Around The NFL: Judge Drops Vilma’s Suit, Ryan Leaf Back To Prison, Cards Hire Arians
By Danny Cox
All of the coaching vacancies in the NFL are starting to fill up, now the Arizona Cardinals have finally found their man. It appears as if the last bit of the Bountygate scandal has finally been put to bed. Oh, and a former NFL top pick has been sent back to prison because rehab just wasn’t working.
Jonathan Vilma’s lawsuit against Roger Goodell dismissed
A federal judge dismissed the defamation lawsuit of New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma against NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello announced the dismissal on his Twitter on Thursday.
Vilma had to go through the very long process of appealing his season-long suspension before U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan in New Orleans would rule on the case. This case stems from Goodell originally stating that Vilma was one of the ringleaders in the bounty scandal involving the Saints.
“Even though this matter has been pending only since May of this year, it feels as protracted and painful as the Saints’ season itself and calls for closure,” Berrigan said, according to WWL Television in New Orleans.
The defamation suit was still in place even after former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue took over the appeal hearing.
Ryan Leaf taken out of rehab and sent back to prison
Former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf has been moved from a drug treatment center in Montana to the state prison after he threatened a staff member and violated his treatment plan. Leaf has been in rehab since last spring when he was charged with breaking into two houses and stealing prescription painkillers.
He pleaded guilty in May to burglary and criminal possession of dangerous drugs. When sentenced, his five-year term called for spending nine months in a locked drug treatment facility as the alternative to spending it all in prison.
A statement was released on Thursday by the Montana Department of Corrections that said Leaf will now serve the rest of his entire sentence in the Deer Lodge Prison. This all happened after Leaf told his roommate at rehab that he wanted to drag a program staffer by his hair. Leaf also wrote in his reports that he wanted to throw the staffer against the wall and smash glass into his head.
For those that can’t recall, Leaf was picked second overall by the San Diego Chargers in the 1998 NFL draft. He went on to be one of the biggest busts in the history of the league.
Cardinals hire Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians as next coach
A few openings still remain, but the Arizona Cardinals finally landed their head coach after reports had both Andy Reid and Chip Kelly going there. Bruce Arians, former Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator, filled the vacancy on Thursday by accepting a four-year deal with a team option for a fifth year.
Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell was also a candidate to fill the Cardinals’ head coaching vacancy, but withdrew after getting a new contract with his current team.
Arians actually spent 12 games in the head coaching spot of the Colts this past season as Chuck Pagano was treated for leukemia. Arians was quite successful as he led the team to a 9-3 record during his time in the coaching driver’s seat.
The coaching search for the Cardinals lasted about three weeks before the hiring of Arians. Ken Whisenhunt was fired back on Dec. 31, 2012, after the team finished 5-11 in a season that they began 4-0.
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Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. His work can be found on Examiner.com.