Vilma vs. the NFL: Point and Counterpoint

"Hey, Rappaport! You wearin' a wire? I told you this was off the record. I'm out." (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

In what's being billed as an "exclusive interview" (maybe dude cleared the bathroom with a silent but deadly one, and then cornered Vilma at the sink?), Ian Rappaport of NFL.com caught up with Saints LB Jonathan Vilma at the airport in New Orleans and dug into one of his cases with the NFL a bit.

It was a chance for Vilma to get information out in "larger than tweet-sized" chunks (I can just picture his attorney cringing upon seeing all the posts related to this), and to me, the gist of it boils down to a Point/Counterpoint dichotomy in regard to Villma not allowing himself to be interviewed during the bounty investigation because he says the league refused to show him the evidence first.

Make the jump for the goods.

Vilma's POINT

"We asked for evidence and he wouldn't give it to us," Vilma told NFL.com. "How can I defend myself when I don't know what I'm defending against? It's just logical, things that people decided to ignore."

Seems reasonable enough, doesn't it?

League spokesman Greg Aiello provided the opposing COUNTERPOINT via email...

"He was invited to come in with his attorney to discuss the evidence prior to any decision on discipline," Aiello wrote. "He declined. He has another opportunity to do so in his appeal. The union has been shown evidence."

Very carefully chosen words, and I'll let you be the judge of who wins this round.

Did Aiello actually answer Vilma's charge directly, or just tap dance around it? And who's right in this instance?

Also, for fun, let's speculate on the where and how this interview came together - was it pre-arranged or happenstance, secret or wide open, hurried or relaxed, awkward or smooth, etc. Paint us a picture of how you think it went down.

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