Report: NFL did offer Jonathan Vilma a reduced suspension

AP

According to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com, a source has told with him that the NFL didn’t offer Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma a reduced suspension of eight games instead of a full year.  When this new’s originally broke, the league denied making any type of offer to Vilma.

“Our source, who is in position to know, says it happened.  It’s still not clear whether it was a formal offer or an implied — but nonetheless clear — indication that if Vilma would accept an eight-game reduction an eight-game reduction definitely would be available.  Regardless, the source says Vilma could have had it, if he had wanted it.

“Vilma apparently didn’t want it.

“It’s not known whether there’s a chance of getting the case resolved if the league would offer to cut Vilma’s ban by more than eight game.  (The other three players’ suspensions would have to be resolved, too.)  It’s believed, however, that the NFL’s lawyers hope to insulate Commissioner Roger Goodell from ever having to testify.  If that belief is accurate, and if Judge Helen G. Berrigan decides to convene a full-blown evidentiary hearing to resolve the conflicts in the sworn statements of Goodell, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith, and Browns linebacker Scott Fujita on the question of whether Goodell was ready to discipline players when he disciplined non-players on March 21, the NFL could make an aggressive run at settling the entire case,” wrote Florio.

If there was an offer and Vilma had a choice to at least play eight games this season, it looks like it’s more important to him to clear his name.

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