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Only Vilma will pursue a preliminary injunction for bounty suspension

Scott Fujita AP

We’ve assumed for weeks that the three players whose bounty suspensions commence as of Week One of the regular season will seek a preliminary injunction blocking those suspensions until the litigation attacking the suspensions is resolved.  To date, they haven’t.

Per a source with knowledge of the plans of Saints defensive end Will Smith, Packers defensive end Anthony Hargrove, and Browns linebacker Scott Fujita, they currently don’t plan to seek a so-called preliminary injunction.

The source explains that the players and the NFLPA see no need for a preliminary injunction because the goal is press for a judicial resolution of the lawsuits before the regular season begins.  Unlike Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, whose one-year suspension began immediately as of July 2, Smith, Hargrove, and Fujita may participate in training camp and the preseason.

It’s possible if not likely that Judge Helen G. Berrigan will resolve the cases before the start of the regular season.  Regardless of the outcome, the issues are very simple.

Although on the surface it appears to be a risky, all-in proposition to not seek an order blocking the suspensions while the litigation unfolds, the StarCaps precedent suggests that, if Vilma obtains a preliminary injunction, the league could choose to delay the other three suspensions, too.  Specifically, when litigation filed by Saints defensive ends Will Smith and Charles Grant and running back Deuce McAllister was resolved to permit the NFL to suspend the players who tested positive for the prescription diuretic that had been secretly added to StarCaps (actually, at that point only Smith was still in the league), the league delayed the suspension because Vikings defensive tackles Pat and Kevin Williams still had a viable preliminary injunction in place.

And while all four of the players suspended in the bounty case may lose at the trial court level before the regular season begins, Vilma could apply for an ongoing injunction with the appellate court — just as the Williamses did (successfully) after losing at the trial-court level in the StarCaps case.

So, basically, the other three players aren’t seeking a preliminary injunction.  But if Vilma is successful they may not need to.

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12 Responses to “Only Vilma will pursue a preliminary injunction for bounty suspension”
  1. bearsman23 says: Jul 23, 2012 1:24 PM

    Hes like a mosquito at a bbq….He won’t give up……Tke your suspenion and accept it like a man.

  2. jpb12 says: Jul 23, 2012 1:29 PM

    Vilma has nothing to lose and everything to gain in maintaining his charade

  3. mojosmagic says: Jul 23, 2012 1:38 PM

    Wait until the players see the legal bill run up by the new union leadership which is made up of attorneys. All of the law firm cronies they hired will be reaping huge fee’s from the union this year and in the future because of their hostile legalize approach. Players are probably to dumb to read a P&L statement to see whats going on.

  4. dexterismyhero says: Jul 23, 2012 1:42 PM

    Take your ball and go home Jonathan Wilma…….

  5. medtxpack says: Jul 23, 2012 1:42 PM

    Vilma will miss out on his next contract if he doesnt play this season at all.

  6. patriots123456 says: Jul 23, 2012 1:51 PM

    Evidently three of them came to their senses.

    Vilma = The Lone Ranger

  7. kash71 says: Jul 23, 2012 2:56 PM

    I want this trial to happen because I want to see if more info hits the light of day about all this. With an audio and a weak pdf the NFL has release, I feel like a lot is missing here.

  8. brian31471 says: Jul 23, 2012 3:53 PM

    Why on earth would he just lay down and take it? Sure, he probably won’t win, but there’s nothing lost in trying to fight.

    Don’t give up and take it like a man, like a previous poster suggests he should do. Keep fighting, someone has to challenge Goodell.

  9. worldchampsbaby says: Jul 23, 2012 5:10 PM

    and Brian why do you feel challenging Goodell is so important.He is the voice of the NFLthe OWNERS,yes those people who own the teams ,and subsequently, the league.Goodell is protecting the emblem.With the concussion suits going forth,the NFL cannot allow teams and players who participated in the unauthorized head hunting (bounties) to go unpunished.If the law suits for concussions are successful,you are looking at the end of the sport as we know it.

    Challenging the BOSS in the private sector gets you eventually fired. Here it does nothing.

  10. asylumguido says: Jul 23, 2012 7:35 PM

    Why should you just accept the punishment for something that you didn’t do? That makes no sense. To date there has been ZERO evidence presented that proves the existence of a bounty system. ZERO.

    There has been nothing but a couple of loose connection of dots which Goodell has used to paint the picture. If you incorrectly connect dots you can turn the Mona Lisa into an outline of a toilet.

    Both Vilma and Vitt have submitted affidavits denying the existence of a bounty system. Why would they do that when it would result in a charge of perjury if proven false?

    Many of you have blindly accept what you have been force fed. It is time this all comes out into the open and seen for what it really is.

  11. gtodriver says: Jul 23, 2012 8:09 PM

    Brian

    If Vilma is commited what he is accused of (and I believe he did), then I (as well as most people) believe that Vilma should accept and serve his suspension.

    There is plenty to be lost in the fight – all the attorney’s fees to start with.

    How much is coming out of his pocket, and how much will come out of the pockets of his fellow NFLPA members.

    There are plenty of players that aren’t happy about the union spending their (the NFLPA members) money defending this guy.

  12. brian31471 says: Jul 24, 2012 10:39 AM

    Gto – problem is he does not feel he is guilty of what he is accused of. And personally, I have yet to see any evidence that the Saints ran a pay to injure program where players were specifically targeted.

    You really believe Vilma is worried about attorney fees. The man is a millionaire twenty times over, so who cares. Also, the NFLPA is NOT defending him. He sought out private council and is conducting his own legal challenge.

    Goodell is the worst commissioner in the history of the league. He does not care about player safety; he’s only trying to save face in while the league is being sued by all the former players. If he cares so much, why is he pushing for an 18 game season. Don’t get me wrong, I’m in favor of an 18 game season because I still pay full price for two preseason games, which are garbage.

    I can foresee a work stoppage before the current CBA expires. If there are many more cases where Goodell wrongfully suspends players, I can’t see how the NFLPA would take it lying down.

    Challenging the boss here won’t have any lasting ill effects on Vilma. I know of two job offers he has when he retires, one of which is from NFL Network. The other is from the New Orleans Fox affiliate. He’ll be fine.

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