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League files grievance against Vilma for pursuing defamation case

Jonathan Vilma Portrait Shoot Getty Images

Things have quieted down a bit in connection with the Saints bounty scandal, but the present calm comes merely from a minor break in the line of storms.

Eventually, the lawsuits filed recently in Louisiana will heat up, with inevitable efforts to block the suspensions pending the outcome of the courtroom challenges to Commissioner Roger Goodell’s exercise of power over the players.  As to the defamation claim filed by Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma against Goodell, however, the NFL has thrown down the proverbial gloves.

Vilma has disclosed on Twitter that the league has asked him, perhaps not politely, to abandon the case.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the more accurate description is that the NFL has filed a  grievance under the CBA against the NFLPA and Vilma seeking an order forcing Vilma to dismiss his defamation suit.  On Wednesday, lawyer Peter Ginsberg informed the league that Vilma will not be withdrawing the defamation suit, arguing that the grievance filed by the league has no merit.

The letter, a copy of which PFT has obtained, contends that the grievance procedure contained in the Collective Bargaining Agreement doesn’t apply in this case, because Vilma filed his suit not “against the NFL or any Club” but against Goodell, and because the defamation claim arises not from the suspension imposed by Goodell on Vilma but from the allegedly false public statements made by Goodell before imposing discipline.

The grievance “constitutes an improper effort to interfere with a pending judicial matter,” Ginsberg writes in his letter to Dennis Curran, NFL Sr. Vice President of Labor Litigation & Policy.  “If you pursue the Grievance, we will consider seeking sanctions against the NFL [Management Council] before Honorable Helen G. Berrigan . . . based on NFLMC’s improper attempt to obstruct a pending judicial action in which it is not a party.”

So, yes, as Vilma surmises, the NFL “no likey [his] lawsuitey.”  And Vilma’s lawyer doesn’t like how the NFL is voicing its displeasure.

And the end result is that the ever-twisting-and-turning bounty case has developed yet another twist and/or turn.

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99 Responses to “League files grievance against Vilma for pursuing defamation case”
  1. catskinnerd11r says: Jul 12, 2012 12:20 AM

    Crush him Roger

  2. doe22us says: Jul 12, 2012 12:24 AM

    Oh lord, the unintelligent and illiterate speak on twitter. This guy Vilma is a joke.

  3. foosballisthedevil says: Jul 12, 2012 12:25 AM

    The Bounty Scandal commercial break was brought to you by Adrian Peterson and the Houston PD

  4. panamon says: Jul 12, 2012 12:26 AM

    “The nfl sent me a letter “demanding” I drop my defamation suit or else…lol or else wat?!?? They no likey me lawsuitey”

    How f’n ignorant do you have to be to post this? My god, he might as well kiss his career goodbye because I do not see that suspension being ‘delayed’ which is all he wants obviously anyway.

  5. The Deep Dig says: Jul 12, 2012 12:30 AM

    Vilma isn’t a joke, you’re reaction is. If you bother understanding the process you’d realize Goodell is afraid of the courtroom. He’s trying to use NFL rules to stop a legal proceeding. He’s the joke and all this courtroom football is due to his “gray area” rulings.

  6. wunsa says: Jul 12, 2012 12:30 AM

    The league must be incredibly desperate to keep the actual “evidence” against the Saints from being exposed in court.

  7. nyyjetsknicks says: Jul 12, 2012 12:32 AM

    Between lawsuits and Vilma not getting paid this year, he might be broke by next Sunday.

  8. saints4evah says: Jul 12, 2012 12:33 AM

    Screw Goodell…and screw ya’ll. Vilma has every right to fight back against the Ginga Ninja, and and this idiot witch hunt.

  9. brownsfn says: Jul 12, 2012 12:34 AM

    This Vilma is just an idiot…plain and simple…grow the f up…

  10. marcinhouston says: Jul 12, 2012 12:35 AM

    I love that Vilma’s lawyer it throwing the “improper” word back at Roger and NFL. The 16 game suspension of Vilma is ridiculous given that the NFL has shown no evidence to prove that Vilma did any more than any other player, just that he was one random guy involved who the commish has spread random unsubstantiated stories about him waving around some money.

  11. wunsa says: Jul 12, 2012 12:36 AM

    The league must be incredibly desperate to keep the actual “evidence” against the Saints from being exposed in court.

  12. odium45 says: Jul 12, 2012 12:37 AM

    Ummmm How is that ignorant? You know on twitter you have a limited number of letters and symbols you can use right? Because if you didn’t know that and you make the statement you just made that is the actual definition of ignorant.

    a : destitute of knowledge or education ; also : lacking knowledge or comprehension of the thing specified b : resulting from or showing lack of knowledge or intelligence

    I am not Vilma’s biggest fan but there is no factual evidence the NFL has presented against the players. If our legal system needed the amount of hear say presented (and presented is the key word) then even our kids would be in jail.

    If you continue to be “ignorant” of the situation you really should just keep your hands off your keyboard and continue playing around the internet with your mouse only.

  13. dkphilly1122 says: Jul 12, 2012 12:37 AM

    He’s such an idiot. As if he’ll ever have an NFL career after this. He could have, if he just sucked it up and admitted his guilt, OR not tried for a stupid lawsuit. This is so old now and they need to drop it all on account it’s boring. He’s so illiterate too. Who types like he did on twitter. I know 4 year olds that type and talk better than he does.

  14. tjigger says: Jul 12, 2012 12:38 AM

    Vilma will win this case. The NFL is afraid it will open up a way for other players to sue him too.

  15. hummer53 says: Jul 12, 2012 12:40 AM

    Vilma is going down. The league with black SUV’s will crush him. Goodell should ramp up the suspension to a lifetime ban due to insubordination of the CBA agreement. Then ban him from working on the NFL Network forever.
    This guy is just a bit player in a league of 1600 players.

  16. discosucs2005 says: Jul 12, 2012 12:40 AM

    “no likey me lawsuitey.”

    …classy

  17. goldrush36 says: Jul 12, 2012 12:40 AM

    Just suspend him indefinitely too. It’s not like anyone will truly miss him in the league

  18. daknight93 says: Jul 12, 2012 12:41 AM

    Cold Hard Facts: Goodell face is still red and he has no regard for player rights…Goodell is a smart but twisted commissioner…c’mon, in his eyes..players are guilty and must prove their innocent…I thought that a person was innocent until proven guilty…Goodell says, ok players where’s your evidence…why does the accused have to provide evidence that they are innocent and how could they if Goodell silenced and dismiss anything the coaches have to say…can’t get a fair hearing in Goodell’s kangaroo court system…this mess won’t go away anytime soon…stay tuned!

  19. vbe2 says: Jul 12, 2012 12:42 AM

    I hope the NFL bans him for life after all of this. He’s done more harm to the NFL than even Rae Carruth.

  20. yssupasigninnamnotyep says: Jul 12, 2012 12:44 AM

    “They no likey me lawsuitey.”

    Are you frickin’ serious Vilma? This is what a supposed grown man acts like? What an idiot to take this crap to the mindless landscape that is twitter…only for twits.

  21. jimbo75025 says: Jul 12, 2012 12:47 AM

    Anybody else think Vilma could be a lead character in the next Dumb and Dumber movie?

  22. sabatimus says: Jul 12, 2012 12:48 AM

    I’m going to file a suit against the grievance because of a suit having to do with another suit. Because I want to be all clowny-like.

  23. 92and94and51and56 says: Jul 12, 2012 12:49 AM

    Go ahead Saints fans, defend this.

  24. yojoemama says: Jul 12, 2012 12:51 AM

    Vilma is a punk and should be banned for life for offering $10,000 to anyone who could injure Favre to be out of the game. Hard evidence or no hard evidence, he is guilty as sin.

  25. purplegreenandgold says: Jul 12, 2012 12:54 AM

    i tweeted vilma and told him to best get his message across to the general public would be to release any info on fridays after 2pm…not during the middle of the week like this. by monday with time to think about it… the believability factor skyrockets. oh yeah…only release it to trusted media.

  26. alonestartexan says: Jul 12, 2012 12:54 AM

    Vilma is virtually committing career suicide… I hope he saved his money.

  27. bearsandjazz says: Jul 12, 2012 12:57 AM

    Vilma….Dude….you lost. Lick your wounds call it a day. Something happened buddy and if you were the most penalized player out of the4 odds are they have more than enough to prove you wrong. You’re absolutely embarrassing yourself and this is going to end badly for you. When will players learn using twitter is a horrible idea when expressing your deepest feelings and thoughts about their boss.

  28. austinwhodat says: Jul 12, 2012 12:59 AM

    doe22us says: Jul 12, 2012 12:24 AM

    Oh lord, the unintelligent and illiterate speak on twitter. This guy Vilma is a joke.

    Uhm … I don’t think so! He is actually quite intelligent and certainly literate! Do a little research. Just your making this broad unsubstantiated comment leads me to believe you might need to question your own intelligence or at the very least deeply reflect on why you’d make such a statement. Just saying!

  29. fmwarner says: Jul 12, 2012 1:01 AM

    The NFL looks more ridiculous and impotent by the day.

  30. covercorner says: Jul 12, 2012 1:02 AM

    Big business is always afraid of juries because it easier to bribe 1 judge than 12 jurors.

  31. treesloth16 says: Jul 12, 2012 1:11 AM

    Me thinky Goodell is scaredy of the defamation lawsuit.

  32. saintsfan26 says: Jul 12, 2012 1:12 AM

    How dare you Vilma for not allowing the NFL to lie about you in public! You should be more like the sheep above me and bow down to the almighty Dictator. How dare you fight for your reputation and defend your good name. How dare you fight for your rights as an American!

  33. snikerbotloot says: Jul 12, 2012 1:14 AM

    Crush him Vilma

  34. jason1980 says: Jul 12, 2012 1:18 AM

    Oh listen to you Goodell slurpers! We will see who gets crushed, there’s nervous tension in the room.

  35. mdd913 says: Jul 12, 2012 1:18 AM

    As usual, the Saints haters are missing the entire point…you know, the part where the league sends someone involved in a legal action against it a THREATENING LETTER.

    Is the league office being run by monkeys?

  36. crabboil says: Jul 12, 2012 1:26 AM

    Love Vilma. His career has already been destroyed by Goodell. He’s got nothing to lose grabbing the Ginger Devil by the horns.

  37. thepurp1 says: Jul 12, 2012 1:27 AM

    Dude should be banned from the league not for bounty gate, but for. Wing a complete moron who thinks he shouldn’t be held accountable for anything, he couldnt work at a gas station with the intellect he has shown.

  38. ilovefoolsball says: Jul 12, 2012 1:27 AM

    Crush him roger?

    What a tool.

  39. sportssince85 says: Jul 12, 2012 1:36 AM

    I really am rooting for Vilma and all the other suspended players cause I really can’t stand Goodell but putting stupid ish like this on twitter is hurting his case..why isn’t his lawyers/advisors telling him to lay low out the light with this nonsense?

  40. phillyphever says: Jul 12, 2012 1:37 AM

    Roger’s winning this war big time right now. Vilma’s making himself look dumber and dumber by the day. I guess that what happens when you go to the U.

  41. sonicsleuth says: Jul 12, 2012 1:40 AM

    Vilma is an idiot.

    Hope he enjoys driving a UPS van.

  42. norvturnersneck says: Jul 12, 2012 1:41 AM

    Great way to TO yourself out of the league. I smell a workout on a driveway coming up.

  43. pacificnw7722 says: Jul 12, 2012 1:42 AM

    Bountygate, SkyHigh Ticket Prices, Vilma Lawsuit, Concussion Lawsuits.

    How will the NFL survive all of this?!

  44. jnova80 says: Jul 12, 2012 1:44 AM

    This whole dispute is the equivalent of two children arguing in the backseat of a car. “He keeps touching me! Tell him to stop!”

  45. radrntn says: Jul 12, 2012 1:47 AM

    i hope vilma wins, or at the very least, we can actually see some real proof. I am sure the commissioner had good intentions, but he has to get off his high horse, and lighten up a bit.

  46. dawglb says: Jul 12, 2012 1:50 AM

    Amen to “Crush him Roger!”

  47. t3dstrik3r says: Jul 12, 2012 2:11 AM

    Ha. No judge would sanction this. And even if she would, it would be a few grand. As if the NFL cares.

    Vilma is showing himself to be a clown, too.

  48. 4evrnyt says: Jul 12, 2012 2:30 AM

    Typical, anyone who has or has spent time with children will recognize this behavior. Knowing that he is suspended for the year and that HE WILL LOSE he’s acting up as much as possible to still try and get attention knowing full well he is about to spend the year on the coach and not in front of tv cameras. His ridiculous ego cant handle the prospect of not getting to give after game interviews or the fact that he will in no way be a subject of interest and he simply cant handle it so he’s acting out as much as he can.

    Manchild, plain and simple. You are listening to a 9 year old in a grown mans body. Pathetic, really.

  49. MGN says: Jul 12, 2012 2:35 AM

    GODdell just blinked!!!

  50. ubpinaz says: Jul 12, 2012 2:36 AM

    I don’t see how that Twitter status constitutes ignorance. Pompous? Sure. Ignorant? Come on.

    Goodell has entirely mismanaged this bounty scandal whether or not the Saints and the suspended parties are guilty of what they are alleged to be or not. As neither a fan nor a hater of the Saints, I have no stake in this.

  51. piemasteruk says: Jul 12, 2012 2:38 AM

    On one hand I think it’s pretty stupid to use the words “or else what?” to the person who an ultimately break your career with a single blow.

    However, I am also intrigued about the ‘or else’ as well. The league have put all their chips in the middle and backed Vilma into a corner. What incentive can they really give him to drop his defamation lawsuit? I’m fairly sure if they suspend him for longer as a result that will break all kinds of labour laws and lead to an even bigger lawsuit.

  52. silentcount says: Jul 12, 2012 2:42 AM

    There’s a reason why no defensive player on any team has pointed a finger at the Saints or Vilma. They all know Goodell could have accused them of the same thing. And if this had happened to them, the top linebackers would be returning fire with no fear the same as Vilma. It’s in their character or they would have never been good at their job. They have much more respect for Vilma than their own fans will ever know.

  53. clickablecontent says: Jul 12, 2012 3:00 AM

    Goodell wins, Vilma wins: It doesn’t matter to Ginsburg, who’s thrown every imaginable attack at the NFL between this and other cases – despite losing. He’s laughing his way through every billable hour. It wouldn’t be prudent but I’d love to see the NFL counter-sue Ginsburg for harassment.

  54. arzcardinals says: Jul 12, 2012 3:09 AM

    Mess with the bull and yu get the horns. I’ve only had season tickets for 15 years…but I know when players fight the shield….the shield always wins.
    If I was
    A friend of Vilma I’d tell him to take the suspension and you’ll
    Be back….fight em and lose the nfl will black
    Ball you….then have fun.
    Take your licks now or be beaten into submission later.

  55. jtdapit50 says: Jul 12, 2012 3:10 AM

    Honestly…. Vilma, suck it up. Brees, pay him. And lets get onto stories about the other 31 teams. I can’t stand looking at this picture of Vilma being posted anymore.

  56. speedel says: Jul 12, 2012 3:21 AM

    How can he separate between the commissioner and the individual? Surely Goodell has always been speaking as a representative of the league on this issue and not based off his own devices.

    Therefore Vilma would have to sue the commissioner and that means suing the league…

  57. wisconsineaglesfan says: Jul 12, 2012 3:27 AM

    The NFL is setting the groundwork to ban him with no NFLPA legal ground to stand on for legal action.

    His career is over.

  58. rekingcrew says: Jul 12, 2012 3:43 AM

    Who can I sue for having to even read headlines about this 5hit?

  59. contract says: Jul 12, 2012 4:18 AM

    Just out of curiosity … how the hell is some arbitrator going to force Vilma to withdraw his lawsuit?

  60. benchwarmer69 says: Jul 12, 2012 4:30 AM

    Man, he just shot himself in the foot.

  61. mwindle1973 says: Jul 12, 2012 5:04 AM

    He made his bed when he decided to go outside the NFLPA and file a defamation suit alone to try and get what he wanted. Instead of waiting in line with the other players until the appeal was final and filing the suit with them. Defamation is not an easy case to win, most never make it to trial. And how do you get an injunction on the suspension in a defamation case anyway? A defamation judgement will get you a lot of money, but it won’t reverse the suspension, and thereby is no reason that an injunction would be granted in a defamation case in the first place.

  62. mwindle1973 says: Jul 12, 2012 5:05 AM

    Maybe who Vilma should sue is his lawyer!

  63. sufferingbirdsfan says: Jul 12, 2012 6:10 AM

    The league is way out of control. Say what you want about Vilma but this whole thing is making a mountain out of a molehill to start with and the NFL just keeps looking more petty every day.

  64. whodatsaybaby says: Jul 12, 2012 6:24 AM

    You Saints Haters are wasting your time. Haven’t you relized by now the WHO DAT NATION will never back down and support our players through hell or high water. Vilma has a case and a very legit one at that. If you took as much time to study the case as you do bashing the Saints, you might find yourself opposing Goddell as well. Quick Facts:
    1. No coach has admitted to a bounty.
    2. No credible evidence can prove a bounty.
    3. Greg Williams speech before 49′ers game, if you listen to the whole speech he ends it with ”Have fun, and don’t hurt anybody.” (but you media trolls knew that, right?)
    4. NFL has dismissed the Hardgrove ”Give me my money” which apparently was there smoking gun eveidence, yet Hardgrove is still suspended.
    5. NFL says Saints had bounty for 3 years, and warned them to stop and they never. Yet in those 3 years have you ever seen a ”cart-off” or illegal ”knockout”? And why would Roger allow it to continue after the first allegation if he was SOOOOOO concerened about the player safety.
    6. Find me one piece of evidence on Will Smith. Please, just one! ! ! ! ! !
    7. Fujita- refer to statment #6. Just one! ! ! ! ! !
    8. Vilma suspended one year for supposedly offering $10,000 to take out Farve, yet thats the same paper of evidence that was retyped by the NFL, and they no longer have the original copy to deem as evidence. Hmmmmm?????
    etc. etc. etc. etc….

    In ending. What? You don’t like the FACTY’S?
    WHOOOOOOOO DATTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!

  65. nashwaakkidd says: Jul 12, 2012 6:57 AM

    Ginsberg-”My client didn’t do nuthin”
    Vilma” Yeah , that’s right”
    Brilliant defense strategy. only winners here are the lawyers, laughing all the way to the bank

  66. ripster65 says: Jul 12, 2012 6:58 AM

    His tweet looks like he’s mocking the Asian language…That’s what’s ignorant, for those who don’t get it.

  67. staugslugga says: Jul 12, 2012 7:08 AM

    Wow. Vilma loves Family Guy and prob was watching it when he posted that to his TWITTER account, not to the New York Times.

    Chill out and get off your high horses. If someone says you did something and you get fired, you wouldn’t do anything possible to defend yourself, esp if you know you didn’t do it?

  68. cwwgk says: Jul 12, 2012 7:24 AM

    Ultimately, Vilma is another example of a NFL player who appears to be ill prepared for life after football. He has every right to pursue all remedies to which he believes he’s entitled under the law. That is not the issue.

    What’s problematic is how Vilma is trying obtain the relief he seeks. He certainly doesn’t seem to think any particular rules apply to him. Meet with the commissioner before being disciplined? Why bother? Participate in the discipline process agreed to by your union? That’s for Chumps. No, instead I’m going to stomp and scream in front of the press like a petulant child.

    Calling your adversary names may have worked in a school yard or on a football field. In the real world, it is a telltale sign of insecurity and desperation.

    Our judicial system demands decorum and respect of the tribunal and fellow litigants. Thus far, Vilma has demonstrated no such interest. He would rather beat his chest and yell as loud as he can. Even his lawyer likes to accuse judges of impropriety. So much so his law license got suspended in Florida for five years and was fined over $370,000.

    For better or worse, Vilma now finds himself in a courtroom. It’s a playing field with which he’s unfamiliar and a game dominated by lawyers, not football players.

    Mr. Vilma most likely will soon be finding out our judicial system does not suffer fools lightly.

  69. qdog112 says: Jul 12, 2012 7:27 AM

    The plot thickens. This represents the first time in recent memory that the NFL legal team has had to actually do some work. (if they ever have)

    The rust is showing. If Vilma’s suit gets to court, that is, not dismissed, Goodell and his guys are in for a lesson in American Jurisprudence.

    Vilma can lose the suit, but he wins the “discovery” battle, which is what he needs to get his suspension overturned or reduced.

    I’ve said all along that a legal led by Jeff Pash, is a second string, JV type team that is untested. The NFL is in trouble.

  70. miles58a says: Jul 12, 2012 7:34 AM

    Looks like Goodell is starting to worry

  71. anpsteel says: Jul 12, 2012 7:55 AM

    wow. Lots of folks bashing Vilma for his twitterspeak.

    For good or bad, that is what twitter is. Don’t point your hate finger at Vilma because he used made up words and gramatical structure on twitter.

    If you are going to pull out the hateraid card, you might want to be honest with yourself as to the reason.

    Personally, I cant stand Twitter, but hope Vilma and his attorney crush the high commander Goodell in court.

  72. bucs13 says: Jul 12, 2012 8:05 AM

    1. This letter was not a threat. This was a “demand”, which is what is required to start the grievance process under a CBA. Term of art.

    2. It’s entirely proper for this to be sent, it helps the Motion to Dismiss, and I am somewhat surprised it took this long.

  73. sj39 says: Jul 12, 2012 8:18 AM

    Well, it’s official and I never thought I would say it but after reading the comments I must surmise that delusional, in-denial Saints fans are even worse off than delusional, in-denial Patriot fans. Do you care nothing about the game of football?

  74. bigjdve says: Jul 12, 2012 8:21 AM

    Contract: the only thing that I can think of, is that the arbitrator can’t force him to drop the lawsuit, however if the arbitrator rules in favor of the league and he doesn’t withdraw the case that would make him in violation of the CBA and ineligible to either remain in the union or play. Either way it would make the suspension stand.

    That is only my guess, if anyone knows more I would love to know as I am curious as well.

  75. ripster65 says: Jul 12, 2012 8:24 AM

    If you read the tweet before PFT pulled it (likely after my last post that pointed that out, which too has been pulled), you’d see that the ignorance comes from mocking the Asian language…oh, and the “or else what” part was pretty dumb too.

  76. samoanjungle says: Jul 12, 2012 8:37 AM

    This isn’t going to help him when he applies for reinstatement

  77. renhoekk2 says: Jul 12, 2012 9:40 AM

    Vilma is a smart guy. He knew his career was over from this. If he did nothing and took his punishment (innocent or not) no team would touch a player accused of offering a $10,000 bounty on a QB. The NFL and Goodell will never backtrack and admit they were wrong. NEVER. So he is taking the lying, self indulgent coward Goodell down with him. If some guy took your career, reputation and millions of dollars from you, I would hope you would have the nuggets to do the same thing.

  78. bigball1 says: Jul 12, 2012 9:41 AM

    For all you out there that say Vilma should just “suck it up and accept the suspension”. You just don’t get it! And someone said he was a nobody and that he would not be missed anyway…..
    This is a man that has been accused and penalized for something he fully believes he is not guilty of. It is not in his nature, and I’m surprised it would be in yours to “just accept it”! And being treated like a nobody and sacrificed by Goodell likely so he can make a statement about the NFL’s undying support and vigilance on player safety is a little hard to just accept! Good Luck Jonathan!

  79. xakle says: Jul 12, 2012 10:24 AM

    yojoemama says:
    Jul 12, 2012 12:51 AM
    Vilma is a punk and should be banned for life for offering $10,000 to anyone who could injure Favre to be out of the game. Hard evidence or no hard evidence, he is guilty as sin.
    ____________________________

    Vilma denied offering $10,000. Vitt denied corroborating that any player offered money against specific players.

    Vitt’s name is also on the “ledger” that says he offered 5,000 to take out Favre. Vitt denied that… called Goodell, and Goodell admitted that the 5,000 for Vitt was false (how can you admit that but still accept everything else on that ledger as 100% true?).

    The other two the league claims corroborated the 10k were Cerullo (accuser) and Gregg Williams. According to Ginsberg… Cerullo already retracted his statements against the Saints. Williams hasn’t said anything because he’s being blocked by his lawyer since he’s suspended indefinitely… meaning if he speaks out against the NFL… he’s done.

  80. bigjdve says: Jul 12, 2012 10:48 AM

    Of course Williams isn’t talking. He made a deal to get consideration for a shorter suspension. The NFL has stated that he can say what he wants and that probably is true. However as with any other type of deal like this, if he recants that would make the deal void.

    So it becomes Williams choice not to say anything as it is his career or Vilma’s. Looking at the long term he has more to lose then Vilma as he can coach longer than Vilma can play.

    Right or wrong, that is a reasonable assessment.

    Now if we are looking for truth, that may or may not be the right thing to do.

    Regarding the other statement, that Vilma believes that he is innocent. No he doesn’t, he believes that they don’t have the ability to prove it. That is what I take from his statements.

    It will be interesting to see what happens with all of the lawsuits and legal wrangling.

  81. jjbadd says: Jul 12, 2012 11:00 AM

    In order to take away some of Goodell’s tyrancy..this is really important. I may or may not agree with Vilma, but I’m sure Goodell has TOO MUCH power to do whatever he wants, having evidence or not…so Go Vilma, just stop using terms like “lawsuity”

  82. purpleguy says: Jul 12, 2012 11:15 AM

    I’m not sure who is dumber and lacks more perspective — Vilma, the Saints or Saints fans.

  83. bigball1 says: Jul 12, 2012 11:29 AM

    And really why would the league file a grievance against the NFLPA for a suit filed by Vilma independent from the PA?
    Me thinky the same person is making their legal decisions that ran their bounty investigation!

  84. vader7176 says: Jul 12, 2012 1:17 PM

    Scenario: Vilma’s Lawyer continues to file stuff for his new cash cow. Vilma, who only learned how to blitz in college, keeps paying him. The NFL’ s lawyers are smarter than his lawyer and win big. Godell’s ability to punish is upheld and Vilma is banned for life but still has to pay his ambulance chaser. 5 years later he’s a getting financial advise from Warren Sapp (the”U” again). Beware of karma.

  85. jedidev says: Jul 12, 2012 1:27 PM

    purpleguy says:
    Jul 12, 2012 11:15 AM

    I’m not sure who is dumber and lacks more perspective — Vilma, the Saints or Saints fans.

    ——————-

    The dumbest people of all are those that don’t even want to get to the truth of the matter.

    Saints fans just want to know the ugly truth – whatever it is, and the “evidence” the NFL has released or leaked out to the media is either vague and could literally mean anything, or has been discredited within a day by mere fans (see the “ledger” leak – which wasn’t even submitted to the players for their appeals because it did not actually support the NFL’s initial accusations of pay-to-injure).

    The longer it takes for the NFL to prove anything to us, the more suspicious we have become that there’s really nothing substantial to back up their claims. Combined with the very, very strange way they’ve handled this entire situation, it just fosters doubt in the system and this has grown to the pervasive outcry you see and loathe today. Because it doesn’t affect you personally.

    And face it – Goodell and the NFL are the ones who publicized these accusations before fully resolving the situation with suspensions and appeals, and before even attempting to discuss the situation with the players. It’s likely that the NFL has painted themselves into the proverbial corner. If they can prove otherwise, I’m more than willing to accept it and move on – but they tried to sell me a story and I bit at first. Now I want to take them to task to prove their damning accusations or to reduce the penalties to be commensurate with the actual, known and admitted violations. (Read the coach’s statements more carefully and within the context of the accusations at the time. Also note that Williams’ original statement was rejected by and re-written by the NFL)

    Now Saints fans (and others who are paying attention) will see the rhetoric from the NFL has cooled down. No longer are they accusing “Pay-to-injure” or straight up “Bounty Program” – they are now only saying “Pay for Performance/Bounty Program” because that wording is correct regardless of whether the Saints had a PFP or a Bounty program. It’s well established that a PFP existed. “Bounty” not so well established – if we are defining this as placing money on specific targets. I recognize there are claims, but the evidence still leaves room for doubt, and I want to know.

  86. sidneykleinpeter says: Jul 12, 2012 5:37 PM

    Its hilarious how uninformed some people are.

    1) This was likely Vilma’s last year in the league anyway, he maybe had one more but that’s it…he has nothing to lose by going all out and trying to get this year back and protect his name

    2) He has the NFLPA lawyer…this isn’t costing him anything

    3) Every team should be glad the Saints players are standing up to Goodell because if he continues to go unchecked he could do something like this to any team

    I am not even a Saints fan I admit I fell for the story when it first broke, but week after week the “evidence” the NFL has shown has been very, very weak. I am glad that Florio seems to be one of the few media members out there even keeping up with it (ESPN has been a joke when reporting this case.) They keep claiming they have tons and tons “50,000+ pages” but they keep holding it back.

    If this case is as “strong” as the NFL alleges then why are they so afraid of going to court about it? It should be a slam dunk according to them, right?

  87. usmcsniper1 says: Jul 12, 2012 9:03 PM

    YOU’re accused of robbery & murder, but they won’t allow you to confront your accuser, then the general idiotic public hate-corp comes in to tell you to give it up and take your medicine.

    Goodell has taken Vilma’s life away from him on BS evidence, HEARSAY, that no court in the world would allow, but according to the imbeciles on this site, he shouldn’t take up for himself. Idiots!

    WTF ever happened to FAIRPLAY in this communist country. Some of you should hang yourselves for being stupid.

  88. espnfeedback says: Jul 12, 2012 10:48 PM

    For all that choose to believe base stereotypical and false assumptions about all athletes that they are by and large ignorant, have poor impulse control, and are all hoodlums who only got where they are by some fortuitous genetic accident, and furthermore they all will end up penniless back where they belong: I admonish you to not attribute these misguided traits to Mr. Vilma. Check into the family background of Mr Vilma. He graduated in 3 years from the U. His family is a pilar of the South Florida community. The family has been upwardly mobile over multiple generations and is replete with advanced degrees and is the embodiment of respect and success. They fund foundations that do Gods work there and in their native Haiti. I know all this because I had the great fortune to get to know them when I was in school in Cambridge Ma and his sister was at Harvard Busiess School.

    Jonathan Vilma is no fool. He has great integrity. He is NO ONES stereotype.

    @ESPMfeedback

  89. bigball1 says: Jul 12, 2012 11:01 PM

    Actually this is kind of ironic. The players were trying to play the no lawsuit card in their grievance against the NFL. That did not work because the action brought against the players was deemed not a lawsuit but a penalty.
    Funny that the efforts on the NFL’s “No Suits” case hopefully will not work because the suit is not brought against the NFL but against Roger Goodell….Funny how things that go around, come around.

  90. korikill says: Jul 13, 2012 12:12 AM

    Yeah, because the players sure didn’t just HAND OVER this kind of power to Goodell and the league, just for more money in their pockets! -Oh, wait…

  91. tweeter75 says: Jul 13, 2012 1:05 AM

    After reading that absolute moronic and idiotic tweet, I feel sorry for Vilma. Doesn’t he have advisors, agent, or even a friend to look out for him?

    Even by the twitter moron standards that tweet has got to be the most idiotic, moronic, and childish I’ve ever seen, I can’t help but feel sorry for someone that stupid.

  92. bigjdve says: Jul 13, 2012 1:25 AM

    usmcsniper1: your assertion about not being able to face your accuser is a little off.

    If you are charged with robbery or murder and you don’t show up to court you get convicted. You don’t then get to say that you didn’t see the evidence. At that point, you have to wait for the appeal, and at that hearing you still really don’t get to see the evidence because at an appeal it is your job to show why the conviction is wrong.

    I don’t know if the NFL has damning evidence or not. I do know that the players decided not to show up at the NFL’s assigned hearings.

    Oh yeah and as to the players assertion that Goodell turned them down when they asked to talk to him, he doesn’t have to talk to them when they want, it is their job to go to him when he says.

    Rob a bank and then tell the judge when you are willing to go to trial, it doesn’t work that way.

    The problem the players have is that they decided to not play by the rules that they signed for.

    Now, Goodell doesn’t have to show anything. The time for showing was at the hearing, that the players decided that they didn’t need to show up for.

    We all want to see evidence, he doesn’t have to show it.

    For all we know, he could be bluffing but the players decided to not make him show his hand. They can’t do that now.

    They had their chance to face their accuser and they refused to do it.

    Did they get railroaded, we may never know. That isn’t Goodell’s fault, that is the players fault for trying to play chicken with the Judge and Jury.

  93. usmcsniper1 says: Jul 13, 2012 2:04 PM

    P.S.
    If they had anything worthy of being called “evidence,” they would have gladly disclosed it and cut through all the BS.

    They didn’t show it because their case is as weak as a puppy fart. They will go down on this one and nobody deserves it more.

  94. usmcsniper1 says: Jul 13, 2012 2:13 PM

    Well, my initial answer to bigjdve has been removed, I guess it made too much sense and really condemned the league for their irrational acts in this case.

    Too bad, it was filled with great insight.

  95. bigjdve says: Jul 13, 2012 10:41 PM

    I would love to have heard what you had to say.

    However in reference to your PS, I don’t know if they have enough evidence, I just know the players didn’t show.

  96. jhtobias says: Jul 17, 2012 1:45 PM

    I was unaware Rodger Goodell had input on player conduct in the Arena Football League ?

  97. usmcsniper1 says: Jul 17, 2012 4:19 PM

    One thing more: Greg Williams says he will coach again. If he hasn’t been bought off by the league with the promise of a job, there ain’t a cow in Texas.

    Can’t you guys see the league’s desperation in all this, especially since Vilma filed a sure loser for Roger?

    The so-called evidence will come out and the world will know they are full of crap.

    Now they’re saying Vilma can practice with a Saints trainer, to mitigate the damages he’s definitely entitled to. Screw Roger and the Gestapo League, liars and crooks!

  98. jacksprat57 says: Jul 18, 2012 5:46 PM

    Mr. Vilma should file criminal complaints against Mr. Goodell at both the State and Federal levels. This reads as extortion against him, as well as the associated charges for misuse of communications facilities across State lines for the purpose of criminal activity.

  99. usmcsniper1 says: Jul 18, 2012 8:42 PM

    Unfortunately, we serfs have made the God-awful mistake of giving our prosecutorial power to the corrupt state. Now, criminal injustices can’t be remedied when the other party is politically connected.

    OTOH, there can be no doubt that a criminal conspiracy has taken place in this case, just really a bad deal that we are all dis-empowered to act on that information.

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