|Goodell and Vilma reportedly will be meeting Monday. (US Presswire)|
Most of the players involved in the Saints bounty program will meet with commissioner Roger Goodell on Tuesday, as reported by CBSSports.com's Jason La Canfora.
But according to the New Orleans Times Picayune's Larry Holder, Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma will get his own individual meeting with Goodell on Monday.
Vilma and the league have been going back and forth on the reason why Vilma and the commissioner scuttled a meeting previously scheduled. But if Vilma wants to have his yearlong suspension reduced or rescinded, meeting with Goodell is probably his best bet.
In light of some confusion surrounding the ruling of the CBA Appeals Panel, it is important to understand what the panel did and did not rule. The panel did not overturn the suspensions and did not say Commissioner Goodell overstepped his authority.
The panel's decision asks no more than that the commissioner clarify his earlier rulings to ensure -- and to clearly state -- that no part of the prior ruling was attributable to matters within Professor Burbank's authority (salary cap violations). It does not require the commissioner to take additional evidence or to “reweigh” the evidence currently in the record. The panel did not take issue with any findings that were made in the course of the investigation, did not exonerate anyone involved, and did not say that the commissioner “overstepped his authority.”
The panel made clear that the commissioner had full authority to impose discipline on the players so long as the discipline was attributable to conduct detrimental to the league, rather than “undisclosed compensation.” The panel asked only that he clarify that he was not relying on the “undisclosed” nature of the financial incentives in imposing the discipline. In the meantime, the panel put the suspensions on hold.