Who isn’t ready for all of this to be over with? You’re probably in one of three camps: 1.) You don’t care. 2.) You think Jonathan Vilma is a dirty player. 3.) You think that this kind of behavior is commonplace in the league (which it is), and a season long suspension is excessive.
Regardless of what you think, the two most important people in this dialog have yet to speak face to face. Jonathan Vilma found out about his season long suspension via ESPN with the rest of us, and since then, he has created his own cold war against Commissioner Roger Goodell.
It would probably help the commissioner’s cause if he were a popular figure among players and fans, but he’s not. He’s quite possibly the worst commissioner in all of sports. Bud Selig is definitely hovering around the top of the list, but he’s so clueless, it’s tough not to pity him.
After multiple lawsuits, a federal judge sympathizing with the players suspended in this ordeal and an overturn of the suspensions by an NFL appeals panel, Roger Goodell and Jonathan Vilma are finally going to get together and hash this thing out. According to representatives for both parties, this will happen on Monday, in the midst of NFL Week 2.
Would Vilma be allowed to play this weekend? Sure. He could have played in the season opener, but he’s presently on the Saints PUP list due to a knee injury. Would he come off the list sooner if his suspension is greatly reduced…? Speculation reigns supreme on this one, but he’s supposedly out until Week 7, regardless of his league status.
To offer some opinion: I believe Jonathan Vilma will agree to a few things, and settle with the Commissioner. I think Goodell will suggest that he’s going to punish Vilma for 4 games: Week’s 3,4,5,6, for Vilma’s participation in an illegal, pay for performance program. And I believe Vilma will request that the commissioner make a statement: The Saints linebacker never played with malicious intent, or choose to play outside of the rules while inside the lines. Handshake. “I’m glad this is over.” Move forward.
If it takes a turn away from amicability, it will ultimately be decided in court. If such is the case, Jonathan Vilma has far less to lose than Commissioner Goodell.