NEW ORLEANS (TICKER) —The New Orleans Saints have acquired New York Jets linebacker Jonathan Vilma, according to a report on FOXSports.com early Friday morning.
The web site reported that the Jets will receive a conditional draft pick from New Orleans based on Vilma’s playing time.
Earlier Thursday, The New Orleans Times-Picayune had reported that a deal was imminent between the two clubs.
Vilma played in nine games - collecting 43 tackles and an interception - for the Jets before knee surgery cut his season short. He had not missed a game in his previous three seasons with New York.
His arrival would be a boon to the Saints’ defense, which finished 26th in total defense a season ago. A first-round pick by the Jets out of the University of Miami in 2004, Vilma led the NFL with 173 tackles in 2005, following up a strong 108-tackle showing as a rookie.
However, at 6-1 and 230 pounds, he proved to be a poor fit for the Jets’ 3-4 scheme implemented by coach Eric Mangini after his arrival in 2006.
In New Orleans, he should provide a fast, sure-tackling option in the middle of the Saints’ 4-3 defense and have little trouble overtaking veteran middle linebacker Mark Simoneau on the Saints’ depth chart.
Nice move for the aints