Jonathan Vilma admitted Monday that the New Orleans Saints did have a pay-for-performance program in place, but he insisted that no one was paid for injuring a player on another team. It was an incentive program that was entirely performance-based, with nothing to do with injuries, Vilma said.
As one of the players at the center of the ongoing bounty case, Vilma was suspended by the league for the entire 2012 season. Will Smith, Anthony Hargrove and Scott Fujita also received suspensions. Those suspensions are currently under appeal, and while that is the case, Vilma is allowed to play with his team. He made his 2012 season debut on Sunday in the Saints' win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but did not record a tackle.
Former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue will oversee the latest round of appeals after Roger Goodell recused himself. Hearings are scheduled for Oct. 30 at a location that has not yet been determined.