For those of you following the details in the latest “Bounty Gate” news, some progress has been made regarding suspended Saints LB Jonathan Vilma’s lawsuit against the league. U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan appears to side with Vilma, stating that the year long suspension was excessive, and that she would rule in his favor if she could do so. Key word here, “if.” The Judge then stated that she would delay making any rulings on the case so that the two sides could settle it on their own terms. Both sides actually have great arguments. The attorneys for Vilma and the NFLPA argue that according to the CBA, an arbitrator other than the commissioner must be involved in the decision making process. Commissioner Roger Goodell appointed himself the arbitrator and the attorneys feel he did not have the right to do so. Attorneys for the NFL feel that the case should be dismissed because it would set a precedent for players to resort to lawsuits in the future if they disagree with disciplinary action taken against them by the league. In my opinion, this argument may weigh heavily with the judge which is why she would rather the two sides settle it on their own. This is a very unique case regarding an unprecedented suspension and either way you rule, it sets some kind of ground breaking decision for future NFL matters. This does serve as some good news for Vilma, though. It does not look like the two sides will reach an agreement, which will once again put it in the Judge’s hands, who seems to agree with his attorneys. She also may make a ruling soon on whether or not Vilma may return to the team for preseason, before the actual suspension begins.
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