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CharityMike 06-15-2012 07:04 PM

New Orleans Saints LB Jonathan Vilma's attorney says NFL case a sham
Peter Ginsberg, the New York litigator representing Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, said Friday that, based on the evidence furnished by the league thus far, the bounty case that led to Vilma's suspension is completely hollow. Ginsberg declined to comment on what steps Vilma might now take at Monday's scheduled appeal hearing.

Vilma will be appealing his full-year, without-pay suspension before the man who imposed it: NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. On Friday, in fulfillment of the CBA requirement it provide appellants with evidence it may use at Monday's hearing, the league turned over a scant 200 pages of documents, a tiny fraction of the 5,000 documents NFL investigators were said to have compiled.

To Ginsberg, however, the scant dossier came as no surprise. He said it clearly buttresses the argument he has made all along, namely, that this has been a miscarriage of justice. In particular, the fact the NFL reportedly did not offer a single piece of evidence supporting its claim Vilma offered $10,000 to any teammate who took out an opposing quarterback in the 2009 playoffs, is proof not that the NFL is withholding but that is has nothing.

"There could be nothing credible about that because it never happened," Ginsberg said.

The same is true of the fact the NFL did not present a list of witnesses it may call to bolster its charge the suspended players - Vilma, Saints defensive end Will Smith, former Saints and current Browns linebacker Scott Fujita, and former Saints and current Packers defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove - were involved in a system of cash payments New Orleans had in place from 2009 to 2011 to reward plays that injured opponents.

"That's because there are no credible witnesses who could substantiate the commissioner's allegations," Ginsberg said.

Overall, however, Ginsberg argued the thin case has left deep scars.

"Unfortunately, what it says to me is Commissioner Goodell has made a dreadful mistake," he said. "After what Jonathan and the other players have been put through, to suggest the players are being presented with any kind of fair hearing based on what has been presented today is pure fantasy.

"The thin production today doesn't link any of the players to a bounty system," Ginsberg added, "and that's consistent with what we know to be true - there was no bounty system."

When asked about published reports Vilma might refuse to participate in Monday's hearing, or maintain silence at it, Ginsberg declined comment.

"Jonathan wants to participate in a fair forum," Ginsberg said. "What unfolds Monday is what unfolds Monday."

Nevertheless, Ginsberg reiterated the charges Vilma filed against Goodell in Eastern District Court of Louisiana and said it is unfortunate the linebacker has had his reputation tarnished on such thin gruel.

"Jonathan, after years of dedication and hard work, deserved better," Ginsberg said. "This is another black eye for the reputation of the NFL."

New Orleans Saints LB Jonathan Vilma's attorney says NFL case a sham - New Orleans Saints Football NFL News -

RockyMountainSaint 06-15-2012 07:08 PM

QBREES9 06-15-2012 11:19 PM

This is going to get UGLY !

AsylumGuido 06-15-2012 11:52 PM


Originally Posted by QBREES9 (Post 412404)
This is going to get UGLY !

Let's hope so.

SloMotion 06-16-2012 06:28 AM


Originally Posted by AsylumGuido (Post 412411)
Let's hope so.

... ditto.

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