NFL Reveals Signed Affidavit During Meeting with Jonathan Vilma
Jonathan Vilma and the New Orleans Saints aren't out of the woods yet.
On Monday, Vilma met with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell regarding the alleged bounty program the Saints conducted to injure opponents.
In the meeting, the NFL produced an affidavit from former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams that claimed Vilma offered $10,000 of his own money to any Saints player who knocked Brett Favre out of the 2010 NFC Championship Game, according to ESPN.
Vilma responded via his official Twitter account:
The nfl has 1 affidavit saying i did it. I have NINE saying i didnt. Do the math. Hush haters.— Jonathan Vilma (@JonVilma51) September 18, 2012
The affidavit was signed by Williams on Friday, per Andrew Brandt of ESPN.
Vilma had his own explanation of the timing of the signing:
You obviously want me to be guilty if you cant see that gregg was bullied to sign the affidavit. He signed 3days ago! #weakattempt— Jonathan Vilma (@JonVilma51) September 18, 2012
Vilma and his attorney, Peter Ginsberg, have denied the accusations.
Ginsberg said on Monday, per Albert Breer of NFL Network:
More Ginsberg: "We don’t know what Gregg Williams’ motivation is, what his motives are. But we know it’s inconsistent with the truth."— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) September 17, 2012
Ginsberg also said that “the NFL has its own documents that contradict what Gregg Williams is saying,” via Breer.
Williams, of course, was suspended indefinitely in March for his part in the alleged bounty program. This came before documentary filmmaker Sean Pamphilon released audio in April of Williams prompting Saints players to target several key San Francisco 49ers in the NFC divisional playoffs last season.
Vilma and fellow teammates Will Smith, Scott Fujita and Anthony Hargrove had their suspensions for their involvement in the alleged bounty program overturned earlier this month after an appeals panel determined the NFL needed more evidence (via Jim Trotter of Sports Illustrated).
Head coach Sean Payton, general manager Mickey Loomis and assistant coach Joe Vitt are still serving their suspensions because there is no general manager or coaches union in the NFL.
The Saints have started the season off 0-2, including a 35-27 defeat to the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. They went 13-3 and captured the NFC South crown last season.
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