(NEW YORK) -- NFL spokesman Greg Aiello announced Thursday that a federal judge has dismissed New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma's defamation lawsuit against league Commissioner Roger Goodell.
U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan in New Orleans had been holding off ruling on the case while waiting for Vilma to go through the process of appealing his season-long suspension by the NFL.
"Even though this matter has been pending only since May of this year, it feels as protracted and painful as the Saints' season itself and calls for closure," Berrigan said.
Goodell initally referred to Vilma as the ringleader in the Saints' bounty scandal, where the league said he offered cash to teammates for injuring opposing players.
Vilma appealed the suspension, only to have it upheld by Goodell. Former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue stepped in and vacated the suspension, allowing Vilma to play in five games for the Saints this season.
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