Suspended New Orleans linebacker Jonathan Vilma appeared in federal court Friday, where a judge will hear arguments on the league's motion to throw out his lawsuit that would overturn his bounty suspension, according to multiple reports.
U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan declined to rule on the case Friday. She told lawyers that she wanted to rule, but had concerns whether she could do so legally before another hearing on Aug. 30. At that time, an appeal will be heard on an arbiter's June ruling, when it was decided that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has the authority to punish Saints players for their parts in the bounty system.
The most significant development, according to ESPN legal analyst Roger Cossack, was that Berrian indicated that she wants to rule in Vilma's favor, but wasn't sure she could do so in accordance with the players' contracts with the NFL.
Cossack further said that the judge believes Goodell's penalties were too severe and didn't fit the crime.
Vilma has been suspended for the 2012 season by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell as part of penalties handed down to the Saints for a bounty program that offered defenders cash bonuses for hurting opponents. Vilma was singled out by Goodell as one of the leaders of the program.
---Pittsburgh wide receiver Mike Wallace will report to Steelers training camp soon, according to the conditioning coach who's been working out the receiver for the past two weeks.
"He's fast as lightning right now," Tom Shaw told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review from the Disney Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando, Fla. "He's not going to put himself in a bad situation (conditioning-wise) so that he couldn't play in the first game."
Shaw also told the paper that Wallace, who remains unsigned, "is lifting, running, jumping, catching the ball -- the same things he would be doing if he were in camp, except not he's not getting hit."
Wallace won't address the media until after he reports, according to Shaw. The wide receiver has been quiet because he has angered by the false statements that have been written about him.
"He doesn't want a $100 million contract, a $50 million contract," Shaw told the paper. "He's never told anybody that. He knows the Steelers aren't talking, and he's not talking."
Wallace is coming off two straight 1,000-yard receiving seasons, but couldn't agree on a multiyear contract as a restricted free agent before July 25. Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert has already said the team would stick to a longstanding policy of not negotiating while a player is out of camp.
The team would like Wallace to sign a $2.7 million tender for this season, and report to camp before they'll restart talks on a longer deal.
"He's been holding out because he feels he's given three good years to the Steelers, and you have only so much time to make money (in the NFL)," Shaw told the Tribune-Review.
---Baltimore Ravens tight end Ed Dickson will miss the rest of the preseason but is expected back for the season opener with a shoulder injury.
Dickson left Thursday's exhibition win over the Atlanta Falcons opener because of the injury but an MRI Friday revealed no structural damage, according to the Baltimore Sun.
Dickson caught two passes for 15 yards, including a 9-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter of the 31-17 victory.
Also, Ravens defensive end Ryan McBean, who is suspended for the first three games of the season, broke an ankle in Thursday's game and will meet with a doctor on Monday.
The Ravens host the Bengals on Sept. 10.
---Miami Dolphins quarterback David Garrard told FoxSports.com on Friday that he will miss two to four weeks after having arthroscopic knee surgery on Saturday.
"Nothing happened, just Father Time, wear and tear," Garrard said. "They have to take out loose things floating around."
The report did not indicate which knee will be operated on.
Garrard, who missed all of last season with a back injury, signed with the Dolphins for one year and $3.5 million in March.
The former Jacksonville Jaguar is competing with Matt Moore and Ryan Tannehill for the starting quarterback job.
---Former New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts linebacker Eric Naposki was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for a 1994 murder, the Long Beach-Press Telegram reported Friday.
Naposki, who played in the NFL in 1988 and '89, killed his lover's wealthy live-in boyfriend in the victim's Newport Beach, Calif., home so the couple could get his savings and collect on a $1 million life insurance policy.
Naposki, 45, was convicted in the 1994 shooting death of 55-year-old Bill McLaughlin last year.
Nanette Ann Packard McNeal, 46, was convicted in January for her role in the murder conspiracy and was also sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in May.
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