Vilma’s defamation lawsuit was a result of Goodell suspending Vilma for the entire 2012 NFL season. However, with some loopholes and the suspension eventually being lifted, Vilma ended up playing 11 games for the Saints this season. In those 11 games, Vilma made a careerlow 37 tackles. to go along with just one sack and one interception.
Despite his low production, Vilma’s presence on the field provided a spark for his teammates and fans alike. Throughout the entire season, Vilma refused to drop his defamation lawsuit against Goodell but today, U.S. District Judge Helen Berrigan dropped Vilma’s lawsuit on the grounds that Vilma’s claims did not support his lawsuit.
Vilma’s lawyer, Peter Ginsberg released this statement after the suit was dropped,
“We are obviously disappointed, strongly believe that the CBA does not give anyone — including a commissioner — a license to misrepresent and to manufacture facts, especially at the expense of another person’s reputation – and are considering our options.”
Furthermore, Ginsberg said that Vilma did not want to drop the lawsuit even after his season long suspension was lifted by Paul Tagliabue. Vilma clearly had a vendetta against Goodell and I think he would have gladly dragged the defamation suit for as long as he could have.
Now that the suit is dropped, I think it is time to leave the entire bounty scandal in the past. The players’ suspensions were lifted, Sean Payton will be reinstated, and now this defamation lawsuit is dropped. Of course, with all of these bounty issues being resolved the focus will shift to the status of the Saints’ 2013 second round pick. The Saints lost their 2013 second round pick as a consequence of the alleged bounty scandal.
Once the status of the Saints’ 2013 second round pick is resolved I think the Saints and the NFL can finally put bounty scandal behind them. Now that Vilma’s defamation suit has been dropped Vilma needs to focus on his status with the Saints. There has been talk that the Saints might not retain Vilma and his days with the team could soon be over, but only time will tell.