If you’re keeping track of the New Orleans Saints’ moves since Bountygate, then you’ll know yesterday they signed their third linebacker this offseason: Curtis Lofton, Chris Chamberlain, and David Hawthorne.Â The Saints heavying up on LBs largely has to do with the team anticipating lengthy player suspensions from Roger Goodell. While the report suggested 22 of 27 defensive players were involved, only one player, middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma, was explicitly named for having an active role in the bounty scandal.Â He “allegedly” offered players $10,000 to take out Brett Favre during the 2010 NFL Championship game.
With it looking like Vilma will eventually be suspended and possibly face criminal charges too, the Saints are doing what’s necessary to remain competitive on the field.
Yesterday, Sports Illustrated’s Peter King and Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma exchanged a few twitter pleasantries after the Saints recent signing of Hawthorne.
King set it off with the following tweet:
Vilma, feeling some type of way, responded with the following:
King reminded Vilma that the NFL investigation was the true source of his misdirected anger:
Vilma didn’t buy it and took more shots at King and the entire blogosphere:
But Vilma eventually let it go and wished King a goodnight:
OK, here’s the deal.Â I’m a Vilma fan.Â Have been since he played with the Jets, but dude is in serious denial.Â Did King instigate the situation by baiting him via twitter? Yes.Â Was that out of line for a seasoned and respected journalist like King? Possibly.Â King could’ve merely reported that the Saints signed another linebacker and implied they’re continuing to get their house in order in anticipation of falling chips, without taking shots at Vilma.
HOWEVER, Vilma getting defensive and questioning King’s journalistic integrity is a complete deflection of what’s really going on.Â Vilma must be real with himself and accept that it’s only a matter of time before he’s officially done with the Saints, and possibly the NFL forever.Â King’s tweet only reinforced the message the Saints have been sending since initially signing Curtis Lofton in March.Â Instead of worrying about King further muddying up his name, he should get off twitter and remain out of the spotlight.Â Fortunately for him, he’s lawyered up courtesy of the NFLPA, because the possibility of criminal charges being brought against him is serious as hell.Â But he and his lawyer need to meet asap, so Vilma can be advised on proper conduct. Call me crazy, but I have a feeling that inciting twitter wars with someone as revered as Peter King doesn’t fit the bill.
Vilma needs to take this more seriously.Â He, “allegedly” no stranger to bounties, escaped the University of Miami accusations unscathed.Â But this is the NFLÂ and Goodell has an axe to grind; and Vilma will be made an example.Â I see it.Â You see it.Â But does Vilma see it?
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