The Saints are looking into adding a middle linebacker in free agency, and that has led to conflicting reports about whether Jonathan Vilma has a future in New Orleans.
After the Saints scheduled a visit with free agent Curtis Lofton, Jason La Canfora of NFL Network reported that the Saints have been mulling releasing Vilma.
However, Mike Triplett of the Times-Picayune reports that the team has no plans to release Vilma, even though they’ll be meeting soon with free agents David Hawthorne and Joe Mays in addition to Lofton.
Vilma turns 30 next month, is coming off knee surgery and is due $5.5 million this year, so it’s easy to see why the Saints would consider cutting him. And there’s another issue at play: Vilma may be suspended for his role in the ongoing bounty case. The NFL’s discipline is expected to be announced soon, and Vilma — who reportedly offered $10,000 cash to any teammate who could knock Brett Favre out of the NFC Championship Game — is the player who’s likely to get the harshest punishment. So the Saints may not have Vilma available to him for all 16 games.
Or they might just decide they don’t want him for any games.