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SmashMouth 07-31-2012 10:17 AM

New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma unlikely to receive judge's ruling before Aug. 10
 
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After leaving his federal court hearing Thursday, New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma told a media throng that he didn't want to rush Judge Ginger Berrigan to decide whether he will be granted a temporary restraining order against his NFL-imposed yearlong suspension. Likewise, Berrigan appears content with taking her time.

http://media.nola.com/saints_impact/...9874-large.jpg
New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma leaves federal court in New Orleans with his attorneys last Thursday.

Berrigan has yet to hand down a ruling that would either temporarily allow Vilma to participate in Saints training camp or prevent him from visiting team facilities throughout the duration of the litigation or his suspension. She could make a decision at any time but indicated at the hearing that she would likely wait until she hears more from the NFL Players Association, which is representing three other suspended current and former Saints players: Will Smith, Anthony Hargrove of the Green Bay Packers and Scott Fujita of the Cleveland Browns.

Vilma's next chance for a ruling could come Aug. 10, when Berrigan will hear the NFL's motions to dismiss the NFLPA and Vilma's filings requesting that the court set aside Commissioner Roger Goodell's punishment. Berrigan could also rule after Friday, when all opposition briefs to the NFL's motion to dismiss are due, though it's much more likely she will simply opt to rule on everything at once after Aug. 10.

The Saints will face off against the New England Patriots in Week 1 of the preseason Aug. 9.

During Thursday's hearing, Berrigan laid out to Vilma's legal team her concerns with its argument: that Vilma had failed to exhaust all of his remedies under the NFL's collective bargaining agreement and that a federal law called the Norris La Guardia Act bars his request. His attorneys responded with a supplemental memorandum written to specifically address those concerns.

In the memorandum, they submitted case law that sets aside the exhaustion requirement when "exhaustion of contractual remedies would be futile because the aggrieved employee would have to submit his claim to a group 'which is in large part chosen by the (opposing party) against whom (his) real complaint is made.'"

Drew Brees echoed that sentiment in an interview with Sports Illustrated's Peter King on Friday.

"Nobody trusts (Goodell). Nobody trusts him," Brees said. "I'm not talking about a DUI or using a gun in a strip club, which are pretty clear violations. I think there are too many times where the league has come to its decision in a case before calling a guy in, and the interview is just a fašade. I think now if a guy has to come in to talk to Roger, he'll be very hesitant because he'll think the conclusion has already been reached."

The Norris La Guardia Act bars requests for injunctive relief in cases rooted in a labor dispute. Vilma's attorneys, however, said their action is not a labor dispute because Vilma "is not challenging, and there is no dispute over, the terms and conditions of his employment as negotiated in the current NFL-NFLPA CBA."

The support for Vilma's case has continued to pour in from members of the Saints organization, seven of whom testified on his behalf during his Thursday hearing. On Friday, Vilma tweeted that Saints owner Tom Benson called Vilma to offer his support.

"What a great owner Benson is. Calls me 1st thing this morning to personally remind me I have his FULL support.. #WHODAT. Says he's also 100% behind Sean Payton and thinks the organization is stronger than ever."

Saints interim Coach Joe Vitt, Scott Shanle, Randall Evans, Troy Evans, Jonathan Casillias, Sedrick Ellis and Roman Harper all appeared at the hearing Thursday.

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Rugby Saint II 07-31-2012 01:52 PM

Vilma looks ready to play.

LBCutta 07-31-2012 01:54 PM

Vilma is done for the season...I think its time everyone realizes that. And possibly done in a Saints uniform. No Way Goodell lets Vilma suit up this season...No way.

Ashley 07-31-2012 02:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LBCutta (Post 422645)
Vilma is done for the season...I think its time everyone realizes that. And possibly done in a Saints uniform. No Way Goodell lets Vilma suit up this season...No way.

I hate to think it too. But No way will Goodink lets him in after all this. Also he has lost a step, but I still want him around

sharke 07-31-2012 02:55 PM

Vilma went H.A.M., no way Goodell is going to let him in this year. Given age and injury history don't know if he'll be back. Def feel he will have a place with the Saints no matter what though.


I for one will be totally sporting my Free Vilma tee come 9/9.

QBREES9 07-31-2012 03:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LBCutta (Post 422645)
Vilma is done for the season...I think its time everyone realizes that. And possibly done in a Saints uniform. No Way Goodell lets Vilma suit up this season...No way.


man I hope your wrong !

Halo 07-31-2012 08:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LBCutta (Post 422645)
Vilma is done for the season...I think its time everyone realizes that. And possibly done in a Saints uniform. No Way Goodell lets Vilma suit up this season...No way.

If the Judge issues a restraining order, Goodell won't have much to say about it.
It comes down to the restraining order. Must be some merit to it because it was not denied immediately last Thursday.

|Mitch| 07-31-2012 08:44 PM

I think we'll be fine with our LB's regardless if Vilma plays or not... I'd like to see the restraining order granted just to piss off Roger

LBCutta 08-01-2012 06:03 AM

Don't get me wrong Vilma WAS our LB Corps. And he was a force in the middle. But we need to embrace Curtis Lofton. He's younger, quicker and has I think has more in the tank than Vilma. He was a steal from ATL and he is a good MLB.


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