If you are Jonathan Vilma's lawyer, there is lots to celebrate.
Thank God for billable hours.
Vilma has two lawsuits cooking. The suspended Saints linebacker sued NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for defamation and for not making an expedited ruling in the appeals process.
As part of that suit, Vilma and his attorney will look for some hometown legal help, asking a federal court in New Orleans for a temporary restraining order to allow him to continue to play even after the NFL denied his appeal Tuesday.
The league has continued to maintain that the lawsuit is baseless. Two arbitrators have ruled in the NFL's favor that Goodell, under the collective bargaining agreement, has the powers to dole out discipline for "conduct detrimental to the league."
Vilma's lawsuit alleges that former Saints assistant Mike Cerullo, the alleged whistle blower on the so-called bounty system, was a fired employee who was disgruntled because his Super Bowl ring was not made with diamonds but cubic zirconia.
The suit claims coaches, including former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, have been told to keep quiet as a condition for re-instatement to the league in 2013.
Vilma's allegations against Goodell have been flammable, indeed.
And because of that, it is time he, not Goodell, come up with some concrete evidence to substantiate his claims against the league.
I ask again, why would the commissioner of the NFL make all of this up?
Don't you think he would have his lawyers go over the entire process tirelessly to make sure their allegations were rock-solid and concrete?
Why would Goodell risk his credibility, and indeed the NFL's credibility, as well as his job over allegations that were absolutely untrue?
When the commissioner suspended two current and two former Saints, former federal prosecutor Mary Jo White weighed in on the evidence and called the investigation "exemplary."
White added that she has won criminal cases (where the bar of proof is much higher) with far less evidence.
Added White, "Every charge is supported by very strong, credible evidence, multiple sources, and documentary evidence."
In the meantime, it wouldn't be a shock if Vilma won a temporary injunction in federal court.
But the NFL would quickly appeal and could very easily win a reversal.
This week, Saints quarterback Drew Brees said he was "tired" of talking about the bounty but added, "We're dragging them thru the mud, and ruining their reputations and careers with no clear evidence."
Maybe the players have scored some points in the court of fellow player and overall public opinion.
But Goodell remains steadfast, telling the players that during appeal they were free to present any evidence that "would warrant reconsideration of their suspensions." He still invites any evidence to be presented that can change his mind.
From Vilma's camp, it is time to stop hurling allegations and deliver some real red meat.
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