Jonathan Vilma Heads Back to Court to Stop Suspension, and More NFC South News

Knox BardeenNFC South Lead WriterOctober 15, 2012

NEW ORLEANS, LA - SEPTEMBER 09:  Jonathan Vilma #51 of the New Orleans Saints walks on the field during a timeout in the game against the Washington Redskins during the season opener at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on September 9, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma will be asking the court system for help, again, in the matter of his yearlong suspension from the league for allegedly participating in a pay-for-injury bounty system with the Saints from 2009 to 2011, according to the Times-Picayune.

Peter Ginsberg, Vilma's lawyer, filed an expedited motion to vacate an arbitration award on Monday to Judge Helen Berrigan in U.S. District Court in New Orleans. This motion has been filed in anticipation of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell upholding the suspension for Vilma for the rest of the season after the league's appeal process is complete.

Vilma and his legal team are still upset that Goodell has the power of punishing players and then resides over the appeals process. While the argument makes legitimate sense, it doesn't help that the NFLPA and the league agreed to these terms just a year ago during the battle to agree upon and sign a new collective bargaining agreement.

Other problems that Vilma's legal team presented Monday involved his three-hour meeting with the NFL on Sept. 17, where Vilma was cross-examined and testified that he had never participated in a bounty program, nor was he offered a reward to injure an opposing player.

There's also a matter of the evidence involved in the case. Vilma and his attorneys still have not seen the breadth of the evidence. The portions that the NFL seems to be focused on are the areas it refuses to turn over to Vilma.


Atlanta Falcons

For the first time this year, both Matt Ryan and the running back corps got less-than-stellar grades from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

This Atlanta Journal Constitution article states the Falcons were outplayed for "3 4/5 quarters Sunday" against the Oakland Raiders.


Carolina Panthers

The Charlotte Observer lists three reasons why this year's 1-4 start is much worse than last year's.

Not only are the Panthers searching for an identity, but they're also looking for reasons why the offense is in a worse spot in 2012 than it was last year. [Charlotte Observer]


New Orleans Saints

Aaron Kromer was able to relax a bit during the bye week after the Saints beat the San Diego Chargers in Week 5, according to the Times-Picayune. Kromer suffered many sleepless nights during the Saints' four-game losing streak.

The Saints can see many more wins coming after the bye week. [Associated Press, h/t]


Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Pewter Report looks at the most impressive and most disappointing players from Sunday's win over Kansas City.

The Buccaneers never let off the gas on Sunday, on offense or defense, which led to Tampa Bay finding its comfort zone. [Tampa Tribune]