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WhoDat!656 05-16-2013 10:34 AM

Rejuvenated Jonathan Vilma says it was worth taking pay cut to remain with New Orleans Saints
 
It's hard to imagine that any New Orleans Saints player is enjoying this offseason more than linebacker Jonathan Vilma. Although he still referred to the NFL's harsh bounty punishments as a "raw deal" on Wednesday night, he's no longer living under that dark cloud of a looming one-year suspension and a vicious legal battle against commissioner Roger Goodell.

Just as refreshing, Vilma is now fully healthy after battling through a major knee injury over the course of two full seasons.

And perhaps best of all, he's still here with the Saints.

Vilma, 31, had to take a significant pay cut to stay in New Orleans, from $6 million in salary and bonuses to $1.2 million. And that probably meant swallowing a good deal of pride for the three-time former Pro Bowler as well.

But it was worth it to Vilma, who wanted to be a part of this new, fresh start in 2013 that has created a noticeable energy and intensity inside the Saints' practice facility this offseason.

New Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan recently referred to the inspired Vilma as "the talk of the weight room and the offseason."

"I think we definitely have the intensity. And that just comes from being able to focus on football and what really matters instead of really focusing on other things," said Vilma, who spoke publicly for the first time this offseason during guard Ben Grubbs' charity softball game at Zephyr Field. "I think Sean (Payton) put it best when we had our first meeting. We're not gonna let what happened fuel us. What's gonna fuel us is our team, our intensity, our desire to win, our ability to go out there and win some games."

Read more: Rejuvenated Jonathan Vilma says it was worth taking pay cut to remain with New Orleans Saints | NOLA.com

Rugby Saint II 05-16-2013 01:17 PM

Re: Rejuvenated Jonathan Vilma says it was worth taking pay cut to remain with New Orleans Saints
 
Personally, I see martez Wilson playing beside Lofton and Vilma playing a backup role.........an important one none the less. He has leadership skills that are valuable to the team this year. He could have a strong showing at camp and take the spot because of his knowledge of the game making the transition to the 3-4 smoother. But he won't be able to hold onto it all season long.

halloween 65 05-16-2013 01:42 PM

Re: Rejuvenated Jonathan Vilma says it was worth taking pay cut to remain with New Orleans Saints
 
now we get to see if he can make the transition or not, on the inside he has to shed blockers, take on full backs etc. I don't see him doing that at all and be effective. His size, weight and durability is questionable and personally he don't have the a$$ for it, to light. I'm with Rugby on this one!!

Choupique 05-16-2013 02:55 PM

Re: Rejuvenated Jonathan Vilma says it was worth taking pay cut to remain with New Orleans Saints
 
Vilma's experience is worth whatever they're paying him.

He da man.

2dat.

|Mitch| 05-16-2013 03:09 PM

Re: Rejuvenated Jonathan Vilma says it was worth taking pay cut to remain with New Orleans Saints
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Rugby Saint II (Post 503123)
Personally, I see martez Wilson playing beside Lofton and Vilma playing a backup role.........an important one none the less. He has leadership skills that are valuable to the team this year. He could have a strong showing at camp and take the spot because of his knowledge of the game making the transition to the 3-4 smoother. But he won't be able to hold onto it all season long.

Quote:

Originally Posted by halloween 65 (Post 503134)
now we get to see if he can make the transition or not, on the inside he has to shed blockers, take on full backs etc. I don't see him doing that at all and be effective. His size, weight and durability is questionable and personally he don't have the a$$ for it, to light. I'm with Rugby on this one!!

I agree; Vilma may not have a place in the base 3-4... I'm guessing Ryan will try to get him on the field when in the "46"...

FinSaint 05-16-2013 03:19 PM

Re: Rejuvenated Jonathan Vilma says it was worth taking pay cut to remain with New Orleans Saints
 
It'll certainly be interesting to watch the numerous position battles at LB during this off- and preseason, which will hopefully result in a very strong LB corps for the Saints.

I am more optimistic about Vilma's resurgence than I am about Will Smith's, although the battle at DE might not be as fierce as it will be at LB.

darksoul35 05-16-2013 03:20 PM

Re: Rejuvenated Jonathan Vilma says it was worth taking pay cut to remain with New Orleans Saints
 
I still want to see him play healthy before I comment. Remember just a few years ago dude was smashing cats on the field. Coming back from a knee at that age is going to be tough though.

alexonfyre 05-16-2013 08:34 PM

Re: Rejuvenated Jonathan Vilma says it was worth taking pay cut to remain with New Orleans Saints
 
Don't care if he lost a step, injured, whatever, Vilma can make at least one play every set of downs if he is in, and I'll be happy to see him retire in a Saints uniform.

halloween 65 05-17-2013 11:18 PM

Re: Rejuvenated Jonathan Vilma says it was worth taking pay cut to remain with New Orleans Saints
 
Truthfully I wonder if Smith dropped 20 to 25 lbs. if he would be any good at ILB. With dropping that much he could be rejuvenated or however to spell it and possibly be effective at it. I just do not like the thought of him at DE in a 3/4.

thebdj 05-18-2013 04:09 AM

Re: Rejuvenated Jonathan Vilma says it was worth taking pay cut to remain with New Orleans Saints
 
Unlikely to be a starter but how many teams have depth where they can call on someone like Vilma in certain situations or in a 'next man up' scenario if someone like Lofton goes down. Depth is often underrated. We finally appear to have depth. And on Defence as well!!!


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