The latest round of appeal hearings in the NFL's bounty investigation concluded Monday evening following witness appearances by former Minnesota Vikings head coach Brad Childress, Saints assistant head coach Joe Vitt and linebacker Jonathan Vilma.
Now Vilma, Saints defensive end Will Smith and two other players await a ruling by former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue on whether player suspensions should be reduced. If they don't like how that turns out, they could still get relief from a federal judge in New Orleans who has been presiding over lawsuits challenging the way the league has handled the probe and resulting discipline.
Vilma sounded hopeful that Tagliabue, who has been appointed to oversee the players' latest appeals to the NFL, would bring the process to a fair resolution.
''It did go well,'' Vilma, wearing a gray suit, said as he left a downtown high-rise where Monday's hearing was held. Vilma added that Tagliabue ''seems a lit...