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League: Two 'bounty' hearings set for May 16, 30

Peter Ginsberg, the lawyer for Jonathan Vilma, says he still has yet to receive a single piece of evidence from Commissioner Roger Goodell that proves the New Orleans Saints linebacker participated in the team's "bounty" program.

Appearing on PFT Live on Friday, Ginsberg also stated two "bounty"-related grievances filed this month are set to be heard on May 16 and May 30.'s Steve Wyche reported Saturday the league has officially confirmed the hearing dates. So what does this mean?

The grievance set to be heard May 16 centers on the argument that the new collective bargaining agreement forbids the NFL from penalizing players for conduct prior to August 4, 2011. The grievance also argues Ted Cottrell or Art Shell, who are employed by the NFL Players Association and the league, should hear appeals stemming from incidents of on-field discipline -- not Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Ginsberg cited May 30 for the second hearing, set up to addresses punishments around additional "bounty" money distributed to players in violation of the salary cap. The argument here is that NFL special master Stephen Burbank should rule on these issues and not, again, the commissioner.

Vilma, suspended by the NFL for the 2012 season, plans to appeal his punishment. The remaining trio of suspended players -- Anthony Hargrove (currently with the Green Bay Packers), Will Smith (still with the Saints) and Scott Fujita (currently with the Cleveland Browns) -- have reserved the right to file an appeal.

Mary Jo White, a former U.S. Attorney hired by the league to review the bounty investigation, told Wyche the league was "solid" in terms of evidence, saying she had secured criminal convictions with less.

Ginsberg, however, has not gone silent in his request to see evidence from the NFL. As we delve deeper into the case, this is the drum he continues to beat.

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