Should Jonathan Vilma Suspension Be Reduced?

When Roger Goodell decided to suspend New Orleans Saints  linebacker Jonathan Vilma for an entire season, it caused a huge uproar in the sporting community. On one side, you have people that believe he deserves the suspension for his role in BountyGate. Then, there are people who think Goodell has no proof of Vilma’s actions and therefore can’t suspend him for that amount of time.

What do I think?? I think Vilma has done nothing but lie to Goodell, the people and the courts. When the report came out about BountyGate, the one player that was mentioned by just about everyone in the media was Vilma. He was even given the opportunity to come to the NFL offices and speak with Goodell to give his side of the story. Of course, Vilma declined because, I believe, he thought he was untouchable.

While Goodell has made some questionable suspensions and decisions in the past, I don’t think he would lie about having evidence regarding a situation of this magnitude. I can tell you one thing, if I’m not guilty, I’m doing everything to clear my name IMMEDIATELY. Why wait until the punishment has been handed down to make your case known? That was a red flag to me; I can only assume it was to others as well.

Of course being suspended for a full season when you are nearing the end of your career is devastating. That’s exactly why I would have gone insane the moment I heard the verdict.

The Saints did everything they could knowing that Vilma may be suspended. They signed Curtis Lofton from the Atlanta Falcons to ensure they would have a backup. While Lofton was a great pickup for the Saints, it doesn’t replace the leadership value that Vilma brought to the locker room.

With the preseason already in full swing, it will be interesting to see the decision that is made regarding Vilma. Not many think that his year-long suspension will be reduced and I’m inclined to agree.

If he indeed slapped that $10,000 bounty down on the table, he doesn’t deserve to see the football field for a year. Why would you want to endanger someones livelihood?? One injury can ruin a players career. Now, if it happens during play and it’s not intentional, then so be it. But Vilma had no right to take that into his own hands and put a bounty on opposing players. I wouldn’t be mad if they uphold his year suspension and neither should you.


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  • Dee Mikulys

    Wow, little bias there Krissy. Goodell is obviously in the wrong and the one doing the LYING!!!! He made up my mind in early March but in August he’s still trying to decide the “fair” punishment. He is arrogant,dictatoral (sic) and a plain jack ass. 50,000 pieces of evidence and he turns over 2 articles and a video by a previous prosecutor (now we know why). And why won’t this be published. Is this for your eyes only. Please. I’ll no longer waste my time trying to decide whether or not you can see this has not been a fair ANYTHING towards the Saints. By this very little response and what I have written, even that would not give Jonathan Vilma a day of suspension AND back pay.

    • Krissy Brierre

      Dee,
      Keep in mind that this is MY take on the BountyGate/Jonathan Vilma situation. While Roger Goodell does act like a ‘Godfather’ at times, I can’t get past the fact that he took too long to defend his name. If you followed this story in the news, you saw that EVERY news outlet was naming Vilma as the one who would suffer the most consequences based on the fact that he dropped $10,000. You and I both know that Goodell likes to make an example out of things, so he used the Saints for Bounty’s. It is what it is. Just accept it already.

      • Ozzy

        “If he indeed slapped that $10,000 bounty down on the table, he doesn’t deserve to see the football field for a year. ”

        “While shady things definitely went on, does Vilma deserve to be suspended a full season?? Probably not, but he def deserves to be suspended. ”

        So which is it? Either you believe that he should be suspended for a year or you don’t. See, the problem with speculating like this is that there has not been any real proof shown by Goodell. It’s really quite simple. If Goodell has proof, it needs to be made public so that we can put this mess behind us. It looks more like a witch hunt to me because no real proof has been shown. If Goodell is not willing to show the proof, then the suspensions should be reversed. If he shows the proof, then keep the suspensions in place. The issue is that nstead of showing proof, Goodell would rather argue that he simply has the authority to do whatever the heck he wants without any recourse for the people who are being punished, which makes me seriously doubt that he has a case that would hold up.

        • Krissy Brierre

          Ozzy,

          You’re taking my words out of context just to make your point….but, that’s okay, whatever makes you feel better.

          • Ozzy

            Not really sure how that is out of context…but ok. My point still stands. Show proof or drop the suspensions.

  • julie

    Krissy you are entitled to your opinion, however i disagree with you. Roger Goodell is the person who charges, investigate and convict you in the NFL. Regardless if Jonathan Vilma responded in a time frame that would please the public, Mr. Goodell should not have made public statements about his guilt. Now Mr. Goodell has filed false evidence to a court of law in regards to the punishment he claims to have set in March. All reports I have seen never said BOUNTY. Where did this term come from???? The Commissioner maybe. Every person including the Players have admitted to a PAY-FOR-PERFORMANCE. I believe the Commissioner was extreme in punishment and judgement.

    • Krissy Brierre

      Julie,

      I understand what you are saying about a Pay-For-Performance program, but of course that’s all your going to fess up to when they have proof of a bounty. Sorry to hear that you haven’t seen any reports that talk about a ‘Bounty’ because I have plenty across my desk that mention it. You must only be looking at one side…the Saints side. I’m actually a big fan of the Saints, but I do believe a Bounty System was in place. Otherwise, the coaches, besides Joe Vitt, would have spoken out against it. But hey, everyone is entitled to their own opinion right?

  • Allen Worden

    Krissy:
    Are you looking for a job in the office with Godell? Or are you just not a saints fan?

    • Krissy Brierre

      Allen,

      Ha!!!!! Definitely not looking for a job with Goodell. This is just how I feel about the situation. You’d be surprised how many folks do actually agree though. In my life, if I’ve ever been accused of something that I didn’t do, I’m immediately trying to defend myself. Why wait until the punishment is handed down to say something?

      • Allen Worden

        Well personally I am a raiders fan. But i have been following this story because my wife is a saints fan.And i think in the next couple of weeks you will see Godell handing out apolagies.

        • Krissy Brierre

          Allen,

          Ahhh, okay. Well, when and IF Goodell issues an apology, then maybe I will re-think what I wrote. But I strongly believe you defend yourself when you’re not guilty. But hey, I could be wrong….I have been before, maybe ONCE in my life. hahaha. Just kidding!

  • MERRILL DUPUY

    I DO NOT AGREE WITH ROGER, I DON’T THINK THERE WAS A BOUNTY, WHY? BECAUSE HE WAS AND STILL IS RELUCTANT TO SHOW PROOF. I THINK “ALL” SUSPENSIONS SHOULD BE REVOKED AND ALLOW THE PLAYERS TO DO WHAT THEY ARE PAID TO DO. PLAY FOOTBALL, WHICH INCLUDES TACKLING MEMBERS OF THE OPPOSING TEAM IF THEY ARE CARRYING THE FOOTBALL. FOOTBALL IS A VIOLENT GAME AND IF ROGER CONTUNUES TO CHANGE IT WE MIGHT AS WELL CALL IT “THE PINK PANTY LEAGUE”.

    • Krissy Brierre

      Merrill,

      I can see where you are coming from Merrill…BUT, any time someone is purposely trying to injure another player and take them out of the game (which is what they are accused of doing) then that is an issue. Yes, football is violent and that’s what we love about it. I have no problems with the guys tackling and hitting like they are supposed to. But no one, and I mean NO ONE, should be purposely trying to take someones livelihood away. That is the point I am trying to get across.

  • M Styborski

    According to your brief opinion above, (ie: your article,) your burden of proof hangs solely on the fact that Vilma did not immediately go screaming his innocence to the media. Have you ever seen the news? Or a television legal drama? The first thing your lawyer tells you to do is to stay quiet and avoid the press and you most certainly do not have a private sit-down with your judge, jury and executioner. The better the lawyer, the longer the period of silence usually is and the NFL and its players have some darn good lawyers. It takes an average of a week for most politicians to publicly address accusations and for the most part, the faster they deny, the guiltier they are.

    That Vilma’s name was mentioned “by just about everyone in the media” is due to the fact that the NFL leked that information early and that it was one of the few bits of info to actually be released. This is the age of viral bombshells with everyone and his grandmother trying to be the first blogger on their block to scoop the 12-year old girl next door. Of course everyone jumped on it. But what everyone reported (the reliable, responsible and clear-headed journalists, bloggers and tweeters, that is) was that Vilma was implicated by the NFL, not that there was any actual evidence.

    You mention that Vilma did not meet with Goodell prior to the punishment phase, but this was at the request of the NFLPA, most probably under the direction of DeMaurice Smith, whose loyalties I question after watching him crumble like a little girl during the CBA talks last year. The players union has its own agenda regarding Goodell’s prior fabrications on the severity of concussion hits and I’m sure they’d love to catch him in a web of lies in one courtroom setting before their own trial begins.

    If your only evidence is silence, you need to rethink your argument.

    • Krissy Brierre

      Well, I can tell you the main reason Vilma’s name was mentioned was because of the $10,000…not because of a viral bombshell. If what you are saying is true, in regards to the NFLPA instructing Vilma to not speak, then why did EVERYONE ELSE besides Vilma do so?? I’m also told that the NFLPA didn’t get involved until they saw the severity of the punishments…so again, moot point from you.

      My only evidence is not silence…it’s facts. Some are things I am unable to publish, but I still fully believe that Vilma could have defended himself better in this situation.

      • M Styborski

        “…it’s facts. Some are things I am unable to publish…”

        So, you have evidence? Love to hear it. But then we’d love to hear Goodell’s evidence too. We won’t hold our breath. ‘K?

        • Krissy Brierre

          I’m not saying I have physical evidence, but I have spoken to people that play for the Saints. Of course that’s not something that I can reveal because I’m not a snitch…which is why Warren Sapp got so much heat for running his mouth. The bottom line is, this is MY opinion on the situation. Some people won’t agree and others will. That’s just the world we live in. Don’t expect you to agree with everything I say or there would be no point in writing articles. But, I do hear what you are saying and thank you for the comment.

          • M Styborski

            Two things:

            1: We ain’t gonna change each others minds but I’m certain we’ll each be prepared for the “Told Ya So Dance” whichever side it comes from!
            2: I appreciate the quick responses. Amazing how so many journalists don’t even bother to dialogue! For this I thank you and retract 50% of my snark!

            And for the record, I’m pretty much convinced that a shady system was in place. I just don’t think it was as far-reaching (or solely Saints issue) as Goodell claims, or that he has much, if any, of the evidence he needs to justify his actions. He’s already had to publicly retract and apologize for accusations concerning Anthony Hargrove and Joe Vitt. Considering he knew about the situation for three years and kept mum, relying on the Vicodin addicts in our front office to handle things, future employment does not look good for him. And then there’s the whole Ornstein grudge that brings his impartiality into question, but that’s whole ‘nother sack o’ crawdads…

            -M

          • Krissy Brierre

            haha. I always write back to people that read my articles. I value everyone’s opinion.

            Now, I am sure Goodell exaggerated a lot of the evidence he got. You have to remember, ‘The Godfather’ likes to set an example of certain situations, so he’s probably doing that with this situation. While shady things definitely went on, does Vilma deserve to be suspended a full season?? Probably not, but he def deserves to be suspended. The coaches definitely deserve their suspension, especially since they were warned and continued to do such activities. So I have no sympathy for them.

  • M Styborski

    Agreed on the coaches. As a Steeler fan I always hoped Goodell would find someone else to pester other than James Harrison. As a Saints fan, I should have known it would be us!

    • Krissy Brierre

      Ha! Roger Goodell loves him some James Harrison. I know he’s somewhere happy that the heat is off of him and on the Saints.

      • http://yardbarkers.com justin

        Krissy, you say he didn’t defend himself? He sent RG letters requesting a meeting w/ his lawyers and to be shown the evidence. Given the seriousness of the accusations, no reasonable person can blame him for that. RG refused.
        You say you talked with saints players? SEVERAL saints players testified in court that JV NEVER offered 10 grand to take ANYONE out of the game. Since this is the basis for his allegations, if it can’t be proven, with reliable evidence, I think NO suspension is the only fair judgement.