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Defender Picks


Cap-Strapped Saints Release 4 Defensive Veterans

The New Orleans Saints released four veteran defensive players Wednesday. In their quest to free up space under the NFL's salary cap, the Black and Gold decided to part ways with MLB Jonathan Vilma, OLB Will Smith, CB Jabari Greer and S Roman Harper. The four players, all of whom were in their 30s, were all locker room leaders throughout their career, but they also struggled with injury in 2013.

Saints Bring Back Robert Meachem After San Diego Sojourn

The Saints had to make their final cuts on Saturday, but they weren't done tailoring the roster as the workweek began. The Black and Gold brought back an old favorite just in time to renew their rivalry with the Dirty Birds. Wide Receiver was signed to a one-year contract.

Saints Make Final Cuts

With Friday night lights turned up for high school and LSU kicking off their season on Saturday, Louisiana started to get into fall football rhythm. Sunday rituals will have to wait, however, as one more week remains before the WhoDat chants that accompany the Saints taking the field can ring around the Dome. With the preseason over and the final roster cuts made, however, the weekend did bring a more vivid picture of what the 2013 Black and Gold squad would look like.

Vilma Absence Puts Focus on Defense in Saints' 2nd Preseason Game

The Saints head into their second preseason game Friday night with another injury leaving a gap in a crucial position. Jonathan Vilma, last year's defensive captain and Bounty warrior, had knee surgery on Thursday, and has an iffy timetable for return. The latest loss puts even more pressure on a defense that is fighting to renew itself after last year's record-setting woes.

Saints Look to Re-Sign Jimmy Graham, Re-Awaken Vilma

With August approaching, the countdown to football has emerged from its vegetative free agency period to a rapidly moving hourglass. The New Orleans Saints began training camp late this week. For the first time in a few years, things looked something like normal as Sean Payton fielded softball questions, Breesus was optimistic beyond mortal capacity and Jonathan Vilma was being lauded for his on-field prowess instead of courtroom theatrics.

Saints' Vilma, Smith Facing Pay Cuts?

by Sarah Esenwein

On the heels of their Bountygate (non)suspensions, defensive players Will Smith and Jonathan Vilma may have to take another one for the team. The Saints are facing a hard salary cap deadline in March. Vilma and Smith are in the crosshairs of contract restructuring to get under that cap by March 12. According to ESPN, the Saints will ask the defensive veterans to restructure their contract.

Tagliabue: No Bounty Suspensions for Saints Players

Updated 1:45 p.m.

Saints players have found salvation from their Bounty burden. Former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue vacated the suspension of Linebacker Jonathan Vilma and Defensive End Will Smith, as well as two former Saints defenders, for their roles in the Bounty scandal. That means the players are free to play without the cloud of a suspension hanging over them.

Vilma In, Jimmy Graham Out: Saints-Bucaneers

About noon today, our Bye Week Blues will officially be cured as the New Orleans Saints return to action against the Tampa Bay Bucaneers at Raymond James Stadium. After a week of renewed Bounty bluster that felt more like the offseason, the Black and Gold provided some uplifting news before the division showdown, as the team announced Jonathan Vilma's returned to the squad from the injured reserve list.

Goodell Abdicates as Bounty Decider

It just may be Jonathan Vilma's lucky day. NFL Commissioner Goodell has recused himself from any bounty proceedings, handing the decision-making over to former commissioner Paul Tagliabue. This comes only days after all four Bounty-gate players implored Goodell to remove himself from the proceedings. Although not officially backed by the NFL Players' Association, Goodell says he consulted with the executive director before formally announcing his dis-involvement with the matter.

Saints' Jon Vilma Takes Bounty Battle Back to Court

by Jillian Firnhaber

Although his Twitter account remained quiet, Jonathan Vilma made some noise in court this morning. The Saints linebacker filed a motion in federal court in New Orleans today to vacate his entire bounty suspension. In the court filing, Vilma dismisses Goodell's actions in the latest suspensions as a "farcical review." All four players accused that were re-suspended last week for their roles in the Saints' scandal petitioned for the removal of NFL Commissioner Goodell from the case, citing his lack of impartiality.

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