Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/30/12
New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma and defensive end Will Smith attended a hearing Friday at Washington, D.C., law office during bounty appeals testimony that included former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. Both players said they came away with a positive feeling after a day of cross examination by Vilma's lawyer, Peter Ginsberg, and Smith's NFL Players' Association counsel Jeffrey Kessler. Williams blew the whistle earlier this year in sworn statements to commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL investigators on the team's system that allegedly paid players to injury opponents. Vilma was suspended for the season for allegedly offering a $10,000 bounty to any Saints player to take former Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre out of the 2009 NFC championship game. Smith received a four-game suspension, but both have been allowed to play this season during the appeals process. "Of course, it felt good being able to go in there," said Vilma, who saw Williams for the first time since the accusations were made. Vilma described the mood as "peaceful." Former NFL comissioner Paul Tagliabue presided over the hearing Friday. Williams, who acknowledged his role in devising the bounty program, faced questions from Ginsberg and Kessler. "It definitely was helpful for myself and Jonathan," Smith said. "I'm happy that I was able to be present. We got to hear what Gregg had to say. We know what we did and what we didn't do." The hearings will continue next week, Smith said, possibly in New Orleans, where the players' lawsuit over the suspensions is pending. Saints interim coach Joe Vitt and Vilma are expected to testify before Tagliabue. "I was told Paul wants to keep it under wraps, keep it low key and not a lot of media," Vilma said.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Tom Brady ‘should be OK’ despite right hand injury

Jalen Rose tells Paul Pierce he is ‘petty’ for denying Thomas tribute

Spurs announce Kawhi Leonard is out indefinitely

WWE's Roman Reigns, famous actors implicated in steroids ring

Report: SEC will not stop Alabama from hiring Hugh Freeze

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Austin Rivers cleared air with Ariza, has yet to with Chris Paul

Mike Tomlin confirms Todd Haley out as OC

Bortles grateful for teammates' support amid heavy criticism

Report: Red Sox have offered Martinez five years, $100M

Pirates fan starts petition requesting MLB to force owner to sell team

Report: Big Ben ‘massively frustrated’ with Tomlin

The 'Fumble and The Miss' quiz

NFL Championship Weekend Predictions: History will be made in the NFC

Johnny Gaudreau, Flames hope layoff won't cool them down

NFL Referee Hotline Bling: The Saints miss an important long-distance call

Ranking baseball's GMs entering the 2018 season

Case Keenum deserves better than the also-ran description

Greatest NFL Conference Championship moments ever

College basketball’s most underrated stars

Best performances in the history of NFL Conference Championship games

The 'All Jolly Rogers at half-mast' quiz

Eight gutsy NBA trade deadline deals that would turn the tide

Best players to debut on the 2018 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Ranking baseball's GMs entering the 2018 season

NFL Referee Hotline Bling: The Saints miss an important long-distance call

Johnny Gaudreau, Flames hope layoff won't cool them down

The 'Fumble and The Miss' quiz

NFL Championship Weekend Predictions: History will be made in the NFC

Greatest NFL Conference Championship moments ever

The 'All Jolly Rogers at half-mast' quiz

Best players to debut on the 2018 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot

Case Keenum deserves better than the also-ran description

The 'It's a walk-off!' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker