After a few prior false starts, Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma has shown up for his meeting with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Ed Werder of ESPN reports that Vilma is in the building. As Werder points out, expectations are low. He says the meeting could last as short as 15 minutes and as long as three hours.
We’d take the under, unless the NFL has agreed to disclose meaningful and new information regarding the allegation that Vilma offered $10,000 to any teammate who knocked former Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner and former Vikings quarterback Brett Favre from consecutive postseason games in January 2010. Anything Vilma says will be used against him (and possibly contorted to fit a predetermined narrative), so he’s better off saying nothing until he knows more about the evidence of guilt that the league has developed.
That said, Vilma also knows that Judge Helen G. Berrigan ultimately will assess whether and to what extent the various parties were being fair and reasonable when she determines whether to uphold any suspensions that the NFL reissues. And so he and the other players whose suspensions were vacated 10 days ago need to create the impression that they’re willing to take advantage of the available internal procedures, even if the end result will be the same as it was the first time around.
Vilma requested his own meeting with Goodell, which precedes the imposition of discipline and, eventually, an internal appeal hearing. The other players — Saints defensive end Will Smith, Browns linebacker Scott Fujita, and free-agent defensive end Anthony Hargrove — will meet with Goodell on Tuesday.