NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will hear the appeals of the four players suspended in the New Orleans Saints "bounty" scandal on June 18, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.
Vilma was suspended for the entire 2012 season for his role in the bounty scheme, which offered cash rewards to defensive players who injured opponents.
Each of the players have denied they paid or received cash bonuses in the pay-to-injure scheme and have sought evidence from the NFL linking them to any such payments. The players refused to meet with NFL investigators before punishment was handed down.
The NFL Players Association has filed two grievances challenging Goodell's jurisdiction to rule against the players and to also hear their appeals. The ruling in one of the grievances supported Goodell's authority and will be appealed. No ruling has been made on the other grievance.
The players' appeals could result in reduced or modified suspensions. The NFL, however, has been steadfast in support of its evidence against the players, who were punished in large part for leadership roles in the bounty program.
Goodell has been given until July 5 to respond to Vilma's suit, which was filed in Louisiana.