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Report: Vilma's lawyer might question Mike Cerullo's motivation

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer

While the appeals hearings for the suspended Saints bounty program players had been postponed because of Hurricane Sandy, there seems to be a chance that an email provided to Jonathan Vilma's lawyers by the NFL could possibly help Vilma in his appeal.

According to Pro Football Talk, Vilma's lawyer, Peter Ginsberg, attached an email sent from Mike Cerullo, one of the major whistleblowers in Bountygate, to NFL spokesman Greg Aiello in a new court filing.

PFT had a copy of the email, which reads:

“So I have info on Saints Joe Vitt Lying to your NFL Investigators on Bounties from 2010, along with proof!!! I was there, in the cover up meetings, with players and Joe, I love the NFL and want to work there again, but I am afraid if I tell thge [sic] truth I will never coach again in NFL, But I was fired for a situation that the Saints encourage. All I want is a Job back in the NFL as a QC Coach anywhere, so If talking to you jepodizes [sic] that I will have to get back to you, but The Saints are a Dirty Organization. Contact me.”

As PFT writes, this could lead the person hearing the appeals to believe that Cerullo is trying to exact revenge on Vitt, which would call his whistleblowing role for the NFL into question.

As Mike Florio writes, “The Cerullo email is marginally relevant to the effort to disqualify former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue as the bounty suspension hearing officer. But it will be extremely relevant to the overall appeal and litigation process, given that it makes a full cross examination of Cerullo even more critical to a fair disposition of the case.”

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, and subscribe to our Pick-6 Podcast and NFL newsletter. You can follow Josh Katzowitz on Twitter here: @joshkatzowitz.

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