Fans on their edges of their seats awaiting the next wave of activity in New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma's defamation suit against NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will have to wait a little longer. Tulane law professor and occasional ESPN contributor Gabe Feldman reported on Thursday afternoon that the Louisiana court where the case was filed granted Goodell a 21-day extension to respond.
The new deadline for Goodell's response in the suit is July 5, 2012.
Vilma filed a personal lawsuit against Goodell on May 17, alleging 11 counts of defamation. The complaint stems from the league's bounty investigation. Vilma claims that statements made by Goodell have damaged his reputation. In the complaint, Vilma denies his role in the bounty scandal, including the offer of $10,000 he is alleged to have made to any teammate who injured quarterback Brett Farve.
The Saints linebacker is asking for compensatory and punitive damages as well as attorney fees and interest on the damages.
Vilma was suspended for the entire season for his role in the Saints' bounty program. The NFLPA is currently appealing those suspensions through a pair of channels under the collective bargaining agreement. Vilma's suit exists outside those boundaries as an individual matter.