Saints' Free Agency Update: Jonathan Vilma Staying in New Orleans for a While

Bleacher ReportAnalyst IFebruary 27, 2009

Its been a great week for New Orleans Saints middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma. Earlier this week, charges by the Miami-Dade State Attorneys Office stemming from his arrest in Miami on January 16, were dropped (see statement below) and today the Saints reached agreement with Vilma on a five-year, $34 million contract that includes $17 million guaranteed and $23 million in the first three years.

Vilma spent last year with the Saints after being traded to the Black and Gold from the New York Jets.

In 2008, Vilma started all 16 of the regular season games and recorded 132 total tackles, one sack, and one interception.

Tampa Bay had appeared to be interested in Vilma.

Vilma Made This Statement Regarding The Dropped Charges:

“I appreciate that the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office did their due diligence and decided not to file charges against me regarding the arrest that occurred on January 16, 2009 in Miami, Florida.

"As I have indicated in the past, I would vigorously fight any charges filed against me surrounding the incident that occurred. I believe the State Attorney’s Office did the just and right thing in this matter. I would like to thank my family and friends, the New Orleans Saints organization, and my fans for supporting and believing in me.”

What The Saints Have Done In Free Agency So Far:

  • Released WR David Patten and RB Deuce McAllister
  • Signed TE Dan Campbell
  • Tendered contracts to G Jahri Evans, WR Lance Moore, T Zach Strief, and CB Leigh Torrence