Despite the ongoing bounty scandal, which just happens to involve MLB Jonathan Vilma, the Saints have done a good job of adding some talent to their defensive front-seven. It started with the signing of Brodrick Bunkley to play defensive tackle and has since been followed by the additions of Curtis Lofton, Chris Chamberlain and David Hawthorne.
The Saints have said that they plan to play Chamberlain and Hawthorne to outside linebacker but Lofton figures to take over in the middle of the field.
ESPN’s Pat Yasinskas writes that “the Saints seem to be bracing themselves for change at linebacker. Jonathan Vilma, the starter at middle linebacker last season, is coming off an injury and possibly could face suspension for his role in the Saints bounty program.”
Vilma was rated as the #48 inside linebacker out of #50 by Pro Football Focus and is set to make $5.4 million for the upcoming season and another $5.9 million in 2013. He’ll be 30 at the start of the season so he still has productive years ahead of him, but the concerns could outweigh the benefit to signing him.