“I’ve got no expectations right now,” Vilma said as he entered NFL headquarters with his lawyer, Peter Ginsberg, shortly before 2 p.m.
They came out a little more than three hours later, and Vilma called the meeting “very frank, very truthful.”
Vilma was one of four players suspended in the bounty scandal. But an appeals panel this month said Goodell must clarify his rulings to ensure no part of his decisions was based on salary cap violations. That would be the jurisdiction of special master Stephen Burbank.
Goodell is to meet with the four players. Vilma, suspended for the entire season, requested a separate meeting. New Orleans defensive end Will Smith (four games), Browns linebacker Scott Fujita (three) and free agent defensive end Anthony Hargrove (eight) are expected to have their meeting Tuesday.
Goodell must show that the basis for the discipline was inappropriate conduct _ such as intent to injure _ rather than any secret monetary compensation. In that case, he has full authority to impose the suspensions.
Players and coaches implicated in the bounty pool have testified under oath in a related federal court case they never intended to injure opposing players.
Smith played in each of the Saints‘ first two games and Vilma is on the physically unable to perform list. Fujita made his season debut in Cleveland’s loss to Cincinnati on Sunday. Hargrove was cut by Green Bay during the preseason.