In an unexpected move, the NFL, according to ESPN, has reportedly offered to reduce Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma’s suspension from the entire season (16 games) to just eight games in agreement that he will drop his defamation lawsuit against commissioner Roger Goodell.
In addition, Saints defensive end Will Smith (four games), now-Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Anthony Hargrove (eight games) and now-Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita (three games) also could have their suspensions reduced as part of the potential deal.
I don’t really understand the purpose of this deal, to be honest. If the NFL’s three year review of the Saints bounty scandal determined that Vilma should be suspended 16 games, then he should serve his full suspension. Not to mention that he also denied their appeals and kept the suspension length the same. It’s hard to believe that Vilma would actually have a case against Goodell in his defamation lawsuit.
According to the report, this offer was made late last week and Vilma still hasn’t decided on accepting it or not. The deal only goes through if Vilma agrees to drop the lawsuit.
The report also says that negotiations between the parties are expected to resume Monday.