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Posted: Thursday May 31, 2012 9:14PM ; Updated: Thursday May 31, 2012 9:14PM

Goodell given until July 5 to respond to Vilma suit

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has been granted a 21-day delay for responding to a defamation lawsuit filed against him by Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma.

The delay is considered routine, and Goodell's lawyers now must respond by July 5 in U.S. District Court in New Orleans.

The suit claims Goodell, "relied on, at best, hearsay, circumstantial evidence and lies" in making comments about Vilma while discussing the NFL's bounty investigation of the Saints.

Goodell has said Vilma was a leader of the team's bounty program that put up thousands of dollars for hits that targeted opposing teams' star players from 2009-11, including $10,000 each on then-Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner and then-Minnesota quarterback Brett Favre during the playoffs in 2010.

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

 
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