The NFL has offered to cut New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma's season-long suspension to eight games as part of ongoing negotiations with the NFL Players Association and the counsel for the four players suspended for their involvement in the team's "bounty" program, sources familiar with the discussions told ESPN.com.
According to the report, the NFL's offer was made on the condition that Vilma drop his defamation lawsuit against NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
An email seeking comment from an NFL spokesman wasn't immediately returned Sunday night.
Negotiations between the parties are expected to resume Monday, according to ESPN.com, as a Friday appearance before U.S. District Court Judge Ginger Berrigan looms.
A league official told ESPN.com that Goodell would have considered reducing the players' suspensions had they cooperated to his liking during the appeals process.