Jonathan Vilma and his lawyer, Peter Ginsberg, met with Commissioner Goodell and the NFL yesterday to discuss information pertaining to Vilma's suspension for his part in the "Bounty Scandal" in New Orleans.
This was the primary discussion on Mike & Mike this morning, and they were actually able to get Peter Ginsberg on the line.
The NFL has a signed affidavit from Gregg Williams stating Vilma stood up in front of the room and offered $10,000 to anyone who knocked Brett Favre out of the game during the NFC Championship in 2009.
Vilma claims he has nine affidavits stating that he did not do this, so it becomes a he said-she said debate. Peter Ginsberg's comments on Mike & Mike did not seem genuine nor did they change my view on what happened.
Ginsberg stated Vilma would consider taking a deal with the NFL just to "get this behind everyone" and that he doesn't care about himself, he just wants to help his teammates and his coaches, because that's who he feels the worse for.
This comment strikes me as odd because every time I see Vilma on TV, he's talking about how he wants HIS name cleared and HIS reputation cleansed. This doesn't sound like someone who is only concerned about others.
The biggest issue I have with all of this is how the ex-players are all on the side of Vilma before they ever find out the real truth. Mike Golic and Chris Carter had a discussion about "what happens in the locker room stays in the locker room." I understand this because I played sports, but this is a serious matter with serious accusations attached.
Golic continues by making comments about how this "pay for performance" was prominent while he was playing and these types of things went on in the locker room every week. Other former players have stated the same thing. The biggest difference is this isn't the 1980s and 1990s. The league is much different now.
These same players that are putting bounties on each other's heads are the players that are suing the NFL for billions of dollars because they didn't "protect them" during their playing days. What do we expect Roger Goodell to do?
Even if Williams' affidavit states that there was $10,000 put out there by Vilma to take out Favre, but it was meant to be with a clean hit, do you think that justifies it? Those players saw the potential to make a quick ten grand, they weren't going to hope that they could knock him out with a "clean" hit. They were going to do whatever dirty move they could to make sure they won that money.
To make the argument that this should be labeled as "pay for performance" instead of conduct detrimental because the hits were supposed to be clean is an absolute fallacy and will hold no weight, and anyone who thinks this way is being naive and there judgment is clouded because of whatever ties they have as a former player or just someone who despises authority.
I'm not a judge, so I'm in no position to say whether Vilma is guilty or not, but I do believe the commissioner's hands are tied in this matter. He has to clean this type of activity up and he has to make a statement to the players.
The same players that are suing the league for not protecting them. Everyone was complained but took their suspensions in stride. Vilma is the only one who filed a defamation case against the commissioner and has taken it this far. If you think the NFL is going to back down from one man, you are sadly mistaken. They have to look out for the best interest of the league and that is keeping players safe and keeping systems like this out of the NFL so they aren't sued by this group of players too!