- Pat Yasinskas, ESPN Staff Writer
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As NFL commissioner Roger Goodell gets ready to head to New Orleans for the Super Bowl, it appears as though there is some closure on the Saints’ bounty scandal.
Judge Helen Ginger Berrigan dismissed linebacker Jonathan Vilma's defamation suit against Goodell, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello announced on Twitter on Thursday afternoon.
"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.
Berrigan is right. This thing was begging for closure. Some of that came when former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue vacated the suspensions for Vilma and three other players. But the lawsuit was hanging out there.
Now, it’s gone.
Does that mean New Orleans is going to welcome Goodell with open arms? I seriously doubt it.
Saints fans are still bitter that coach Sean Payton had to serve a season-long suspension. I don’t think Goodell’s going to be asked to stick around to take part in the Mardi Gras parade. But, at least now that the lawsuit is gone, it’s time for the whole bounty saga to start fading away.