September 9, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma watches from the bench during the first half of a game against the Washington Redskins at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE
New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma had what was at first thought to be a productive meeting with Roger Goodell and other representatives from the NFL yesterday regarding his season-long suspension. That changed not long after it was over.
The meeting lasted for around three hours which seemed to be a good sign. If it had been 30 minutes to an hour, then it would have appeared to be just a formality. In the end, it may have been just that.
Vilma emerged from the sit down with lawyer Peter Ginsberg in tow and on the outside, everything seemed fine. Vilma and Ginsberg both said that the meeting was productive and that the suspended linebacker was able to speak freely, with both sides being very open.
Then something that raised an eyebrow happened. When Vilma was asked if he had seen any new evidence, he stated he wasn’t sure if he could say that he did or not. Translation: he did.
Not even close to an hour later media reports came out that at the meeting Vilma was presented with some “new” evidence. It was a signed declaration, at the time called an affidavit, from former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.
In the declaration, Williams stated that Vilma did indeed put a bounty on former NFL quarterback Brett Farve who was with the Minnesota Vikings when they played against each other in the 2010 NFC Championship Game.
Also, a declaration signed by former defensive assistant Mike Cerullo was presented. This wasn’t really a surprise to most since Vilma actually outed Cerullo as the main whistle blower to begin with. According to Vilma, Cerullo wanted revenge for being fired from the Saints after their Super Bowl victory.
Vilma, who had been trying to stay positive on Twitter, then unleashed several messages on his account directed no doubt at Goodell and the league.
"The nfl has 1 affidavit saying i did it. I have NINE saying i didnt. Do the math. Hush haters. You obviously want me to be guilty if you cant see that gregg was bullied to sign the affidavit. He signed 3days ago! #weakattempt"
It’s speculated by Vilma and many others that Williams was coerced into signing the declaration over the threat of never coaching in the NFL again since Goodell said he will revisit the disgraced defensive coordinator’s “indefinite suspension” status at the end of the season.