definitions of “bounty” and “pay for performance”. Various Saints personnel have copped to the latter but not the former. If Vilma’s lawyers can convince the court that these are distinct terms and that Vilma was suspended for being part of a “bounty” system while the evidence supports only a “pay for performance” system, then he can win.

    In addition, since the plaintiff is Vilma alone and not all the suspended personnel, the NFL will have to provide specific evidence putting Vilma together with payments instead of just evidence that there were payments. Now we’ll see what the truth is about this $10,000 business.

    Good luck to Vilma. My gut tells me that Goodell doesn’t have the goods and that he overestimated the credibility given to his investigation by Mary Jo White.

  168. applecool1981 says: May 17, 2012 8:46 PM

    suhnami says: May 17, 2012 3:51 PM

    “im just curious exactly how all of this is possible…wouldn’t the NFLPA have to sue the league on behalf of Vilmas essentially seeing as he is a member of the union and this is a “work” issue??”

    ————————————————————————————————————

    I think if he were to sue the NFL, then yes the NFLPA would have to do it on his behalf but he’s suing the man who just happens to be the commissioner of the NFL.

  169. billobrienschindimple says: May 17, 2012 9:03 PM

    “…defamate someone’s character in PUBLIC,”

    Is that you Emmet?

  170. billobrienschindimple says: May 17, 2012 9:05 PM

    “…defamate someone’s character in PUBLIC,”

    Emmet, is that you.

  171. applecool1981 says: May 17, 2012 9:15 PM

    rockthered1286 says: May 17, 2012 4:15 PM

    “So in suing Goddell and calling him out as a liar, if Goddell wins this case, I’m thinking he should counter-sue Vilma for the same charge of defamation of character.

    Goody didn’t act on his own here, he had investigators, a committee and other influence presenting him with information. Let the people involved speak up and I’m thinking Vilma is gonna be eating crow very soon…”

    ————————————————————————————————————

    I think Goodell will probably just act as if he’s above it and not lower himself to the standards of Vilma; I also wouldn’t be surprised if the NFL would tell him not to get involved.

  172. nofunleague says: May 17, 2012 9:21 PM

    First of all just because this is the NFL and it’s in the USA doesn’t mean there has to be a democracy. My company isn’t a democracy where we vote on how long our lunch will be. They tell us how long it will be. I’m sure he was told what evidence they had and why he was suspended but he is embarrassed and wants to take the spotlight off of himself and put it on someone else. He still won’t play even if he wins. He may get some money but no one will want his cheating butt. Do you want fries with that.?

  173. applecool1981 says: May 17, 2012 9:28 PM

    bucs13 says: “May 17, 2012 5:29 PM

    “This guarantees a few things.”

    This guarantees nothing. Do you know what a complaint means? That someone had a filing fee. Attorneys take a really skeptical view of defamation claims in general, and public figure/public concern defamation claims in particular, for a reason. There may be a strategy his attorney is pursuing that this advances, but for the life of me, I can’t figure it out.

    “This will ask the question why were the saints the only ones singled out?”

    Based on what I’ve heard, my assumption has been that the reason they were singled out is because there was an investigation, they lied and performed a coverup, there was a whistleblower which required further investigation, that investigation was more fruitful, and the release of the audiotape prior to the 49ers game pretty much sealed the deal in terms of public opprobrium. Combine that with the general backdrop of “player safety”? That’s my understanding. What’s yours?”

    ——————————————————————————————————–

    I think it’s just a ruse to get their hands on the evidence, which in their belief is none.

  174. commandercornpone says: May 17, 2012 9:43 PM

    vilma is swinging wildly. he wont get jack but the lawyers will bankrupt him.

    and now that he has sued, he may have real issues playing in the nfl again.

    the saints will move on.

    and once again, vilma will find out about it from the television.

  175. silentcount says: May 17, 2012 9:55 PM

    FACTS that everyone should remember:
    #1: The “Bounty System” is a term Goodell invented. The coaches NEVER admitted to having one. They simply agreed that pay-for-performance was joked about verbally during pre-game pep rallys (as most teams do, regarding interceptions, sacks & hard legal hits).
    #2: The players said all along they never tried to injure another player or offered to pay or receive money.
    #3: There has never been any evidence provided other than Goodell saying it did. There is evidence that Greg Williams said stupid stuff in meetings, but ONLY that.
    #4: THE REAL EVIDENCE is what happens on the field when refs are watching your every move. The Saints had less personal fouls than most teams.
    #5: Vilma knows there’s no evidence, if he knows he didn’t do what Goodell accused him of.

  176. jason1980 says: May 17, 2012 10:17 PM

    Why is it that some of you fools here act as if you were sitting in the commissioner’s office when these decisions were made. NONE OF YOU know jack shat about what’s going on in the league office. You are here guessing like everybody else. OPINIONS are like……….everybody’s got one.

  177. electstat says: May 17, 2012 10:19 PM

    The NFL doesn’t have to show the fans or the media anything. Get a life.

  178. maximusprime107 says: May 17, 2012 10:56 PM

    I mean, Vilma’s gotta have a case if he’s suing right? You wouldn’t sue someone going in knowing you’re going to lose, right?….

  179. yssupasigninnamnotyep says: May 17, 2012 11:11 PM

    tomtravis76 says:
    May 17, 2012 4:26 PM
    or as “yssupasigninnamnotyep” is trying to say, “LEAVE ROGER ALONE…please…LEAVE ROGER ALONE.”

    What exactly is your argument? At least have a valid point to make.

    Totally cracks me up that you and people like ‘ikoikofinanay’ think they can run a multi-billion dollar business from the comfort of their stained underwear…just shut the F up already.

    You don’t have a clue what goes on in the NFL and have probably never even played a down of football in your life. Just stick to your ‘fanstasy league’ and maybe someday you will actually have a girlfriend (or boyfriend).

  180. steelpenguin71 says: May 17, 2012 11:54 PM

    We are watching the beginning of the end of the NFL……

  181. covercorner says: May 17, 2012 11:59 PM

    The NFL will have to show proof or lose this lawsuit. I hope Goodell loses and has to pay millions out of his own pocket. He has been too heavy handed with punishments and too greedy with the players and now the referees.

  182. rubbernilly says: May 18, 2012 12:32 AM

    Just my opinion, here. First, disclaimers:
    1) Lions fan
    2) non lawyer

    I don’t think the NFLPA has to become involved or “sue on his behalf,” as someone mentioned, as I don’t think this is a work issue nor a CBA issue. Put it this way: the NFLPA could never have negotiated away Vilma’s right to not be defamed. So this isn’t a question of Goodell acting within his power, as defamation could never be a granted power by the NFLPA.

    Take that thought and pair it with the threshold for winning a defamation judgment… that Goodell did not have a reasonable reason to believe what he was saying about Vilma, and I think what this case comes down to is this:

    Does the bounty evidence support Goodell’s public position regarding Vilma, or was Goodell just looking to drop some harsh penalty on somebody to send the message to the rest of the league? If there is no hard evidence of Vilma’s involvement, and one could reasonably look at the evidence and arrive at a different conclusion from Goodell (but one just as confident), then Goodell will look like he was trying to send a message but knowingly took it too far.

  183. whodatgirl1 says: May 18, 2012 2:41 AM

    Can someone provide the link to see the emails and the bank statements?

  184. sdl65 says: May 18, 2012 6:01 AM

    Just take it like a man Vilma. You were stupid now your stupidity will cost you millions. Let’s face it people the NFL is not going to lay down this kind of discipline unless they are 110% positive its all true. The investigator for the NFL was a prosecutor in her previous job and said she had gotten convictions on whole lot less evidence than they have for this case. In other words it’s case closed! Vilma has to do what he has to do. He should save his money and not give it to attorney’s . It’s not going change for him.

  185. gingerkid2000 says: May 18, 2012 7:18 AM

    Well this proves it! Clearly Vilma is the the 1st person ever accused of a crime who says he didn’t do it. Therefore, he must be innocent because we all know that never happens.

  186. bigblackanvil says: May 18, 2012 8:29 AM

    Why is everyone so quick to take sides in this matter? Goddell has punished Vilma and put him as one of the master minds behind the bounty system in New Orleans. Vilma is saying he wasn’t and now he wants to fight the allegations. Obviously one of them is a lying sack of S$@!. Right now they both have the “kool aid ” cups out and a majority of you are eager to drink. Ready to take a stand on a issue that we have 0.00013 % informationto really form an objective opinion. I will say this. Goddell made a heck of a statement by taking a years salary out of Vilma’s pocket. If any of us got fired and we felt it was unfair, would you so ” ok sir…thanks for laying me off for a year. see you next season”. Would you walk away or would you fight? Vilma obviously has more to lose than a years salary by this. His image has been tarnished which means endoresments maybe lost,etc. Goddell needs to reach out to the fans because right now with all thats going on the games image is being tainted. If he is so convinced in his point of veiw “leak” something out. I love football but lately everything NFL related sounds like a daytime soap opera …….SMDH…..

  187. mikev65 says: May 18, 2012 8:57 AM

    Because you say these are facts doesn’t make it so.

    silentcount says: May 17, 2012 9:55 PM

    FACTS that everyone should remember:
    #1: The “Bounty System” is a term Goodell invented. The coaches NEVER admitted to having one. They simply agreed that pay-for-performance was joked about verbally during pre-game pep rallys (as most teams do, regarding interceptions, sacks & hard legal hits).
    #2: The players said all along they never tried to injure another player or offered to pay or receive money.
    #3: There has never been any evidence provided other than Goodell saying it did. There is evidence that Greg Williams said stupid stuff in meetings, but ONLY that.
    #4: THE REAL EVIDENCE is what happens on the field when refs are watching your every move. The Saints had less personal fouls than most teams.
    #5: Vilma knows there’s no evidence, if he knows he didn’t do what Goodell accused him of.

    #1, Pay for performance = bounty and has been acknowledged by everyone from Loomis to audio recordings from during the games saying “Favre is out, where’s my money”?
    #2 Refer to #1
    #3 Even the owner was told of the bounty, he also told his employees that he was aware of it and they said they would stop the behavior
    #4 Watching your every move, when did they add a ref per player on the field….
    #5 See above #1, 2, 3, 4…

    If at the very least you acknowledge there was an investigation, there were results, people that were investigated, clearly took responsibility for their actions in the investigation, you can only come up with 1 conclusion. There was a bounty program.

    That has nothing to do with the accusation of defamation. Vilma’s atty is trying to do whats called discovery to try and usurp the leagues unwillingness to expose people as whistle blowers. That will be thrown out (75% chance), the CBA gives the commish great latitude, without repercussion. Being a civil case, the commish will bring (sealed investigative) document proving his public assertion, show it to the judge in closed meetings with the judge and the commish alone, case dismissed!

  188. effedinLA says: May 18, 2012 10:03 AM

    maximusprime107 says:
    May 17, 2012 10:56 PM
    I mean, Vilma’s gotta have a case if he’s suing right? You wouldn’t sue someone going in knowing you’re going to lose, right?….
    +++++++++++++++++++++++
    He’s going in HOPING to win. Maybe going “all in” on the theory that the NFL has no real evidence? Being fans of the NFL we know nothing about the case, yet. It’s all speculation and talk is cheap. Especially here.

  189. cowboycjn says: May 18, 2012 11:16 AM

    GOOD – now we move it from a NFL (Private company) to the court of law. The legal system says you are innocnet until proven guilty.
    As it says, he is not suing over if there was or was not a pay to hurt program – its over what was said to slander him personally. Anybody in the United States has that right; to sue someone that slanders you. Now they have to show proof or take it up the butt Mr. Goodell. This is gonna be fun to watch and see the outcome.

  190. applecool1981 says: May 19, 2012 5:01 AM

    covercorner says: May 17, 2012 11:59 PM

    “The NFL will have to show proof or lose this lawsuit. I hope Goodell loses and has to pay millions out of his own pocket. He has been too heavy handed with punishments and too greedy with the players and now the referees.”

    ————————————————————————————————————

    You kind of contradicted yourself there, saying that the NFL has to show proof or lose the lawsuit but it will be Goodell that has to pay up if they lose. Goodell would be the one on trial and the NFL wouldn’t necessarily have to show anything, as the case is Vilma vs Goodell not Vilma vs the NFL.

  191. mornelithe says: May 19, 2012 11:09 AM

    applecool1981 says:

    You kind of contradicted yourself there, saying that the NFL has to show proof or lose the lawsuit but it will be Goodell that has to pay up if they lose. Goodell would be the one on trial and the NFL wouldn’t necessarily have to show anything, as the case is Vilma vs Goodell not Vilma vs the NFL.

    ———————————————–

    That’s actually a very good point, since Vilma hasn’t sued the NFL in this case, I wonder if Goodell is actually allowed to use the NFL’s evidence against Vilma (whatever it is), in a private case. Very interesting indeed.

  192. silentcount says: May 19, 2012 1:08 PM

    Goodell’s “Bounty Scandal” was all based on one instance 3 years ago when Vilma supposedly put up 10 grand for knocking Farve & Warner out of the game. If Vilma didn’t really do that, then the whole bounty thing was just a fabrication from rumors and exagerations. That means Sean Payton didn’t deserve to be suspended for a year either. The Saints didn’t deserve to lose draft picks and be fined half a million. Goodell really made bad decisions and deserves to burn big time. Vilma’s bold move against the NFL’s dictator will turn out to be epic in bringing truth and change.

  193. suprmous says: May 20, 2012 1:51 AM

    veence69, Pal I don’t know what turnip truck you fell off of but there’s some things you and the other Saints and Jonathan Vilma Haters should know. At no time has there EVER been any proof as to any wrong doin been done by the Saints, Mickey Loomus, or Sean Payton. The things that they’ve been accused of is based on the dislike for the Saints as an organization, the Loomus & Payton Connection, and hearsay from players and owners outside of the Saints who have the same dislike. In light of what has happened there are countless veteran players who are willing to stand side by side with the Saints and those players who’re involved, i.e. Kurt Warner, Michael Irving, and others. Until GODell quits playin Pattycake Slap on the Wrist with those he overlooks in doin what he’s accusin the Saints of he’s walkin on thin ice, i.e. Roddy White, Ray Rice, Clay Matthews and others. He may not lose his job but he’ll damned sure sweat bullets everytime he wants to falsely accuse another player /or team of what hes done in regards to the Saints. In addition, he won’t be the only one to be sweatin bullets;those owners and players who’ve accused the Saints will be joinin GODell as well. In closin this I’d like to say before you start to praise Goodell I’d think about it long and hard. And by the way if it matters or not I’m a girl.

  194. eaglesw00t says: May 23, 2012 8:46 AM

    silentcount says:
    May 19, 2012 1:08 PM
    Goodell’s “Bounty Scandal” was all based on one instance 3 years ago when Vilma supposedly put up 10 grand for knocking Farve & Warner out of the game. If Vilma didn’t really do that, then the whole bounty thing was just a fabrication from rumors and exagerations. That means Sean Payton didn’t deserve to be suspended for a year either. The Saints didn’t deserve to lose draft picks and be fined half a million. Goodell really made bad decisions and deserves to burn big time. Vilma’s bold move against the NFL’s dictator will turn out to be epic in bringing truth and change.

    ——————————————–

    Really? Honestly? Did it ever cross your mind for half a second that there “gasp” just MIGHT be information behind the scenes here that the general public doesnt know about yet?

    If you actually believe that what you said is true, you are dumber than you look. And man…thats terrible if thats true.

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