Saints' Jonathan Vilma requested meeting with NFL, backed out

NEW YORK -- New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, whom the NFL suspended for the 2012 season for his role in the team's bounty program, requested a meeting with Commissioner Roger Goodell during the league's investigation -- before discipline was administered Wednesday -- but he opted not to finalize an appointment under the advice of legal counsel, according to a league source.

The NFL had accepted Vilma's request.

No Saints player other than former defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove took part in the league's investigation. Hargrove, who was suspended for eight games, provided a written statement saying a bounty program existed in New Orleans and acknowledging his role in it, according to the NFL. Hargrove's statement was submitted to the NFLPA and then filed to the league.

Vilma received the harshest discipline of the four players who were suspended, and he issued a statement vehemently denying his participation in the bounty program and his intent to fight the sanctions.

Follow Steve Wyche on Twitter @wyche89.

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