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First fight in Vilma suit likely will arise under CBA

Jonathan Vilma Portrait Shoot Getty Images

Thursday’s unexpected development in the Saints’ bounty scandal came from the decision of linebacker Jonathan Vilma to sue Commissioner Roger Goodell in a Louisiana federal court.  As mentioned in the first of what surely will be more than 10 and less than 1,000 items on the legal action, Goodell’s initial line of defense will arise under the labor deal.

Specifically, he’ll file a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, citing Article 43, which sets forth the procedures for “non-injury grievances.”

Here’s what it says (free one-year PFT subscription to anyone who reads it all):  “Any dispute (hereinafter referred to as a ‘grievance’) arising after the execution of this Agreement and involving the interpretation of, application of, or compliance with, any provision of this Agreement, the NFL Player Contract, the Practice Squad Player Contract, or any applicable provision of the NFL Constitution and Bylaws or NFL Rules pertaining to the terms and conditions of employment of NFL players, will be resolved exclusively in accordance with the procedure set forth in this Article, except wherever another method of dispute resolution is set forth elsewhere in this Agreement.”

The lawsuit claims that Goodell lied about Vilma in multiple ways via written and spoken communications regarding Vilma’s alleged role in the bounty program.  Goodell undoubtedly will argue that he was acting in his capacity as NFL Commissioner, and that all statements about the bounty investigation were made under the provisions of the NFL Constitution and Bylaws regarding the integrity of the game.  Thus, the argument will be that Vilma is required to pursue “any dispute” regarding those comments to the procedures set forth in the Collective Bargaining Agreement, which will shield the NFL from the public nature of a civil action — and ultimately from the whims of a Louisiana jury.

It’s a common argument, identical to the defense the NFL already has raised to the concussion lawsuits brought by former players.  Labor agreements routinely establish in-house mechanisms for resolving disputes, and the Federal Arbitration Act gives judges a mechanism for washing their hands of lawsuits that otherwise are covered by the terms of a CBA.

That said, Vilma likely will claim that Goodell forfeited the protection of the CBA by making statements that were beyond the confines of the application of the NFL Constitution and Bylaws.  The argument likely will be that Goodell should have merely suspended Vilma without public commentary or accusation, saying nothing about what Vilma allegedly did to merit the suspension.

If that’s the argument, it could have some merit.  Without question, the NFL has chosen to release certain information publicly in the hopes that it will shape the perception of media and fans regarding the Saints’ bounty program.  The question for the court to decide will be whether those activities pull the situation away from the four corners of the CBA.

Goodell will have other defenses.  Vilma, for example, is a public figure, which means that Vilma will have to prove that Goodell acted with malice.  To prove the existence of malice in this context, Vilma will have to show that Goodell knew the statements were false, or that he acted with reckless disregard as to whether the statements were true or false.  Vilma’s argument, if the case progresses to that point, surely will be that Goodell jumped to irrational conclusions as to Vilma in order to advance his safety agenda.

For more talk about the lawsuit, tune in to Friday’s PFT Live, which will feature a return visit from Vilma’s lawyer, Peter Ginsberg.  Until then, here’s a little more about the situation from last night’s NBC SportsTalk.

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47 Responses to “First fight in Vilma suit likely will arise under CBA”
  1. wtfru2 says: May 18, 2012 8:57 AM

    Give Vilma another year for stupidity. He claims over and over that he paid no money. He has not ever denied that he offered the money and in this case the intent is as bad as the actual crime.

  2. pftcensorssuck says: May 18, 2012 8:59 AM

    Vilma – if he’s successful in bringing this suit to court – is going to lose for the simple fact that there is obviously some evidence Gooddell saw that convinced him to suspend Vilma. If Gooddell releases that information in court, there will be plenty of room for doubt of Vilma’s self-proclaimed “innocence”, and Vilma’s case will evaporate.

    It’s also not going to help Vilma’s case that he didn’t take part in the NFL’s “process” by speaking to Gooddell BEFORE the suspension was issued.

    THAT was the time for redress, Mr. Vilma.

    Vilma knows what he did, and he knows that Gooddell obviously has the goods on him, so it’s a mystery why he’s even pursuing this folly of a lawsuit.

    You can’t be “defamed” if the defamatory comments are TRUE, Mr. Vilma

  3. grumblenflgrumble says: May 18, 2012 9:02 AM

    “The argument likely will be that Goodell should have merely suspended Vilma without public commentary or accusation, saying nothing about what Vilma allegedly did to merit the suspension.”

    ——–
    Wait, wait, wait. Goodell has been lambasted by the NFLPA, players and media for not releasing MORE/ALL information. Yet the defense is now that he should have suspended him and not even released CAUSE, let alone detailed information?

    Which is it. You can’t have it both ways.

  4. weepingjebus says: May 18, 2012 9:05 AM

    Not real suprised Vilma is trying to kill the head here.

  5. nolahxc says: May 18, 2012 9:07 AM

    Read it all… how do I redeem my free subscription to PFT?!

  6. Patriot42 says: May 18, 2012 9:07 AM

    Those that believe the NFL is a way of life and players should be able to play it anyway they see fit fits Vilma to a tee. There are rules that one has to adhere to.

  7. andyb02 says: May 18, 2012 9:08 AM

    Just take your punishment and move on. Even if Vilma does have a case, he will not be able to beat the NFL’s unlimited army of lawyers. The NFLPA has a better chance of negotiating a CBA in the players favor than Vilma has of winning his case.

  8. SeenThisB4 says: May 18, 2012 9:09 AM

    The fact that Vilma’s lawsuit caught the NFL by surprise is a plus for Vilma. He may not win this, but it probably won’t be thrown out of the federal district court either, and if the NFL offers an out of court settlement, you can rest assured, several other lawsuits will follow.

  9. captatl says: May 18, 2012 9:12 AM

    The bottom line is Goodell is the defendant in this case and the burden of proof will be on Vilma to prove that any statements that were made by Goodell were unture, and he must prove that Goodell knew that they were untrue and made them anyway. Goodell does not have to prove the statements he made are true by providing evidence that he had cause to make the statements. It would be faster if he did have to provide evidence, but that is not how it works. Goodell has nothing to be concerned with here. Plus, this will be tossed anyway. No Federal Judge is going to hear a workplace suit that has a signed Union agreement. Vilma and his Attorney are just grandstanding.

  10. lolb23 says: May 18, 2012 9:13 AM

    Why would a Wookiee, an 8-foot-tall Wookiee, want to live on Endor, with a bunch of 2-foot-tall Ewoks? That does not make sense! But more important, you have to ask yourself: What does this have to do with this case? Nothing. Ladies and gentlemen, it has nothing to do with this case! It does not make sense! Look at me. I’m a lawyer defending a major record company, and I’m talkin’ about Chewbacca! Does that make sense? Ladies and gentlemen, I am not making any sense! None of this makes sense! And so you have to remember, when you’re in that jury room deliberatin’ and conjugatin’ the Emancipation Proclamation, does it make sense? No! Ladies and gentlemen of this supposed jury, it does not make sense! If Chewbacca lives on Endor, you must acquit! The defense rests

  11. trooper586 says: May 18, 2012 9:15 AM

    C’mon Vilma!! Where is your morals and values? Take responsibility for your actions. You thought you were above the law…but the law found you. There is no malice in Goodell suspending you. You deserved it i’m sure. He is a smart guy. He wouldn’t suspend you without cause. I hope he can sue you for deformation. Quit Lying to yourself and to the public. None of us believe you.

  12. careerender56 says: May 18, 2012 9:19 AM

    I can’t wait for the NFL lawyers to burry this clown. I hope when all is said and done this guy gets released, the entire league blacklists him and this guy never takes the field again. Way to bite the hand that feeds you moron.

  13. thejuddstir says: May 18, 2012 9:22 AM

    Everyone outside of Louisiana is sick and tired of the mockery the Saints are making of the NFL. I think it’s time for Goodell to come out with a new list of punishments if these idiots are going to keep giving the NFL black-eye after black-eye. The NFL and all it’s fans bent over backwards for these clowns after Katrina and this is the thanks we get….cheatin’ crying, whinin’ babies.

  14. SeenThisB4 says: May 18, 2012 9:25 AM

    I don’t think this will be dismissed, I think the court will want to hear it. Which may take as long as a year and a half, maybe two.

    I don’t think the NFL will want it to be on the front pages for that long, I think they offer a settlement.

  15. shotgungrampa says: May 18, 2012 9:29 AM

    Crap, I couldnt read it all. Of course, you knew that though. I feel taken advanaged of. Hmm, I think I may have a law suit.

  16. thejuddstir says: May 18, 2012 9:29 AM

    Sounds like Vilma and the Saints don’t like any rules except their own. They don’t like the rules of football, they don’t like the rules of the Personnel Policy they all agreed to, they don’t like the rules of the CBA they all agreed to, etc. etc……..they have become a mockery for the NFL, I think they should be relocated to ……hell.

  17. ghlatty says: May 18, 2012 9:29 AM

    While the burden of proof will be the same, Vilma better hope Goodell is unable to change venue from Eastern District of Louisiana to New York. Juries (and Judges) may be very different.

  18. lolb23 says: May 18, 2012 9:33 AM

    Serious question: Does ANYBODY who doesn’t live in Louisiana think Goodell is randomly framing the Aints?

  19. goodolebaghead says: May 18, 2012 9:44 AM

    I’ve seen plenty of proof about play for performance.

    I’ve seen no proof about play for injury.

    I played football my whole life, and it was normal for coaches to coach hitting certain players certain places to help your team win. I rarely had the mindset in the moment to do anything besides tackle.

    It’s likely the pay for injury thing was happening based on all the speculation in the media and conclusions that have been jumped to, but if you can’t prove it, why should you be able to go in and keep a man from playing based on he-said/she-said?

    This is bigger than, “Is Vilma guilty.” I need you to think a little bigger than the maze and the cheese the media is giving you. If Goodell can just suspend people based on heresay, than he can do anything.

    QB for Xteam says “I think Goodell is ruining the NFL.” Goodell gets pissed, someone tells Goodell the QB shoplifts. He’s the QB for your team, and Goodell nails him with a full year suspension based on what amount to rumors and speculation.

    All we want is evidence, so us, the Saints fans, just like you, the Saint haters can put this to bed. I don’t want a commish that can just do what the hell he feels like at anytime based on anything he wants. I want transparency. That is what I pay all this ridiculous cash for every year.

    Just remember, Saints this year, your team next. It’s going to seem so wrong to you then…

  20. ampats says: May 18, 2012 9:47 AM

    Vilma has played his last game in the NFL. Bringing suit against the NFL knowing he is guilty will only lead to a player on the downside of his career to get blackballed by the owners in the NFL.

  21. trooper586 says: May 18, 2012 9:52 AM

    Be careful what you wish for Vilma….You may not want to see the overwhelming info against you. I suppose you will deny all of it. but then what? You will only look worse.

  22. GG Eden says: May 18, 2012 9:56 AM

    I so hope this leads to proof of Goodell fabricating evidence, etc, and ultimately his stepping down of commissioner.

  23. lolb23 says: May 18, 2012 9:58 AM

    Just remember, Saints this year, your team next. It’s going to seem so wrong to you then…
    ___________________________________

    THANK YOU for writing this. It’s all the evidence anyone needs to prove you Saints fans are total homers. If you had grown up in Atlanta, you wouldn’t give two craps about the Saints.

    Do you know how stupid that makes you look?

  24. saints25 says: May 18, 2012 10:04 AM

    Whats the fans reaction going to be when you find out your beloved Commih has been lying about all this bounty,BS the whole time?

  25. 49erstim says: May 18, 2012 10:04 AM

    @lolb23…. Let us all hope that the Chewbacca Defense is not used! :-)

    @grumblenflgrumble…. My thoughts exactly! You can’t have it both ways! Did the NFL release too much evidence or not enough? Oh boy……. Vilma is gonna be late for his MENSA meetings for sure now. :-p

  26. skolvikesskol says: May 18, 2012 10:17 AM

    I will give $10k to anyone who makes vilma go away.

  27. purpleguy says: May 18, 2012 10:21 AM

    If you review the legal elements of defamation and the procedural requirments of the CBA dispute resolution process, you quickly come to the conclusion that no lawyer with half a brain would bring this lawsuit. Then again, there are many attention-loving, money hungry lawyers out there with less than half a brain.

  28. 3octaveFart says: May 18, 2012 10:27 AM

    Vilma has a case…

    Goodell has been known to destroy “evidence”, implying that any actually existed in the first place.

    Goodell says that by revealing his evidence, it would expose the “whistleblowers”.

    Tough sh*t. Vilma and the other punished players have a right to face their accusers… and even then, how can it ever be more than “my word against yours”? Where’s the hard evidence?

  29. nebster21 says: May 18, 2012 10:29 AM

    I would not say Vilma is on the downside of his career. Coming close to the downside of his career though. I want him to win. The fact that the NFL commisioner has the right to suspend someone than all possible actions to refute the suspension go through the Commisioner. That is insane. It needs to change. PS

  30. bucs13 says: May 18, 2012 10:32 AM

    1. As I stated in the prior thread, this defamation lawsuit seems pretty bizarre. Assuming they can get past procedural hurdles (like the CBA), it’s exceedingly unlikely Vilma can even get to a jury or perhaps meaningful discovery. Even the complaint acknowledges that Goddell “relied on, at best, hearsay, circumstantial evidence, and lies[.]” Which is fine for defamation (public figure/public concern).

    2. If Vilma wants “fairness”, he needs to employ the CBA process that was bargained for by his union. I think that many people on these threads forget that their own employers (absent a union contract) can fire them based on “hearsay, circumstantial evidence, and lies” with absolutely no recourse, and they have no right to “demand all the evidence.”

  31. jasonlbourque says: May 18, 2012 11:11 AM

    For all the Saint’s haters who just want Vilma to take his punishment and assume he is guilty of trying to injury other player-think about this. You wouldn’t purchase a used vehicle without asking for the carfax would you? Where is all this “Intent To Injure” evidence when Goodell has already says he has divulged all the evidence he could credible present. Funny how many sports fans are spoon fed zombies who can’t think.

  32. cwmorga says: May 18, 2012 11:11 AM

    @lolb23 says: May 18, 2012 9:33 AM

    Serious question: Does ANYBODY who doesn’t live in Louisiana think Goodell is randomly framing the Aints?
    ————————

    Randomly framing? Nice red herring. With new plaintiffs joining the lawsuit against the NFL on an almost daily basis, I think the league caught wind of a bounty program and saw an opportunity. They take flimsy evidence of a Saints of a bounty program and “lower the boom”. In the upcoming lawsuit, the NFL can say that the liability is on the players, because they were operating outside NFL rules in an attempt to hurt each other, and the NFL has done everything in its power to stop it.

    Goodell made his point loud and clear, but when you start suspending players and coaches for a season, you better make sure your case is air tight, and not a bunch of he said/she said from disgruntled ex-employees.

    What evidence have you seen that makes you post your garbage in every Saints thread? Or do you believe Goodell is infallible? No, the truth is you hate the Saints for hammering your Vikes, and don’t care if the Saints did it or not. You just want Goodell to do what your team couldn’t do.

    Kiss the ring.

    /not in LA

  33. franklamar17 says: May 18, 2012 11:15 AM

    As I stated yesterday,what you talked about doing and what you did are two different things.Again I have told my girlfriendssss that I was going to make love all night!never happen but I had good intentions.if we are to be convicted on the things we say we are going to do,we all would have to serve time at some point.this is football and that goes on in every locker room,to what extinct I don’t know but it happens.any one who has ever played football know if you get a key player out of game,your chances are greater to get the victory.Thats why teams don’t list every thing what’s wrong with a player in a injury report,because the opposing players will target that area when they tackle.The so called football fans should not get so righteous on this issue,when you watch tv ,you see politicians doing every dirty thing in the world to win,but you still vote for him are her…As my grandfather would say”I see said the blind man”

  34. lpd1964 says: May 18, 2012 11:35 AM

    How could the NFLPA agree to allow Goodell to set the punishments then also hear the grievance?? Seems to me the NFLPA needs to look in the mirror and blame themselves for this predicament.

  35. nashwaakkidd says: May 18, 2012 11:37 AM

    Goodell should state that Vilma will remain suspended for the duration of the lawsuit….and then have his army of lawyers drag it out for about 4 years! problem solved

  36. bucs13 says: May 18, 2012 11:52 AM

    “Goodell should state that Vilma will remain suspended for the duration of the lawsuit….and then have his army of lawyers drag it out for about 4 years! problem solved”

    No. Goddell cannot suspend Vilma for this lawsuit (I’m guessing per the CBA). To the extent that you believe Goddell is right, he is vindicated by the fact the Vilma will be paying for his attorney (which isn’t a small chunk of change), and as this case is likely a loser, at some point people will see that the defamation case is dismissed. Which is what they’ll remember (and probably ignore the legalese, like the burdens, and just assume that it means that Vilma is a lying liar, even if it is for technical reasons).

  37. nolarules says: May 18, 2012 12:01 PM

    thejuddstir says:
    May 18, 2012 9:22 AM
    Everyone outside of Louisiana is sick and tired of the mockery the Saints are making of the NFL. I think it’s time for Goodell to come out with a new list of punishments if these idiots are going to keep giving the NFL black-eye after black-eye. The NFL and all it’s fans bent over backwards for these clowns after Katrina and this is the thanks we get….cheatin’ crying, whinin’ babies.
    ——————————————
    The thanks you get is the oil and gas taken from our shores and shipped through our ports with absolutely no royalties paid to the state of Louisiana. you want to know why the US had to help Louisiana out after Katrina? The reason is that crooked politicians in DC decided it was better to build bridges to no where and the like rather than spending money to keep the levees of Louisiana safe (Port of New Orleans should have been enough of a reason to keep them safe but it was not in the eyes of YOUR politicians). It was warned for years that a huge hurricane was going to have horrible consequences because the levees were is such terrible disrepair. YOUR congressmen decided to whack the budget for the US Army Corps of Engineers for levee improvements in Louisiana. Katrina did not destroy New Orleans in 2005, the levees breaking did which was a direct result of crooked DC politicians.
    You can gripe about the Saints being a black eye on the NFL right now as they are. Keep Katrina out of it. You know nothing about it and obviously want to know nothing about it. Ignorance is bliss I guess

  38. whoknowsnothing says: May 18, 2012 12:03 PM

    Wasn’t Vilma who said “he dropped $10,000 on the table in the Saints locker room for whoever took QB out of the game.”

    He said that and later claimed he was joking.

    Who is joking now?

  39. silentcount says: May 18, 2012 12:05 PM

    This is the bottom line: If Vilma knows he didn’t do what Goodell publicly accused him of, then he knows there is no evidence against him. Also, the term “bounty system” was fabricated by Goodell, and no evidence of it has been presented. The coaches merely agreed that pay-for-performance was verbally joked about in pre-game pep rallys. The testimony of the NFL investigator who resigned may prove that Goodell KNEW he didn’t have enough evidence to publicly accuse Vilma. Therefore, expect Vilma to win and for the NFL to change its procedure of judgement and punishment of players. Because of Vilma, all players will benefit from a system that’s more fair.

  40. bucs13 says: May 18, 2012 12:20 PM

    ” Katrina did not destroy New Orleans in 2005, the levees breaking did which was a direct result of crooked DC politicians.”

    In 2005, Louisiana was ranked third in the entire nation in terms of money taken in from the federal government v. tax money taken out (they get more than they receive). Since 1985, they have consistently raked in more from the Federal Government than they have paid in taxes, averaging $1.34 returned for every dollar contributed.

    I love Louisiana, and New Orleans in particular. Blaming the fiasco on corruption is a good start. But you might want to start a wee bit closer to home. Maybe in a freezer?

  41. darthsaint says: May 18, 2012 12:34 PM

    The mindless mob mentality of lazy people who refuse to think for themselves astounds me. I imagine it is based on you wanting this whole thing to just go away. And in that, I must agree with you. There is a saying, believe 10% of what you hear/read, and 90% of what you see. The point is, question EVERYTHING. And we honestly, have not seen ANY real evidence that shows a program that incentivized players to seriously injure players on opposing teams.

    I don’t for a second think the Saints are 100% innocent. I am certain they had a pay for performance system in place. I believe that included big hits on players, not just interceptions or fumble recoveries. I also believe, and am backed up by countless current and former player’s public interviews, that this goes on across the league and has for as long as the league has been in existence. The argument that this “it happens everywhere” argument does not apply is not acceptable. Saints fans take issue that they, as one team, seem to take the punishment for an entire league, in order to stop a practice that is as old as the league itself. I’m sorry, that is not and never will be acceptable or close to fair.

    I think the NFL has the right to “clean up the game” where needed. I agree the commissioner should do what he can to protect the integrity of the game. That makes complete sense to anyone. I personally LOVE football so I want the league to be successful.

    But what doesn’t make sense is how this entire situation played out. And THAT is what has Saints fans feeling as if they need more than what the league has offered. The argument of “if it were your team you would understand” seems to ring hollow with far too many people.

    Why was this “investigation” played out in the media? That is NOT normal. You normally collect your facts, consult your decision makers, and decide on actions needed. Instead, throughout this entire dragged out process, we had multiple weekly leaks from the NFL.

    – Sean Payton had an email from an ex-con
    – Vilma offered 10k for “bounty”
    – Bounties were set on Warner and Favre
    – 22-27 Saints players guilty of participating
    – Loomis lying to Benson about stopping
    – Payton saying “get our ducks in a row”
    – and many many more…

    Seriously, how on one hand is the NFL soooooo concerned about sharing ANY of its evidence to the public, yet it has consistently leaked any information it felt would shape public opinion? STOP and ask yourself this for a second. You either do or you don’t want to share evidence. And even if you do want to share, logic tells you to wait and share once ALL evidence has been collected in order to tell the complete story and not just snippets of possible truth. Why on God’s green earth would you consistently leak damning “hearsay” if your stance is to NOT share any evidence? IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE.

    I would argue the point is rather simple. And you all, along with the media, fell right into that trap. The point of leaking that information was always to help create public opinion so strong, the Saints or whoever ended up being involved, would rather just go along with the process that cause any additional waves. The momentum around the situation would be so strong that nobody would question the process or the ending results.

    Remember at the beginning, ALL the articles written basically took exactly whatever the league regurgitated and spewed them amongst their viewers as if they were 100% FACT. And everyone watching/reading lapped it up. Now, do you realize the majority of the articles question almost everything the league is saying? Why is that? Media just decided to not be lazy one day and actually start doing they jobs? Nah, I don’t think so. They, like most any rational person, started seeing all the holes in the NFLs story around the Saints “bounty issue”. It honestly is only the fans of some other teams that wish the Saints would simply go back to irrelevance that blindly tell Saints fans to shut up and tell the Saints players/coaches to just accept whatever is handed down without question.

    Below are facts that the NFL has misconstrued, I believe, on purpose, to shape public opinion
    – Ornstein offering 5k for bounty on Rodgers as evidence – Fact, when asked, Ornstein said it was always meant as a joke and was never actually sent to Payton, he instead got CC’d later to the email string. That is the TRUTH around that “damning evidence” we were all given months ago. Logic tells you a man who was at the time of that email, in jail, and who is still in jail, who has no money, and was on government monitored email when stating said bounty…is actually more likely telling the truth that is was always a JOKE. Tasteless or not, it was given to us as if “Ex-cons help run Saints bounty program” from the NFL through the national media. Why would they tell a half truth like this when their thorough investigation must have included the interview with Ornstein? To help shape public opinion.
    – NFL states Williams accepts responsibility for bounty program – Fact, Williams, to date, has not once accepted any responsibility for a “bounty” program or a pay to injure program. He has always stated the Saints had a pay for performance system in place. This is a key distinction. Another fact is that the NFL actually rewrote William’s apology letter before releasing it to the media, based on it not being contrite enough in their opinion. Why would they do that? To help shape public opinion.
    – 27 players on Saints team guilty of participating in “bounty” system – Fact, to date, no evidence has been presented per the NFLPA that shows any bounty system ever existed, or that any Saints players paid into said “bounty” system. Also, if 27 players were guilty as once reported by the NFL, why would you only punish 4 players? The argument that the NFL was showing mercy is ludicrous. They have handed down the stiffest penalties in league history every step of the way when dealing with this issue. If they had evidence that 27 players were guilty, we would at least see fines or lower level suspensions for each of these players. Instead, only 4 players, 2 of which no longer even play for the Saints. Why leak 27 players were guilty of participating then? To help shape public opinion.
    – Vilma paid 10k for anyone who knocked Favre or Warner out of the game – Fact, semantics seem to rule the day on this one. The NFL later said he “offered” 10K after Hargrove any payment ever being made. So he went from being guilty of paying a bounty, to offering a bounty. There is a large difference between those two things. But why would the NFL mischaracterize this in the beginning? To help shape public opinion.
    – NFL states Hargrove testified to details of the existence of a “bounty” system as being major part of their evidence – Fact, Hargrove publically denies his statement ever admitted a “bounty” system existed and states his testimony was agreed to be held private with the NFL. Why would the NFL release this and twist what was said, without initially releasing the statements? To help shape public opinion.
    – NFL uses Payton’s apology as admittance of “bounty” program – Fact, Payton, just like Williams, has NEVER admitted to any “bounty” program existing. Once again, he has taken responsibility for a pay for performance system which happened under his watch.

    Question any rational person should ask themselves.
    – Why did the lead investigator quit during the investigation?
    – Why did the NFLPA mentioned said investigator as having answers, when stating the NFLs evidence was non-existent?
    – Why would no real evidence ever be shared?
    – Why did the NFL constantly leak evidence throughout the process?
    – Why did the NFL seek the NFLPAs opinion/acceptance on what punishment was acceptable? They normally decide on ALL punishment without ever asking for the NFLPAs point of view.
    – Why did the NFL need another 3 weeks to decide player punishment, when then concluded their investigation a month before? When asked, Goodell stated they needed more time to get their facts together. On what…you have 50,000 pages and finished your investigation?
    – Why would one man sue Goodell/NFL if he is actually guilty and the NFL actually has 50,000+ pages of evidence?

    Saints fans didn’t create this problem. But we shouldn’t just roll over and accept whatever Goodell decides either.

  42. lolb23 says: May 18, 2012 12:35 PM

    @ cwmorga a Vikings fan? Spare me. Vikings suck. But at least you can’t call them cheaters.

  43. musicman495 says: May 18, 2012 12:42 PM

    wtfru2 says: May 18, 2012 8:57 AM

    Give Vilma another year for stupidity. He claims over and over that he paid no money. He has not ever denied that he offered the money and in this case the intent is as bad as the actual crime.
    ————————————-
    Read the compliant, genius:

    35. Vilma never established, or assisted in establishing, a Bounty Program or any
    similar program in violation of NFL rules.

    36. Vilma never “pledged,” made or received payments of any kind encouraging or
    resulting from an opposing player being carried off the field, i.e., “cart-offs.”

    37. Vilma never “pledged,” made or received payments of any kind encouraging or
    resulting from an opposing player being unable to return to the game, i.e., “knockouts.”

    38. Vilma never “pledged,” made or received payments of any kind encouraging or
    resulting from an opposing player being injured.

    39. Vilma never “targeted” an opposing player in any manner that would violate NFL
    rules.

    40. Vilma never engaged “in unsafe and prohibited conduct intended to injure
    players.”

    41. Vilma never “participate[d] in a program that potentially injured opposing
    players.”

    42. Vilma never “embraced” a Bounty Program or any similar program in violation of
    NFL rules.

    43. Vilma never paid, or intended to pay, $10,000, or any amount of money, as an
    incentive to any player to knock Warner, Favre, or any other player, out of the 2009 Divisional
    Playoff Game, 2010 NFC Championship Game, or any other game.

    44. Vilma never placed $10,000, or any amount of money, on any table or anywhere
    else as part of a Bounty Program or any other program in violation of NFL rules.

  44. ilovefoolsball says: May 18, 2012 1:54 PM

    @lolb23 your name is very fitting, as you’re just a joke man, a big joke.
    But hey, at least your idiotic comments make for a good laugh.

    lol

  45. dannyabramowitz says: May 18, 2012 2:56 PM

    Your company is being sued by former female employees who claim a hostile work environment.

    Your boss comes into your office one day and tells you that you are suspended without pay for one year for sexual harassment. You say you’ve never sexually harassed anyone, who made the claims, what is the evidence. Your boss says you’ll have to trust me that I have the evidence. You say it’s not fair, can I appeal? Sure, your boss says, but your appeal will be heard by me.

    Your boss then walks out of the office and holds a press conference naming you as a sexual harasser and stating that you’ve been suspended for a year. He boasts that your suspension proves the company’s commitment to women’s rights (which indirectly helps the company’s position in the former employee lawsuits).

    I”ll never get a job again you think. This isn’t fair. What can I do?

    This is exactly how Vilma feels right now, just sub the NFL for the company.

  46. nflsecurity862 says: May 18, 2012 4:00 PM

    Your company is being sued by former female employees who claim a hostile work environment.

    Your boss comes into your office one day and tells you that you are suspended without pay for one year for sexual harassment. You say you’ve never sexually harassed anyone, who made the claims, what is the evidence. Your boss says you’ll have to trust me that I have the evidence. You say it’s not fair, can I appeal? Sure, your boss says, but your appeal will be heard by me.

    Your boss then walks out of the office and holds a press conference naming you as a sexual harasser and stating that you’ve been suspended for a year. He boasts that your suspension proves the company’s commitment to women’s rights (which indirectly helps the company’s position in the former employee lawsuits).

    I”ll never get a job again you think. This isn’t fair. What can I do?

    This is exactly how Vilma feels right now, just sub the NFL for the company.

    _______________________________________

    Or…. Imagine you and a bunch of your coworkers are harassing an employee. Your bosses admit to it by taking there punishment. People even have one of the bosses on tape encouraging the harassment. You remember the last time someone got in trouble by this company, the president didn’t release the evidence. You, lacking in pride and morals, listen to the morons screaming for evidence and think you can get away with this by demanding the evidence.

     0 0 

  47. ajpurp says: May 18, 2012 8:34 PM

    Yeah about time, you keep yelling for information and that the evidence needs to be revealed, and this is exactly why they don’t and EXACTLY why private corporations NEVER have to, regardless of the public nature of said company. So how about you stop whining for evidence of bounties and for the NFL to step forward and let the appeals/arbitration/mediation/legal action to commence before whining, nobody owes us anything, especially before the process gets going, and if they still don’t want to or a confidentiality agreement is in play as a result of an agreement, we will never know and don’t deserve to. We pay for gas every day, but do we get to know what some corporate snob did to embezzle money and cost us more? Nope, same goes for the NFL. Thank you for finally telling the truth about the state of the law and what the NFL “needs” to do, even if you did it through implication by silence on the matter.

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