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NFL files grievance with NFLPA over Jonathan Vilma lawsuit

The NFL has filed a grievance with the NFL Players Association, requesting that New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma withdraw his defamation suit against Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Vilma is suing Goodell in federal court for defamation relating to Goodell's suspension of Vilma and other players in the Saints' "bounty" program. The NFL Management Council contends -- in a letter dated July 3 and reported Wednesday by the Times-Picayune -- that Vilma's suit violates the league's collective bargaining agreement, which has a clause preventing players from suing the NFL or any club.

"Clearly, League Discipline, and the Commissioner's responsibility for upholding that Policy, is 'conduct permitted by the CBA' and under the NFL's Constitution and Bylaws. Because all challenged communication occurred in furtherance of the Commissioner's responsibility, such conduct falls squarely within the protections of Article 3's no-suit provision," the letter says.

Vilma, who separately is seeking an injunction that would prevent his season-long suspension from taking effect, responded to the NFL's action with the following tweet Wednesday:

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