Vilma Offered Deal To Reduce Bounty Suspension, Sources Say

Let's make a deal, Roger. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

ESPN, via a triumvirate of NFL beat guys (Ed Werder, Adam Schefter, and Chris Mortensen), is reporting that Jonathan Vilma has been offered a deal that would reduce his 2012 suspension if he drops his defamation suit against Roger Goodell.

The NFL has offered to reduce New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma's year-long suspension to eight games as part of ongoing settlement talks involving the league, the NFL Players Association and legal representatives for the four players who were suspended for their alleged participation in the team's bounty program from 2009-2011, according to sources familiar with the discussions.

The league's offer was made late last week but it is conditional upon Vilma dropping a civil lawsuit charging commissioner Roger Goodell with defamation of character, sources said.

The article also mentions that the other suspended players might get reductions in their sanctions, too, and that Friday is looming as a possible deadline for action on this.

The talks could also lead to reductions in the suspensions of the other three players -- Saints defensive end Will Smith (four games), Packers defensive tackle Anthony Hargrove (eight games), and Browns linebacker Scott Fujita (three games).

Settlement talks are expected to continue Monday and sources say that Friday's next scheduled appearance before U.S. District Court Judge Ginger Berrigan could serve as a soft deadline to reach a settlement.

Wow. This is big news, and we'll have to wait and see see how it plays out, but it seems Vilma's actions in the legal process have given him and the others some leverage here.

The CSC "Eagle-Eye Night Owl" Award goes to Cajun in CA for bringing us this news first in a Fanshot almost five hours ago. Thanks!!

Read the full story and then let's discuss this in the comment section!!

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