On Monday afternoon New Orleans Saints middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma met for several hours with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell at Goodell’s office in New York City to discuss several things regarding the Saints Bounty Scandal and the temporary lift of his one-year suspension that was given by a board of arbitrators. The four players including Vilma who were suspended by the commissioner were to all see Goodell together, however Vilma requested and was granted a separate meeting one day earlier than the others.
During the meeting Vilma has handed a sworn affidavit signed by former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams in which Williams stated that Vilma offered $10,000 to any teammate who knocked then Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre out of the 2009 NFC Championship Game. The affidavit also confirmed that the Saints did indeed have a pay-for-performance pool in place that was completely funded by the players.Williams also stated in the document that he was not forthcoming with the truth when first first asked about all of this back in 2009.
Following the meeting Vilma said of the meeting that it was “very frank, very truthful” however later his verified Twitter account read “they have one affidavit and I have nine” and also that Williams was “bullied” into signing the affidavit.
Goodell and the NFL must still prove that the players had intent on injuring other players and not just that there were incentives offered and given to have their suspensions up held. The four players suspensions were temporarily lifted on September 7th by an appeals panel of three arbitrators. Since then Vilma has been with his team but has not played due to being placed on the PUP (physically unable to play) list while recovering from off-season knee surgery. If his suspension will remain lifted the soonest Vilma could play is after week 7.