Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Saints' plans for Vilma
By Tom Carpenter
New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton believes that Jonathan Vilma has a role with the team, even though they are switching to a 3-4 defensive scheme for 2013, according to the Times-Picayune's Larry Holder.
"I think the way that we're going to run this defense and the type of 3-4 that we're running will be such that you saw in Dallas or Houston. There will be some under defensive principles to it," Payton said. "Some reduction, which means that the left guard or weak guard for the offense will be covered at times, and I think that will help a guy like Jon Vilma as opposed to the traditional two-gap 34 front that many Giants fans knew back when Bill Parcells was there ... So I do think there's some work to be done obviously when you make a change like this."
The catch with Vilma, though, is money. Vilma will be owed $4.8 million in base salary in 2013 with a salary-cap hit of about $8.6 million. That's a particularly big financial pill to swallow for a Saints team that already is projected to be about $20 million over the cap. Odds are that if Vilma is going to be a Saint for next season, he'll have to take a dramatic pay cut.
Even if finances are taken care of, ESPN NFC South blogger Pat Yasinskas isn't convinced that Vilma would be a good fit:
Pat YasinskasAround the NFC South
"Coach Sean Payton said he can see a role for linebacker Jonathan Vilma in the 3-4 scheme the Saints are switching to. I think this might be a case of a coach showing respect for a veteran leader. Vilma didn't fit in the 3-4 scheme when he was with the Jets. More importantly, I don’t know that the Saints have the salary-cap room to even keep Vilma on the roster."