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NFL seeks to block Vilma's evidence request in bounty probe

A federal magistrate has ordered attorneys for the NFL and Jonathan Vilma to hold a status conference on Thursday to discuss the league's efforts to block Vilma's demands for evidence in the NFL's bounty investigation of the Saints.

The NFL filed a motion on Monday arguing that attempts to initiate discovery are premature because another motion to dismiss Vilma's defamation lawsuit against Commissioner Roger Goodell is still pending.

The league's motion says Vilma's lawyer, Peter Ginsberg, has this month subpoenaed the NFL, Goodell, NFL investigator Joe Hummel, former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and former Saints assistant Mike Cerullo.

Ginsberg has demanded documents and sought to schedule depositions, including a deposition of Goodell on Oct. 23.

Vilma's lawsuit alleges Goodell publicly prejudged Vilma in the bounty probe without sufficient evidence.