Jonathan Vilma issues statement

May, 2, 2012
5/02/12
4:55
PM ET
New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, who was suspended by the NFL earlier Wednesday, issued a statement through his attorney a few minutes ago. Here it is in its entirety:
Vilma
“I am shocked and extremely disappointed by the NFL’s decision to suspend me for the 2012 season. Commissioner Roger Goodell has refused to share any of the supposed evidence he claims supports this unprecedented punishment. The reason is clear: I never paid, or intended to pay, $10,000, or any amount of money, to any player for knocking Kurt Warner, Brett Favre or any other player out of the 2009 Divisional playoff game, 2010 NFC Championship Game or any other game.

“I never set out to intentionally hurt any player and never enticed any teammate to intentionally hurt another player. I also never put any money into a bounty pool or helped to create a bounty pool intended to pay out money for injuring other players. I have always conducted myself in a professional and proud manner.

“I intend to fight this injustice, to defend my reputation, to stand up for my team and my profession, and to send a clear signal to the commissioner that the process has failed, to the detriment of me, my teammates, the New Orleans Saints and the game.’’

Vilma doesn’t quite say it, but it sure sounds to me like he’s planning to appeal the suspension.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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