New Orleans Saints Vilma unlikely to win appeal and avoid suspension

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New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma gave it a good try but from recent rulings, it looks like the team’s starting middle linebacker will be out for the season.

I’ll say that I was really impressed with the way the player’s union tried to find a good loophole for their recent grievance against NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

The union claimed that Goodell had no right to punish a player for incidents that occurred prior to the signing of the new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) last August that ended the lockout.

Not only Vilma, but fellow defensive end Will Smith, Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita, and Green Bay Packers defensive end Anthony Hargrove have garnered suspensions as well for their alleged involvement in a “bounty” program while with the Saints.

Goodell stated that the investigation shows that the program started in 2009 and continued through last season.  He claims to have close to 15,000 pages of documents, including witness testimonies, to support the suspensions.

The union tried to render the first two seasons null saying that since the CBA was signed in August 2011, the prior two seasons would be the “fruit of the poison tree” and Goodell didn’t have the right to punish the players.