The NFL followed through with two expected legal filings on Friday, asking that federal judge Helen Berrigan dismiss the NFL Players Association's and Jonathan Vilma's claims against league suspensions and stating its opposition to Vilma's request for a temporary restraining order against his yearlong penalty.
In the filings, totaling more than 700 pages including exhibits, the NFL argued that the suspended current and former New Orleans Saints players, by refusing to fully participate in the league's appeals process, have not exhausted their opportunities for resolution.
"First, the players and the NFLPA failed to participate in any meaningful way in the appeals of the suspensions to the Commissioner. Their counsel could not have been more clear on this point. ... That alone constitutes a failure to exhaust barring the plaintiffs' claims."