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NFL says no offer was made to Vilma


The league has decided to cut out the middle man.

After initially publicizing its response to the report that Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma has been offered an eight-game reduction in his one-year suspension by leaking a denial to Steve Wyche of the league-owned media machina, the NFL has gone on the record.

“Today’s report about a settlement offer by the league to Jonathan Vilma is completely inaccurate,” the league said in a statement. “No such settlement offer has been made. We will continue to respect the court proceedings on this matter and have no further comment at this time.”
That statement may completely accurate. No “offer” may have been made. But it’s entirely possible that the league has made it known that, if such an offer would be acceptable by Vilma, such an offer would be made.

Here’s why lawyers make such hypothetical offers. If the league were to officially offer an eight-game suspension, then Vilma could try to negotiate the number down to four. By couching it as a hypothetical, the number stays at eight, period. No further reduction.

And the league also can deny all of it if anyone ever blabs about the non-offer offer being made.