Players' Grievance Hearing Ends, No Ruling In Sight

Albert Breer and Steve Wyche of nfl.com, who had contact with "a source with knowledge of the situation," are reporting that today's grievance hearing lasted two and a half hours, but ended with no answers for the Saints and ex-Saints players.

The grievance brought by the NFL Players Association against the NFL in the New Orleans Saints "bounty" scandal was argued Wednesday for two-and-a-half hours before arbitrator Shyam Das at NFL headquarters in New York, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

There was no ruling and there are no further hearings scheduled for this particular grievance, which centers on whether Commissioner Roger Goodell has the power to punish players for the so-called bounty program since it occured (sic) prior to the current labor agreement signed last August.

Apparently, those of us that were hoping for some resolution or any additional information of any real substance about this situation will have to learn to live with disappointment.

More on the scant details after the jump...

According to a knowledgeable source the boys found (I'm glad they have SO MANY of them!), former Saints Scott Fujita and Anthony Hargrove attended the hearing, but Jonathan Vilma did not.

Suspended Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma did not attend today's grievance hearing, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. Vilma opted to stay in New Orleans and take part in the team's offseason workouts, but was active on Twitter. Vilma has been suspended for the entire 2012 season.

As noted above, this hearing was dealing with the question of whether the new CBA allows for punishment of actions taken before it was signed last August. That leaves the debate over whether Goodell has the right to hear appeals for on-field behavior still to be argued, and it looks like that will come at the end of the month.

There is another grievance hearing filed on behalf of the suspended players by the NFLPA scheduled for May 30 in front of Special Master Stephen Burbank.

So, another step in the process is completed, with many more to go, and we still have no idea how it will turn out, or when we'll actually know anything. Welcome back to the turmoil that is the Saints offseason in 2012.

Do you have any thoughts, rants, frustrations to share? Drop them into the comment thread!

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