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Saints players to attend hearing with Williams

Tuesday - 11/27/2012, 5:46pm  ET

San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis (85) tries to split between New Orleans Saints free safety Malcolm Jenkins (27) and outside linebacker Jonathan Vilma (51) in the first half of an NFL football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012. The 49ers won 31-21. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)

METAIRIE, La. (AP) -- Saints defensive end Will Smith says he and linebacker Jonathan Vilma will be present Friday when their lawyers cross examine former New Orleans defensive coordinator Gregg Williams in Washington, D.C.

Williams appears at a bounty hearing on Friday morning, according to a schedule set by Paul Tagliabue. The former NFL commissioner has been appointed to oversee the latest round of player appeals in the matter.

Smith and Vilma will leave Atlanta after Thursday night's game against the Falcons. They are among four players issued suspensions of various lengths in the league's probe of the Saints' cash-for-hits program. Smith and Vilma are playing while their appeals are pending.

Williams and former Saints assistant Mike Cerullo were two of the NFL's central witnesses in the probe. Cerullo's appearance is scheduled for Thursday.


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