New Orleans, La. – Saints teammates Drew Brees and Jonathan Vilma hugged and shook hands and together Friday, and talked about the linebacker's ongoing battle to get his job back.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Vilma for the entire season for the player's alleged involvement in the Saints bounty scandal. Vilma's attorneys argued in court Friday the punishment was unfair, seeking a temporary restraining order that would allow Vilma to return to the field.
U.S. District Court Judge Ginger Berrigan said she would like to rule in Vilma's favor, but she wasn't sure she could do so legally. Vilma has a hearing scheduled for August 30, during which he will appeal an NFL arbiter's ruling that Goodell's punishment was fair.
Berrigan urged both sides to continue talking and possibly reach a settlement before another court hearing.
Vilma would not comment on whether a settlement with the NFL is in the works. He did say he felt good about Friday's hearing.
"I thought today went as smoothly as it could go," says Vilma. "I didn't come in with any expectations. I was obviously hoping for a ruling but the judge is going to do what she has to do. She's going to make the right decision and for me, I was excited. It went well, the court hearing went well and that's all I could ask for."
Brees did not sit in on the court hearing, surprising his friend outside afterwards.