Since New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma isn’t out of the woods yet concerning his season-long suspension, his lawyer Peter Ginsberg said that Vilma would be willing to meet with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to discuss the matter further.
Vilma, along with Will Smith, Scott Fujita, and Anthony Hargrove, had their suspensions appealed on Friday and for the moment are “free”. But the matter is being sent back to Goodell to review the matter.
The appeals board said the bounty suspensions were more of a conduct issue concerning the players which Goodell does have the authority to pass punishment on. This leaves some thinking Goodell will simply reinstate the suspensions for all four players.
In an effort to once again broker some sort of resolution, the NFL set today as the deadline for the players to present any information to the NFL, or more accurately, Goodell.
Ginsberg stated this about Vilma wanting to meet with Goodell:
“Jonathan has been and continues to be willing to cooperate in any way that helps the truth come out. We hope the Commissioner keeps an open mind and doesn’t feel restricted by his previous and clearly erroneous conclusions.”
In short, Ginsberg and Vilma are simply asking for a fair shake from the Commissioner. Vilma has contended all along that he never put a bounty on any player. But Goodell still says that even the pay-for-performance the players admitted to constitutes as a “bounty” and unacceptable conduct from a player.
The only thing that Vilma will have working against him is that Goodell must now save face of sorts and show the players and the public that he is in control. Of course the whole, “Victory is mine!”, tweet from Vilma on Friday may not smooth things out too much either.