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Judge ends Vilma hearing without ruling

ADDITION Bounties Vilma Football AP

Plenty of things could have happened during Friday’s hearing in the bounty lawsuits.  In the end, nothing happened at all.

Judge Helen G. Berrigan issued no ruling of any kind, taking the various pending motions and requests under advisement, according to the Twitter account of Tulane law professor Gabe Feldman.

She urged the parties to try to settle their differences, and she said that it could take some time to make a decision.  During the hearing, Judge Berrigan suggested that she may have to wait until the August 30 appeal of arbitrator Stephen Burbank’s decision that Commissioner Roger Goodell’s jurisdiction isn’t superseded by the labor deal’s rules regarding salary-cap violations.

As Judge Berrigan said during the hearing, she wants to find for Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, if she can find a legal basis for doing so.  Later in the hearing, Judge Berrigan said of the league’s process, “This makes me crazy because I don’t think [the league's process] was fair.”

The problem is that Judge Berrigan needs to come up with a way to connect the dots leading from the legal theories raised to the outcome desired.  Undoubtedly, she’ll give her team of law clerks the task of searching for a path through the maze.  If they can, Vilma and company will win.  If they can’t, the league will.

And any judgment will be subject to appeal.  That’s really the lens through which Judge Berrigan will craft her decision.  Judges don’t like to be told by other judges that they were wrong; Judge Berrigan will ultimately want to be right — and to be vindicated.

Whether she’ll be vindicated for vindicating Vilma and the Saints remains to be seen.

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63 Responses to “Judge ends Vilma hearing without ruling”
  1. maryannwiththeshakyhands says: Aug 10, 2012 1:43 PM

    Thank goodness this is not over yet.

  2. eagleswin says: Aug 10, 2012 1:44 PM

    As Judge Berrigan said during the hearing, she wants to find for Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, if she can find a legal basis for doing so. Later in the hearing, Judge Berrigan said of the league’s process, “This makes me crazy because I don’t think [the league's process] was fair.”

    ——————————————

    Is the Judge aware that the players could’ve had a more equitable system if they had given back some money to the owners. The players chose the money and now want to whine about the system while keeping the money.

    Regardless of her personal feelings, she knows that Vilma doesn’t have a legal leg to stand on and is looking for any loophole she can.

  3. dhsbennett says: Aug 10, 2012 1:47 PM

    The nflpa agreed to allow goodell his power so I don’t understand the argument…. It seems to me the union failed its members

  4. santolonius says: Aug 10, 2012 1:52 PM

    to me the headline here is the judge said “i don’t think the league’s process was fair.” that seems pretty significant.

  5. johnnybgood19 says: Aug 10, 2012 1:56 PM

    Why in the world would a judge make a public statement like that???? The statement that she wants the parties to try to solve this matter so she wont have to make a decission speaks volumns, she knows that the contract provisions are bad but yet they are contract provisions and as such binding unless they violate some other law which of course they do not… she wants to scare Goodell into making a deal with Vilma… Goodell can’t blink now…

    The players gave Goodell all that power. It was to be for the betterment of the league. But…. is the decissions made by Goodell in the bounty-gate case anything that is good for the league????

  6. pobreezy says: Aug 10, 2012 1:57 PM

    Through this case it is apparent that people just REALLY want the saints to be guilty. I’ve heard everything from “the judge has been bought” to “she just wants to get reelected judge” (of which federal judges don’t get elected, and over a hundred of you agreed to this idiotic claim). I’m not even going to try to convince anyone how warped this case is or how you still for some reason think that the saints intentionally went out and injured players is ridiculous. Instead I will ask that the next extreme in their beliefs person to comment ASK about the thing that is burning in your head. I only post on here to make Facts known, not my personal opinion. Things get pretty crazy when people quote others that are wrong and then, BOOM, out come the pitchforks.

  7. ascensionparish says: Aug 10, 2012 1:58 PM

    eagleswin says:Aug 10, 2012 1:44 PM

    Regardless of her personal feelings, she knows that Vilma doesn’t have a legal leg to stand on and is looking for any loophole she can.
    ———————————————

    Clearly you weren’t following the hearing this morning. The federally-appointed judge doesn’t think that at all.

    She’s just trying to figure out if she can give a ruling that pre-empts the appeal hearing to Burbank on Aug. 30.

  8. sb44champs says: Aug 10, 2012 1:58 PM

    “Regardless of her personal feelings, she knows that Vilma doesn’t have a legal leg to stand on and is looking for any loophole she can.”
    —————————————–
    This, of course, is coming from an underachieving NFC Eagles team that’s been anually dismissed at the hands of the New Orleans Saints. True Dat!

  9. ibottpsgoldpants says: Aug 10, 2012 2:00 PM

    This judge showed her bias in her comments. I can foresee these being used against her in an appeal by the league.

    And yes, one can expect a liberal judge to side in the favor of the worker over the corporation, regardless of right or wrong.

  10. cwwgk says: Aug 10, 2012 2:01 PM

    The fact that an experienced federal judge has to go looking for case law to support Vilma’s claims speaks volumes on two fronts. First, it’s more than likely there is none. Two, she’s being less than objective which contradicts her duty as a judge.

  11. bigbluefan1 says: Aug 10, 2012 2:04 PM

    If the judge does not like the contract the players signed with the NFL well to damn bad for her.

    If she says the contract is not binding then the league IE the money will have a party at the expence of the players that did not break the contract.

  12. daysend564 says: Aug 10, 2012 2:04 PM

    If Vilma was smart (not saying he is), he’d take the 8 game deal and drop the charges against Goodell. Even if overturned, he’s going miss all preseason and will take him 5-6 weeks to get up to par anyhow. Of course, he could still be out the full year if he doesn’t.

    Weigh your risks and take the deal…

  13. sb44champs says: Aug 10, 2012 2:05 PM

    “she’s being less than objective which contradicts her duty as a judge.”
    —————————————–
    Did you not see her quote “This makes me crazy because I don’t think [the league's process] was fair”………… Even a federal judge believes the leagues process wasn’t fair!!!!!!!

  14. nygmenruleny says: Aug 10, 2012 2:06 PM

    Fair or not is not the case before the judge. This is the agreed to process that the NFLPA agreed to. Fairness does not play into this. On top of everything else, this judge just proved that she is not an impartial collector of facts here. She just admitted that she wants to vindicate Vilma based on something that is irrelavant (fairness) and is looking for a legal reason to do what she wants to do, not follow the law. That in and of itself will get this case overturned if she decides against the NFL.

  15. nzem says: Aug 10, 2012 2:09 PM

    santolonius says:
    Aug 10, 2012 1:52 PM
    to me the headline here is the judge said “i don’t think the league’s process was fair.” that seems pretty significant.

    Significant it may seem but for a judge to have to go searching for a way to make a ruling in favor of Vilma shows that NFL have covered all possible loopholes for anyone to bring a case against them. Vilma’s lawyer is just milking billable hours and making himself relevant and rich

  16. mvp43 says: Aug 10, 2012 2:11 PM

    Dear Judge- Two things:

    1.The players approved the CBA thereby giving the commish the power to drop the hammer as he so chooses.

    2. Just do your job and interpret the law, without inserting your personal opinion.

  17. renhoekk2 says: Aug 10, 2012 2:12 PM

    No one was sitting in on the CBA discussions so we don’t know what was offered. Maybe the owners said we will give up the commissioner’s all encompassing power but it will cost you X amt of dollars. With X being some ridiculous number they new the players would never agree to.

  18. robf2010 says: Aug 10, 2012 2:12 PM

    “Is the Judge aware that the players could’ve had a more equitable system if they had given back some money to the owners”

    Who says? Everything I’ve read on that is that any mention of curtailing the commissioner’s power was a “non-starter”.

    Why does everyone here think a deal is a deal? The owners don’t honor contracts. The players don’t honor contracts. This is the world they all built.

  19. mitchdms says: Aug 10, 2012 2:15 PM

    The lack of understanding of the judge’s comments and about Vilma and the NFLPA’s case that shows up in the comments is nothing short of breathtaking.

    Her “bias” is based only upon previous testimony when she could have rendered a verdict. Her concerns are that Goodell operated OUTSIDE of the CBA that all parties agreed to, which is the actual argument from the players. Please read the arguments before making the same old uninformed comments in he future. You’ll be a better person for it.

  20. daveman8403 says: Aug 10, 2012 2:15 PM

    Part of the CBA STATES that the appeal process must fair. So yes, it does matter.

  21. njsteelersfan says: Aug 10, 2012 2:17 PM

    If I was the NFL I would ask for a new judge . She is a not impartial judge due to the things she says “As Judge Berrigan said during the hearing, she wants to find for Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, if she can find a legal basis for doing so. Later in the hearing, Judge Berrigan said of the league’s process, “This makes me crazy because I don’t think [the league's process] was fair.” She shouldn’t speak her opinion

  22. treadstone06 says: Aug 10, 2012 2:18 PM

    After she said that she wants to rule for Vilma, why was she not immediately removed from the case. No matter what side you favor, that judge is now admittedly biased and should be gone.

  23. prplpuzzetrz says: Aug 10, 2012 2:19 PM

    This whole process is a witch hunt! Much like the Salem Witch trials!
    If Vilma had a leg to stand on, Payton & Williams & Co. Would all take part in the party! Vilma , filing everything he can to stall the inevitable , only separates himself even further from the league!
    His fear, I imagine is much like what happened to Plaxico. After a Year out of the league, his skills & stock will decline & this could be the beginning of the end for the big buck bandit

  24. ripster65 says: Aug 10, 2012 2:22 PM

    Is it even right for a judge to come out and say who they favor while the case is still in court?

  25. butthatmakestoomuchsense says: Aug 10, 2012 2:23 PM

    eagleswin says: Is the Judge aware that the players could’ve had a more equitable system if they had given back some money to the owners. The players chose the money and now want to whine about the system while keeping the money.

    Like clockwork, this poster repeats the same lie in every thread concerning the Vilma case.

    Anyone following the lockout knows there were no monetary ties to Goodell’s authority as a disciplinarian. Don’t let the propagandaists fool you.

  26. brenenostler says: Aug 10, 2012 2:25 PM

    How is the NFL supposed to show that it cares about player safety if they can’t even enforce these punishments???

    If Vilma plays this year, it’s going to give the NFL a bad reputation.

  27. jared2020 says: Aug 10, 2012 2:30 PM

    I want to see the full “Discovery” of evidence.
    If it comes to light in the next arbitration process, and it shows that the Saints were not guilty of pay to Injure, but instead pay for performance, Goodell will get burned.
    He does not have the authority to punish cap violations, which is what a pay for performance program would fall under.

    Just being a neutral standing NFL fan, the tide is turning in my mind towards the Saints being completely hammered for something that they did not really do. ( pay to injure). The more we follow this process in and unbiased, one cant help but start to ask questions about how genuine this ” Health of the Players Crusade” that Goodell has been touting.

    It seems to me at this point, that Goodell made this move of severe punishment, as a statement to the retired players of the NFL who are constantly suing the league. His statement says ” Look at how i punished the Saints for their outrageous and malicious acts of war. We wont stand for this. “

  28. roadtrip3500 says: Aug 10, 2012 2:31 PM

    If the league really wants to stick it to Vilma, they could offer him an 8-game suspension, but instead of the first 8 games, make it the last 8 games. Then, if the Saints make the playoffs, Vilma plays ice-cold against the NFC’s best in January with at most 2 weeks of practice (if the Saints get a bye) – and at that point in the year, the teams are doing very little work in pads under the new CBA.

  29. saintondabeach says: Aug 10, 2012 2:31 PM

    For those truly interested in what is going on without the emotion.

    The Judge has identified two issues; first, the NFL’s failure to create the appeal panel was previously identified as a violation of the CBA. That has now been done and she has decided that the case should not be considered until the panel discharges its function. Second, she has identified a conflict in the CBA. Because the CBA specifically precludes suspensions for pay for performance the NFL says this is conduct detrimental. Normal contract rules hold that a specific clause (P4P) overrides a general clause (CD), but I do not know if this is true in labor law. The Court has also ridiculed the factual basis for the NFL saying this is CD and not P4P calling it “borderline ridiculous.” Contractual interpretation is a question of law, and if she finds that the CBA is inconsistent or in conflict she could rule that facts which have been presented, remember the NFL put forth no facts, do not support a CD claim as defined by the CBA, then she could rule that the specific language of the CBA precludes the suspension altogether.

  30. miamisaint3255 says: Aug 10, 2012 2:37 PM

    njsteelersfan says:
    Aug 10, 2012 2:17 PM
    If I was the NFL I would ask for a new judge . She is a not impartial judge due to the things she says “As Judge Berrigan said during the hearing, she wants to find for Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, if she can find a legal basis for doing so. Later in the hearing, Judge Berrigan said of the league’s process, “This makes me crazy because I don’t think [the league's process] was fair.” She shouldn’t speak her opinion.

    Are you aware this is the US court system? Are you speaking from your vast experience as a federal judge or as an attorney litigating in federal court?

    Well, I have the latter and can assure you judges can and do give their opinions all the time.

    The Saints bashers now are left with nothing more to their argument than to say “it does not matter if it was not fair, that is irrelevant.” That argument is faulty because it does matter in this litigation, but it is a far cry from and comical when comparing to the arguments not too long ago that the Saints actually did have a bounty system. Everyone, even the Saints bashers on this board, now no full well that this process was unfair, a sham, and that there was not a bounty system, that there is no evidence of one and never was, that the NFL misrepresented and mislead the media and the public from the get go. But all that is now supposedly ok for the Saints basher. To that person (most of whom seem to think they understand how a federal court works because maybe they stayed in a holiday inn express last night) fairness is irrelevant.

  31. ftcsubs says: Aug 10, 2012 2:38 PM

    Why is the Judge doing the job of the attorney for Vilma? A Judge is suppose to be IMPARTIAL. a judge is not suppose to be doing the job of the attornies. if their argument is not justified than dismiss the case. just because you are a Saints fan and a liberal and dont understand how the legal system works. does not allow you to forgo your duty you swore to uphold. Do your Job listen to the facts. if the attornies do not present the case the way you think as a Saints fan should be done, does not give you the authority to become Vilma’s Lawyer also. Be impartial and do your JOB.

  32. jared2020 says: Aug 10, 2012 2:44 PM

    Saintondabeach

    Thank you for relaying that information. Most of these people are clueless of the true issues at stake.
    They are seeing it as a guilty Vilma trying to “weasel” out of his punishment.

  33. khuxford says: Aug 10, 2012 2:56 PM

    nygmenruleny says:
    Aug 10, 2012 2:06 PM
    Fair or not is not the case before the judge. This is the agreed to process that the NFLPA agreed to.
    ——————–

    Are you serious? The NFLPA agreed to a process that was supposed to be fair, but was (in hindsight) without the checks and balances that would help insure that. Goodell being where the buck stops doesn’t mean his decisions can’t be challenged legally.

  34. fmwarner says: Aug 10, 2012 3:01 PM

    sb44champs says: Aug 10, 2012 1:58 PM

    “Regardless of her personal feelings, she knows that Vilma doesn’t have a legal leg to stand on and is looking for any loophole she can.”
    —————————————–
    This, of course, is coming from an underachieving NFC Eagles team that’s been anually dismissed at the hands of the New Orleans Saints. True Dat!
    =================================

    Yes, you’re obviously right. That poster’s choice of NFL team clearly precludes him from having a reasonable opinion on a legal matter. I should hope you never disagree with a 49ers fan, because the 49ers victory in last year’s playoffs obviously means he’s right and you’re wrong.

    Aren’t you embarrassed to say things like that?

  35. jgedgar70 says: Aug 10, 2012 3:04 PM

    miamisaint3255 – oh, there is plenty more for the “Saints-bashers.”

    Your defensive coordinator repeatedly told his players to “go for the head” before the playoff game with the 49ers last season. Everyone on Earth has heard the audio by now. You can scream all you want about there never being any money paid for hits that injure, or that you never wanted to hurt Favre or Warner or Newton or whoever. The fact that a coach instructed his players to attempt to injure an opponent makes the entire franchise guilty. There is no place in a civilized society for any person in any position of authority to instruct his subordinates to attempt to do harm to a competitor.

  36. fmwarner says: Aug 10, 2012 3:06 PM

    ftcsubs says: Aug 10, 2012 2:38 PM

    Why is the Judge doing the job of the attorney for Vilma? A Judge is suppose to be IMPARTIAL. Be impartial and do your JOB.
    =================================

    A judge is supposed to BEGIN a case with impartiality. A judge then lets the case unfold, and renders an OPINION. Which is doing her JOB. This judge has formed an opinion based on the facts of the case, and that’s pretty much the whole reason we have judges.

  37. houndog50 says: Aug 10, 2012 3:25 PM

    Judge Berrigan said “This makes me crazy because I don’t think [the league's process] was fair.”
    =========================
    Kinda hard to argue that point,
    1.) Anthony Hargrove got an 8 game suspension for denying knowledge of any bounty system
    2.) Drew Brees got $20M per year by denying knowledge of any bounty system.

  38. norseyapper says: Aug 10, 2012 3:26 PM

    No doubt about it: She’s a liberal leaning, LA judge who has a record of supporting labor. Vilma’s attorneys sought a hearing in front of her for very good reasons, but that is their right!

    The league’s actions in and of themselves don’t seem at all fair. BUT, the league’s actions can’t be taken out of legal context. The players bargained away “fair” in the CBA.
    This judge does not legally have the power to consider what is or isn’t “fair,” she can only decide whether or not the allowances of absolute power in discipline which were granted to Goodell in the CBA apply without recourse.

  39. maverick2560 says: Aug 10, 2012 3:28 PM

    Having experience as a participant in Federal Court I do agree that a Judge often will express an opinion about the facts and/ or might indicate where he one she is leaning. This often leads to settlement discussions between the parties which is exactly what the Judge wants to encourage. Ultimately a decision is usually based upon the law. I have been in many a hearing where the Judge seems and states that he or she is leaning a particular way only to be surprised at the opinion.
    The issue is really going to come down to what was negotiated in the last moments of last years lockout. It does seem to me that the NflPa seemed to have been a little sloppy on these late arsing issues that always arise after a handshake agreement has occurred and when the actual language and small details are being finalized.

  40. mrpowers88 says: Aug 10, 2012 3:30 PM

    So what you’re saying is…

    A judge in Louisiana wants to find a way to rule in favor of players on the local football team? That is very, very, VERY shocking (note sarcasm). Can anyone tell me why Vilma decided to file suit in Louisiana again?

    Plus, the way I understand it, this defamation suit might have no legal bearing on the suspension. The CBA gives Goodell the right to suspend (not to defame) under certain infractions- and if it has already been decided that Vilma’ suspension falls in that authority, the judge might have no power to overturn the suspension… just take away public opinion’s validity of it.

    Which comes back to this PR battle the players are trying to turn this into- clearly exemplified by Drew Brees showing up outside the courthouse when Vilma was talking to the media. The more Vilma (and Brees for that matter) speak about this, the more I see a couple big-shot jocks trying to use their public standing to sway actual favor in a situation where they likely believe (but won’t admit) that they are screwed.

  41. silentcount says: Aug 10, 2012 3:42 PM

    “The league’s process was not fair,” in an understatement. Where else in society does an accuser get to convince the public that someone’s guilt is an absolute fact, and then after a conviction with no trial, the person is allowed a moment to prove his innocence while hampering his ability to do so? Goodell slams down the harshest accusations and most severe punishments in NFL history, and doesn’t feel he might need to show proof of why in a real court of law? This clearly proves the man is completely drunk from his own power. How many times in history has that ever worked out to be a good thing?

  42. cliffordc05 says: Aug 10, 2012 3:43 PM

    This is bad news for Vilma. The league has a process in place that was agreed to by the NFLPA and it is obviously flawed. That being said it is not subject to a civil court action. Kessler is once again proving to be virtually incompetent but more than willing to take a client’s money in exchange for bad advice.

  43. pobreezy says: Aug 10, 2012 3:47 PM

    I just don’t get it. In the eyes of saints haters there is no way they can be wrong. First the saints were cheaters that had a tire iron on the field going after players that were the embodiment of bambi,then the Gregg Williams tape condemned the team because suddenly everyone with a computer became an expert at football terminology and mentality, then it was drew brees and vilma are scum for standing up for their teammates and coaches because clearly they don’t have a right to do that. Then it was the fact that there is a cba in place that goodell has clearly abused, but the players signed it so it’s still their fault.
    I don’t think we ever had a war founding this country that was based on an agreed upon document that was abused.

    Now that the truth has been coming out about a lot of these things people seem to be becoming deaf maybe, because it turns out that the saints players didn’t kill bambi and that the injuries (of which saints were 2nd lowest in the years in question) were inadvertent and it has been PROVEN that this case is more about salary cap issues than on field play. then it turns out that the Williams tape is standard lingo in the NFL and terms such as kill the head were discovered to be a tackling term(not allowing offensive player to fall forward) as well as noting players injuries (giants nfc championship game players noting that they focused on Kyle Williams head because of his history with concussions) all happen in team meetings that the public are not privy to normally. But this is all hearsay, right? Payton and Williams signed an NFL produced statement under threat of permanent banning saying that they apologize for running a program that is illegal. Because the NFL changed the song, ANY hit that is legal or not that causes injury, intentional or not, that is compensated with money, for WHATEVER reason by a coach, that is a bounty. So yes, the saints ran a bounty program as defined by the league. Players on the saints played clean football and got compensated very little more than dinner at a nice restaurant for big plays like int, force fumbles and big hits that , very seldom, unintentionally cause an injury. If they made an illegal hit, flagged or not, they get fined by the team. But how is any of that gonna change your mind, right? You have your minds made up. Ya’ll can keep spitting out hatred without knowing any facts of the case. At this point, I can’t wait to hear ya’ll paint the team a different color tomorrow. Takes some serious creativity.

  44. cwwgk says: Aug 10, 2012 4:00 PM

    Judge Berrigan’s comments were incredibly improper. The role of a judge in this circumstance is to render a judgment in favor if one party AFTER applying the controlling law(s) to the facts of the case. Today, the judge apparently stated which party she wanted to rule in favor of BEFORE applying the law to the facts.

    The hair on the back of the necks of the judges who sit on the Fifth Circuit’s Court of Appeals must be sticking straight up right now. A trial judge has no business stating which party she thinks should win. That doesn’t matter. The party that should prevail is determined by the law. That certainly has been my experience in the federal circuit in which practice.

    The NFL’s lawyers are going to have a field day when this goes up on appeal.

  45. robf2010 says: Aug 10, 2012 4:17 PM

    “2.) Drew Brees got $20M per year by denying knowledge of any bounty system.”

    Yeah, his performance over the last six years had nothing to do with it.

  46. tdshouldbeinthehall says: Aug 10, 2012 4:19 PM

    daveman8403 says:
    Aug 10, 2012 2:15 PM
    Part of the CBA STATES that the appeal process must fair. So yes, it does matter.
    ——-
    This would be a good point if only the players would have participated in it. How do you argue about something being unfair if you never gave it a chance to be fair.

  47. saintij says: Aug 10, 2012 4:35 PM

    SIMPLY PUT: The occupation of J. Vilma is not a hand shake your hired JOB… (Just Over Broke).

    It’s a serious “back round, contract, lawyer, legal language”….CAREER.

    So all US regular JOES who think they know ….. really don’t. Regardless you will comment as an EXPERT: “WHAT YOU SHOULD DO” guy.
    REALLY !!! I’m gonna coin a new phrase:
    “The intelligent, Idiot”

  48. daveman8403 says: Aug 10, 2012 4:48 PM

    This would be a good point if only the players would have participated in it. How do you argue about something being unfair if you never gave it a chance to be fair.

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

    The ONLY player that walked out of the appeal was Vilma. The rest of the players stayed the entire time, and were showed a dog and pony show. Vilma walked out of because it was obviously not any kind of fair appeal, but rather a chance for them to “beg for mercy”. (e.g. not subpoenaing any parties requested, and showing “evidence” not even existing until after punishments were handed down). They were never given a chance for a fair appeal. that is the point.

  49. packhawk04 says: Aug 10, 2012 5:18 PM

    This is just stupid. This judge should be banned from practicing any kind of law. So she doesn’t think it’s fair. Fair is a place where you judge pigs. The players AGREED TO THE VERY PROCESS THAT ISN’T FAIR.

    This is nothing more, NOTHING MORE than a liberal judge trying to protect the players from their own damn stupidity and greed. And I love the players and the judge saying the appeals process in the NFL isnt fair. In this case, how in the hell would anyone know? The players refused to participate in the appeal, remember?

    Ive said it before and i’ll say it again, NOONE should be upset at Goodell over this. EVERYONE should be upset with De Smith and Drew Brees, who were the key players in the CBA negotiations. They gave Goodell the power to do this.

    Yes, Saints fans, that’s your quarterback. The same one complaining about the power goodell has, he is a big reason he has it.

  50. daveman8403 says: Aug 10, 2012 5:27 PM

    Dude, did you read the comment above you? they did participate in the appeals process. And YES, part of the CBA says the appeal must be fair. If the NFLPA held out last year to not let Goodell have this power, you would be complaining the players were being greedy, and mad becuase the lockout would have lasted longer. you can;t have it both ways.

  51. onermedboxer says: Aug 10, 2012 5:44 PM

    I desperately want all of this Bounty talk to be gone by the regular season, it only depresses me.

    – But lets be real, this aint going away

  52. thejuddstir says: Aug 10, 2012 7:19 PM

    Later in the hearing, Judge Berrigan said of the league’s process, “This makes me crazy…” it makes her crazy becuz with the players greed when agreeing to the new CBA, they didn’t privide her with any options, excuses to rule other than how the law reads. She is struggling becuz she knows if she comes up with some flimsy reason just to give a hometown decision, it won’t be looked kindly on by the Federal Court of Appeals which doesn’t happen to be located anywhere near Louisiana.

  53. flipx99 says: Aug 10, 2012 9:33 PM

    ripster65 says:Aug 10, 2012 2:22 PM

    Is it even right for a judge to come out and say who they favor while the case is still in court?
    _________________________

    Yes, they do it all the time at hearings.

    Have you ever listened to the judges question the attorneys during oral argument before the United States Supreme Court? The Justices will often tell the attorneys what issues they are focusing on so that the parties will have an opportunity to focus their arguments on those issues.

    Frequently at hearings the judge will tell the attorneys that he/she has decided certain issues before any attorney has spoken a word. The parties submit briefs before hand and in some instances the judge knows exactly how is going to rule based on the written submissions.

    Furthermore, judges will often tell the litigants at the conclusion of a hearing that they are going to take issues under advisement but that they are leaning a certain way and why they are leaning that way. Sometimes they wil even say that they are going to go back and read certain cases that were pointed out by the attorneys.

    If the judge could have issued an actual decision from the bench, then why should she not have been able to simply say which way she will likely rule?

  54. flipx99 says: Aug 10, 2012 9:43 PM

    thejuddstir says:Aug 10, 2012 7:19 PM

    She is struggling becuz she knows if she comes up with some flimsy reason just to give a hometown decision, it won’t be looked kindly on by the Federal Court of Appeals which doesn’t happen to be located anywhere near Louisiana.
    ____________________________

    The 5th Circuit is located in New Orleans.

  55. gennieleko says: Aug 10, 2012 10:05 PM

    In a fair appeal there would have been evidence presented to show the guilt of individuals for the crimes they were charged with.

    Hargrove was punished for lying to investigators about the existence of a bounty program. Seems to me that in a fair hearing the false statements that he made would have been introduced into evidence.
    No statements were included. So they were charging him with lying but did not actually show proof that he talked to anyone at all. Any defense would have been pure guesswork.

  56. vegasvinnie says: Aug 10, 2012 10:21 PM

    What’s completely hysterical here is all of the know it alls that are trying to use the argument of, well the players agreed to this so too bad for them. Weren’t all of you the same rocket scientists that, at this time last year kept telling the players, shut up, quit crying and play football?

    So, to review, you got mad at the players for trying to hold out for a better deal, now you want to say that the players were wrong for not getting a better deal?

    Sometimes, I really think that these comments sections serve no other purpose than a contest to see who can be king of the uniformed morons.

  57. flsnupe says: Aug 10, 2012 11:44 PM

    cliffordc05 says:
    Aug 10, 2012 3:43 PM
    This is bad news for Vilma. The league has a process in place that was agreed to by the NFLPA and it is obviously flawed. That being said it is not subject to a civil court action. Kessler is once again proving to be virtually incompetent but more than willing to take a client’s money in exchange for bad advice.
    **********************************

    You cannot be serious with this comment. I mean, can you freakin read? lmao

  58. packhawk04 says: Aug 11, 2012 12:17 PM

    Two quick questions…

    1) if the players were holding out the lockout longer because they didnt want goodell to have total power, who wouldve looked bad? Who would fans be upset with? The NFL, thats who… the players wanted a higher percentage of money, the NFL wouldnt do it without the players agreeing to that stipulation, which they did.

    2) first, the saints didnt do any of this. After awhile, all of the sudden they maybe did it but the players were just following orders so noone could blame them. Which is it?

  59. flipx99 says: Aug 11, 2012 4:53 PM

    packhawk, the answer to your question is that the NFLPA would have looked bad. If you will remember, the discipline that was on everyone’s mind at the time was Big Ben, Vick and those who can’t avoid criminal acts in strip clubs.

    Thye fans would have assumed that the NFLPA was holding up the season for players with off the field criminal problems. I doubt that would have been popular.

  60. daveman8403 says: Aug 11, 2012 5:39 PM

    pachawk, no one is saying they were just following orders. I do no know where you are getting this from. posters like you have made this assumption up. everyone involved is, and have always, denied a pay-for-injury program. their story has NOT changed from day 1.

  61. bigball1 says: Aug 11, 2012 6:36 PM

    READ BETWEEN THE LINES!
    The judge has come out and said she will side with Vilma and the process was unfair…..
    NFL if you want to keep this “in house” and not have the courts step in….Get it settled!
    Really what is the NFL truly going to gain by having these 4 players who were picked in an arbitrary way to sacrifice and be made an example of live out the suspensions….Either drop the suspensions or PROVE your position with solid real evidence!

  62. cwwgk says: Aug 11, 2012 6:50 PM

    @daveman8403: that’s not accurate. David Cornwall, Joe Vitt’s lawyer, in April released a statement regarding the allegation. USA Today summarized the statement: “bounties to injure opposing players were the work of “rogue” defensive coach Gregg Williams — and that Vitt, Loomis and Payton were not involved.” Thus, Vitt’s lawyer initially contended that the bounty program existed but Vitt just didn’t know about it. Now Vitt contends it never happened. Completely inconsistent positions.

    Anthony Hargrove and the NFLPA issued a declaration detailing a meeting that took place between he, Vitt and Loomis about the NFL’s investigation. According the declaration Vitt reminded Hargrove that it was Vitt who gave Hargrove his start in the league. Vitt then tells Hargrove to play dumb with league investigators about the bounty program. Hargrove follows his coaches’ direction and denies the existence of a bounty program. Certainly inconsistent with Vitt’s present claim that the program never existed.

  63. daveman8403 says: Aug 12, 2012 7:34 PM

    I am not incorrect, as no player has ever said “they were just following orders”.

    Vitts assertions have changed just as Goodell’s accusations have. First, it was a malicious bounty program that was targeting injury of players, now Goodell is only saying it was a pay-for-performance program. Vitt has never denied the existence of a PFP. He contends that if the so called “bounty” program existed to the extent that Goodell first claimed he did not know about (partly because it didn’t happend), and if it did, it was part of a rouge coach (which is evident that williams was, due the saints forcing him out, and having mutiple arguments with Benson and payton)

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