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Vilma files another lawsuit

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By PFW staff

Saints LB Jonathan Vilma filed a lawsuit against the NFL in U.S. District Court in New Orleans.

According to The Associated Press, Vilma is claiming that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell failed to make a timely ruling on Vilma’s appeal of his season-long investigation for his role in the Saints’ bounty program.

In addition, the lawsuit asks for a temporary restraining order to allow Vilma to continue working if Goodell upholds the suspension.

In the suit, Vilma claims that Goodell undermined “the integrity of the NFL and the Commissioner’s office” for his decisions on disciplining Saints players based on what the players claim is flawed evidence.

Vilma, Scott Fujita, Anthony Hargrove and Will Smith had their appeals hearing on June 18, and Vilma claims that Goodell should have made his ruling on June 25.

This is the second suit Vilma has filed since receiving his season-long suspension. In May, he filed a lawsuit against Goodell for defamation of character.

League spokesman Greg Aiello released the following statement to the AP:

"We have not yet had an opportunity to review Mr. Vilma's improper effort to litigate a matter that is committed to a collectively bargained process. There is no basis for asking a federal court to substitute its judgment for the procedures agreed upon by the NFL and NFLPA, procedures that have been in place, and have served the game well, for decades."

Vilma’s lawsuit also takes aim at one of the league’s pieces of evidence, which is a handwritten note outlining bounty pledges heading into the Saints’ NFC championship game against the Vikings. Vilma claims that fired assistant coach Mike Cerullo produced the document for the NFL and that Cerullo has a vendetta against the Saints.

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