On Thursday, July 26, New Orleans Saints LB Jonathan Vilma had a hearing in federal court to get a temporary restraining order against the NFL. If he gets a TRO, he can play and practice for New Orleans while his lawsuit is heard. But will Jonathan Vilma make the Saints' final roster in 2012 if he gets a temporary restraining order?
Jonathan Vilma faces several roadblocks in his quest to play for the New Orleans Saints in 2012. His first challenge is defeating "the shield." NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has suspended Vilma for the entire 2012 season for allegedly playing a leadership role in the alleged bounty program in New Orleans.
Sometime next week, Judge Berrigan may grant the request for a temporary restraining order. Indications from NFL analysts and experts now suggest that the TRO has gone from being a remote to a real possibility. Although this would be a glorious moment for Saints fans, Vilma's work will have only just begun.
In 2011, Jonathan Vilma missed five games for New Orleans. At 30 years of age and nursing a knee injury, some experts are questioning if he is able to compete in the NFL in 2012. One of the reasons he is requesting the temporary restraining order is to have access to the Saints' facilities and trainers to rehabilitate his knee.
If Jonathan Vilma can overcome Roger Goodell and prove he's healthy, he still has to compete against three new quality LBs in New Orleans. Saints GM Mickey Loomis signed Chris Chamberlain, David Hawthorne and Curtis Lofton in the offseason.
Loomis' exact motivation in signing three new free agent LBs may never be known. Loomis may have assumed Vilma's suspension wouldn't be overturned or he may have felt the New Orleans Saints 2011 linebacker corps needed a complete overhaul. Perhaps there is truth in both hypotheses.
Three things in this world are certain: death, taxes and Jonathan Vilma not getting cut in 2012. New Orleans' defensive captain is a virtual martyr for the sins of others. He also showed his true loyalty to the Saints and their fans by agreeing to a restructured contract to help New Orleans sign Drew Brees.
Interim head coach Joe Vitt has publicly stated that he wants Jonathan Vilma on the 2012 New Orleans Saints roster. If he gets a temporary restraining order but cannot compete with the new Saints LBs, then New Orleans will place Vilma on injured reserve. If Vilma beats Goodell, he will become one of the most popular Saints players in history.
Take it to the bank. The New Orleans Saints will not cut Jonathan Vilma in 2012.
Patrick Michael lives in New Orleans and has always been a big fan of the New Orleans Saints. Patrick's favorite Saints season was 2009 when New Orleans won Super Bowl 44. Follow Patrick Michael on Twitter at patmichael84.
Brett Martel, "Vilma court hearing ends with no decision on TRO," yahoo.com
"Jonathan Vilma," pro-football-reference.com
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