Pro Football Talk reports today that according to a source close to the situation, Jonathan Vilma was definitely offered an eight game reduction to his suspension by the NFL.
According to the report it is still not clear whether the NFL made a formal offer or implied that if Vilma would accept an eight-game reduction the NFL would grant it to him. Regardless, PFT's source reportedly says Vilma could have had the reduction if he had wanted it. Vilma apparently declined the offer.
Earlier this month multiple reports had a settlement near between Jonathan Vilma and the NFL that would reduce the suspension of the Saints linebacker.
In a statement released later that day the NFL denied that Vilma was offered a settlement deal.
"The report about a settlement offer by the league to Jonathan Vilma is completely inaccurate. No such settlement offer has been made. We will continue to respect the court proceedings on this matter and have no further comment at this time," league spokesman Greg Aiello said.
Attorneys for Vilma, Anthony Hargrove, Scott Fujita and Will Smith have argued Goodell showed improper bias with comments he made before announcing player discipline.
A settlement between Vilma and the NFL could also have lead to the reductions in the suspensions for Hargrove (eight games), Smith (four games) and Fujita (three games).
Last week the NFL provided a federal judge with what it says is evidence Goodell did not improperly pre-judge players in the bounty investigation.
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