Jonathan Vilma moves forward in defamation case against Roger Goodell

New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma is pursued New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma is pursued by reporters as he arrives at an attorney's office in Washington for a session of the pay-for-pain bounty system with the New Orleans Saints. (Nov. 30, 2012) Photo Credit: AP

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NEW ORLEANS -- Jonathan Vilma has asked a federal judge to allow him to move forward with his defamation case against NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

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In a motion filed Wednesday, Vilma drops his case against the NFL's disciplinary process, now that his suspension has been lifted. However, he continues to pursue damages from Goodell for harm he alleges was done to his reputation by the NFL's bounty probe of the New Orleans Saints.

In an NFL appeal ruling Tuesday, former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue threw out suspensions for Vilma and three other current and former Saints in connection with the bounty investigation. Tagliabue said the punishment was too heavy-handed, even though he affirmed much of the probe's findings that the Saints, including Vilma, had an improper cash-for-hits program and tried to cover it up.

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