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October 9, 2012

Commissioner Goodell re-issues bounty discipline

(Continued)

NEW ORLEANS — Goodell began to reconsider his disciplinary actions after the Sept. 7 appeal panel ruling and this time all four players agreed to meet with him. During those meetings the NFL produced sworn declarations by Williams and another former defensive assistant, Mike Cerullo, in which they stated that they observed Vilma offering what they believed were $10,000 rewards for knocking then-Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner and then-Minnesota quarterback Brett Favre out of 2009-10 playoff games.

Vilma's attorney, Peter Ginsberg, did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the ruling, though Vilma has indicated he would be inclined to continue to fight his punishment in federal court. U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan has stated that she found the NFL's disciplinary process unfair and that she would be inclined to rule grant Vilma at least a temporary restraining order if she believed she had jurisdiction on the matter.

However, Berrigan also has stated that she is hesitant to rule until she is certain the players have exhausted all possibile remedies available to them through the NFL's collective bargaining agreement.

The other three players have been represented by the NFLPA, which stated it will carefully review Goodell's latest decision and "protect our players' rights with vigilance," but did not disclose any immediate plans to take the matter back to court.

 

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