Report: Jonathan Vilma requests Roger Goodell’s recusal from bounty appeal
All four current and former Saints players suspended for their alleged participation in the team’s bounty program will appeal the NFL’s latest attempt at compromise. Linebacker Jonathan Vilma is taking things a step farther by requesting NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to recuse himself, according to NFL.com’s Albert Breer:
All four players in the bounty case have filed appeals with NFL, in advance of today's deadline. Vilma is asking Goodell to recuse himself.—
Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) October 12, 2012
Goodell hoped to give the bounty scandal storyline some closure by making Vilma eligible for six weeks IR pay during his season-long suspension. He explained his reasons in a letter detailing evidence against Vilma. The commissioner also reduced Scott Fujita’s suspension from three game to one. Anthony Hargove’s suspension was limited to two games if and when he signs with another team. Will Smith’s suspension was sustained at four games.
Vilma has already sued Goodell for defamation and has openly expressed animosity for the man charged with doling out his punishment, evidence likely to be mentioned in his request to recuse.