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News » Saints agree to terms with top tackler LB Vilma


Saints agree to terms with top tackler LB Vilma


Saints agree to terms with top tackler LB Vilma
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The New Orleans Saints agreed to terms with linebacker Jonathan Vilma on a five-year contract Friday, bringing back the team's leading tackler from last season.


The team didn't disclose the financial terms.

Vilma became a free agent after his first season in New Orleans. He led the Saints with 151 tackles and three forced fumbles and added a sack and an interception.

Vilma, acquired from the New York Jets last season, said he wanted to return to the Saints.

"It wasn't too difficult," he said of the negotiations. "We both agreed pretty easily on the numbers we thought were fair. There was nothing anybody felt was unreasonable. We got it done quickly, got it done smoothly and now we can focus on football."

Vilma played his first four NFL seasons with the Jets and was the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2004. A knee injury cost the former University of Miami star the last nine weeks of 2007, but he played all 16 games for the Saints last season.

Saints general manager Mickey Loomis said re-signing Vilma was the team's priority during the offseason.

"Jonathan proved he could come back from his injury and play at a high level and we expect the same or better from him starting this season," Loomis said in a statement.

Vilma was arrested last month during a traffic stop in Miami on charges that included resisting arrest and obstruction of justice, but prosecutors agreed this week to drop the charges after he agreed to give to charity and clear up outstanding tickets.

"That was the biggest relief, I should say, of anything that's happened this offseason because it was just a very crazy situation," Vilma said. "I'll just leave it at that. I was just glad the Saints didn't pass judgment. They didn't believe a word of what happened, what they said happened. And I was just excited the fans didn't pass judgment either before there was a decision."



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: February 28, 2009

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Nathan Jones Name: Nathan Jones
#33
Position: CB
Age: 26
Experience: 5 years
College: Rutgers
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