Saints linebacker #51 Jonathan Vilma has filed a defamation lawsuit against NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

The suit claims Goodell made false statements about Vilma when discussing the NFL's bounty investigation of the New Orleans Saints.

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

"Commissioner Goodell opted to make very public and unfortunately erroneous allegations against Jonathan," said Vilma's attorney, Peter Ginsberg. "By making these false and public statements, he has significantly harmed Jonathan's reputation and ability to make a living.

[News Republic]