2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Saints' Vilma disappointed with Tagliabue schedule

By BRETT MARTEL - AP Sports Writer
    2012-11-23 15:58

METAIRIE, La. (AP) - Saints linebacker Jon Vilma says he's disappointed that the new schedule for bounty hearings virtually prevents him from being able to personally confront his accusers.

Vilma says he wanted to be present for witness interviews with former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and former defensive assistant Mike Cerullo, who assisted the NFL's investigation into the Saints cash-for-hits pool.

According to documents obtained this week by The Associated Press, the NFL is responsible for producing Cerullo in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, the same day the Saints play in Atlanta. Williams is scheduled to appear Friday morning.

The schedule was set by former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue, who was appointed to oversee the latest round of appeal hearings in the matter.

Vilma says he appreciates that Tagliabue is directing the NFL to produce witnesses after the league initially resisted. Yet he cannot help but wonder whether the hearing schedule was designed to discourage him from attempting to attend the hearing sessions featuring the cross-examination of Williams and Cerullo.

``The witness part is good. I think it's (unfortunate) that I'm not going to be there for Cerullo and Williams when they testify,'' Vilma said. ``These people are why I was (initially) suspended for a year, so I would love to be there. I don't know why (Tagliabue) did that, but whatever.''

Even as Tagliabue moves the process forward, a federal judge is still considering arguments by players that Tagliabue should be removed as arbitrator because he is biased in favor of the NFL. Based on the schedule laid out by Tagliabue, U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan could choose to rule as early as next week.

Vilma and saints defensive end Will Smith were among four players initially suspended for various lengths, but those punishments were vacated. Commissioner Roger Goodell re-issued the suspensions with some modifications, and when the players appealed again, Goodell appointed Tagliabue to oversee the new hearings. Vilma and Smith are still playing pending the outcomes of their appeals and have not served a game of their suspensions.

For now, Williams, Cerullo, Vilma, Saints assistant head coach Joe Vitt and NFL chief security officer Jeff Miller are the only scheduled witnesses. They are scheduled to appear in a series of hearings in Washington D.C. and New Orleans from Tuesday through Dec. 4.

Tagliabue wrote in the document that he expects to rule shortly after the last hearing, which could potentially lead to Vilma and Smith having to serve suspensions late in the regular season. Smith is fighting a four-game suspension. The two other players punished are former Saints: Cleveland linebacker Scott Fujita, who is now on injured reserve, and free-agent defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove.

Players have argued that Cerullo was the NFL's primary source of information about the Saints' performance pool. They've also argued that Cerullo's credibility is in question because he was fired by the club after the 2009-10 season and he had accused the team of preventing him from getting a job on another NFL coaching staff.

The NFL investigation concluded that Saints players were rewarded for hits that knocked targeted opposing players out of games from 2009-2011. The league said there was evidence that the Saints placed bounties on star quarterbacks, including Brett Favre, Kurt Warner and Aaron Rodgers.

Saints players and coaches have acknowledged they had a pool that paid rewards for big plays such as interceptions, forced fumbles, sacks and big hits, similar to programs other teams have had across the league for generations. However, they say no one ever intended to injure an opposing player.

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Jarrett BoykinOct 2 09:23a

Green Bay Packers WR Jarrett Boykin (groin) has a more severe groin injury than originally thought, and he has been ruled out for Week 5. He could also miss [ More ]

Ricky StanziOct 2 03:13a

Free-agent QB Ricky Stanzi, WR Ryan Spadola, and DTs George Uko and Zach Minter all tried out this week for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Steven MeansOct 2 03:03a

The Miami Dolphins worked out free-agent LBs Uani Unga and Paul Hazel, along with DEs Kaelin Burnett and Steven Means.

Brian LeonardOct 2 02:43a

The Tennessee Titans had free-agent FBs Brian Leonard and Chris Pressley in recently for workouts.

R.J. StanfordOct 2 02:43a

Updating a previous item, in an effort to shore up its secondary, the Houston Texans tried out several cornerbacks this week. Included in workouts were free-agent CBs Charles James, [ More ]

Corey LiugetOct 1 11:43p

San Diego Chargers LB Corey Liuget (concussion) suffered a concussion in Week 4 against the Buffalo Bills, but he was able to practice on a limited basis Wednesday, Oct. [ More ]

Odell Beckham Jr.Oct 1 11:23p

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) has the confidence of his head coach Tom Coughlin, should the rookie be active in Week 5 against the Atlanta Falcons. [ More ]

Aaron DobsonOct 1 10:13p

New England Patriots WR Aaron Dobson was inactive for the Week 3 and 4 games because he 'mouthed off' to offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, a source said Wednesday, Oct. 1.

David NelsonOct 1 10:03p

New York Jets WR David Nelson (ankle) is expected to miss the Week 5 game against the San Diego Chargers.

T.J. GrahamOct 1 10:03p

New York Jets WRs T.J. Graham, Chris Owusu or Walter Powell are jockeying for the No. 4 receiver job this week behind WRs Eric Decker, Jeremy Kerley and Greg [ More ]

Tramaine BrockOct 1 08:53p

San Francisco 49ers CB Tramaine Brock (toe) is likely out another week. He was able to start on-field rehab work with the team's strength and conditioning staff. He has [ More ]

Vernon DavisOct 1 08:53p

San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis (back) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 1. He said he is experiencing some back spasms, and is listed a 'day to day.'

Justin SmithOct 1 08:43p

San Francisco 49ers CB Tramaine Brock (toe), OT Anthony Davis (ankle, knee) and DE Justin Smith (non-injury related) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 1. FS Antoine Bethea (ankle), DE [ More ]

Brandon ThompsonOct 1 08:23p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict (concussion), DE Robert Geathers (toe), DE Margus Hunt (shoulder), OG Mike Pollak (knee), DT Brandon Thompson (knee) and OG Kevin Zeitler (calf) were unable [ More ]

Andre EllingtonOct 1 08:23p

Arizona Cardinals RB Andre Ellington (foot) has seen improvement with his foot injury, although he is still not at 100 percent. However, he is able to practice more, and [ More ]

Dave ZastudilOct 1 08:23p

Arizona Cardinals OG Paul Fanaika (knee), LB Alex Okafor (thihg), DE Frostee Rucker (calf) and P Dave Zastudil (groin) were each listed as limited participants for practice Wednesday, Oct. [ More ]

Alfonzo DennardOct 1 08:23p

New England Patriots FS Nate Ebner (finger) and OT Cameron Fleming (finger) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 1. LB Jamie Collins (thigh), CB Alfonzo Dennard (shoulder), LB [ More ]

Kendall JamesOct 1 07:33p

The Houston Texans signed free-agent CBs Charles James (Giants) and Kendall James (Vikings) to their practice squad Wednesday, Oct. 1.

Shiloh KeoOct 1 07:23p

Chicago Bears LB Terrell Manning and WR Rashad Ross, Houston Texans S Shiloh Keo and Jacksonville Jaguars DBs Deion Belue and Winston Guy cleared waivers and became free agents Wednesday, Oct. 1.

Derek CarrOct 1 07:03p

Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr (ankle, knee) said he expects to play against the San Diego Chargers in Week 6 following the team's bye week.

Dashon GoldsonOct 1 06:43p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers DE Larry English (hamstring), SS Dashon Goldson (ankle), DE Michael Johnson (ankle) and TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (ankle) all did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 1. [ More ]

Carson PalmerOct 1 06:43p

Updating a previous report, Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer (shoulder) isn't being ruled out for Week 5 against the Denver Broncos by head coach Bruce Arians. Arians said Palmer [ More ]

Anthony SpencerOct 1 06:33p

Dallas Cowboys LB Bruce Carter (thigh) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 1. DT Henry Melton (hamstring) and DE Anthony Spencer (knee) were limited, while LB Rolando McClain (groin) practiced in full.

Dez BryantOct 1 06:33p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant (shoulder) had his first full practice Wednesday, Oct. 1, since injuring his shoulder in Week 2. He has caught nine passes for 133 yards [ More ]

Jonathan GoodwinOct 1 06:23p

New Orleans Saints C Jonathan Goodwin (neck), RB Erik Lorig (ankle) and CB Corey White (foot) all did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 1. OT Terron Armstead (concussion), [ More ]

Joe ThomasOct 1 06:23p

Cleveland Browns WR Marlon Moore (illness) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 1. DE Desmond Bryant (gluteus, wrist) and OT Joe Thomas (non-injury) were limited, while LB Barkevious Mingo (shoulder) [ More ]

Brandon MarshallOct 1 06:13p

Chicago Bears WR Brandon Marshall (ankle) practiced without restrictions Wednesday, Oct. 1, for the first time in a while. 'It was good to get him (Marshall) back out there [ More ]

Roberto GarzaOct 1 06:13p

Chicago Bears LB Lance Briggs (knee), S Ahmad Dixon (hamstring), LB Shea McClellin (hand) and LB D.J. Williams (neck) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 1. DE Jared Allen (illness), [ More ]

Louis VasquezOct 1 06:13p

Denver Broncos S Quinton Carter (knee), TE Virgil Green (concussion), LB Danny Trevathan (knee) and G Louis Vasquez (rib cage) were full participants in practice Wednesday, Oct. 1. LB [ More ]

Terrell SuggsOct 1 05:53p

Baltimore Ravens DE Chris Canty (illness), DT Timmy Jernigan (knee), OT Eugene Monroe (knee) and LB Terrell Suggs (thigh) all did not participate in practice Wednedsay, Oct. 1. CB [ More ]

Tamba HaliOct 1 05:53p

Kansas City Chiefs WR Donnie Avery (groin) and S Eric Berry (ankle) did not practice Wednesday, Oct. 1. LB Tamba Hali (knee) and CB Sean Smith (groin) were limited, [ More ]

Ryan MathewsOct 1 05:43p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (knee) said he's feeling good, but he has no timetable for when he might return. He wants to make sure he's fully healthy [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group