New Orleans, LA – Suspended New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma won't be returning to the team anytime soon after a judge decided against issuing a ruling for a temporary restraining order.
Vilma has asked the court to have a season-long suspension for his alleged role in the Saints' bounty system overturned.
The NFL wants the suit dismissed, saying such proceedings don't belong in the courts and should go through the league's appeals system because they were collectively bargained by the NFL Players Association.
Vilma was hoping for a temporary restraining order on Friday that would have allowed him to return to Saints training camp while the lawsuit continues.
According to WWLTV.com, U.S. District Court Judge Ginger Berrigan said the two sides should continue settlement talks. She also didn't want to rule on the case, although she apparently favors the player's side, before a league arbitration hearing set for August 30.
Reports have surfaced indicating that the two sides were negotiating toward a settlement that could reduce Vilma's penalty.
Vilma was among four players who received bans from commissioner Roger Goodell earlier this year. Defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove, now with Green Bay, was suspended eight games, defensive end Will Smith was hit with a four-game ban and linebacker Scott Fujita, now playing for Cleveland, will sit for the first three games of the 2012 campaign.
All of the suspensions are without pay and stem from the bounty system run from 2009-11 by former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who was suspended indefinitely in March. Saints head coach Sean Payton was also suspended for a year for his knowledge of the program.