Vilma goes to court with former coach's email

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The attorney for New Orleans linebacker Jonathan Vilma has filed a court brief in the bounties case with

an email from a former assistant coach who called the Saints a "dirty organization."

The email from Mike Cerullo to NFL spokesman

Greg Aiello is part of a motion that seeks to block former Commissioner


Tagliabue from hearing appeals of the alleged program to pay for

injury-producing hits. Vilma claims that Cerullo had a vendetta

against Saints interim coach Joe Vitt after being fired.

The motion by Vilma's attorney, Peter

Ginsberg, also challenges the NFL's plan to have Cerullo and former

Saints defensive

coordinator Gregg Williams testify by telephone at the

hurricane-delayed appeals hearing. Ginsberg writes that both men should

be at the hearing if it goes forward.

Vilma was suspended for the entire season —

the stiffest suspension of four players named in the bounties case — but

he was

allowed to suit up while appealing. Tagliabue was scheduled to

hear the case this week, but it was delayed because of Superstorm

Sandy. The other players are Saints defensive end Will Smith,

Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita and free agent defensive

end Anthony Hargrove.

Cerullo's email, dated Nov. 2, 2011, tells

Aiello that he has information on Vitt lying to an NFL investigator

about a bounty

program "along with proof!!" Cerullo has been fired by the Saints

after the 2009 season, which Vilma claims led him to seek

revenge against Vitt and the Saints.

"I was there, in the cover up meetings, with

players and Joe," Cerullo wrote. "I love the NFL and want to work there


but I am afraid if I tell (the) truth I will never coach again in

NFL. But I was fired for a situation the Saints encourage."

Cerullo said he was hoping to be hired by another NFL team and if talking with Aiello jeopardized his chances, "I will have

to get back to you, but The Saints are a Dirty Organization."

Details of the email were first reported by

Ginsberg said the NFL has agreed to make Cerullo and Williams, the alleged mastermind of the scheme, available by telephone

for the appeals hearing. The attorney said that won't do.

"Given their importance to this matter,

testimony by telephone is not an adequate substitute," Ginsberg wrote.

"The NFL should

be required to produce for in-person testimony any witness upon

whom it intends to rely during the upcoming hearing so that

the witness can be adequately examined and his or her credibility

adequately evaluated."