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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

LB Vilma staying in New Orleans



Were the Bucs outbid for the second time today? It's possible.

Saints LB Jonathan Vilma, on the Bucs' shopping list entering free agency, has agreed to a long-term deal that keeps him in New Orleans. reports Vilma signed a five-year, $34-million deal, of which $17-million is guaranteed.

What's not entirely clear is how much of a full-court press the Bucs placed on Vilma. We were able to establish Thursday night that the franchise was indeed high on the former University of Miami star, but it remains unclear what type of financial value the Bucs placed on him. Early this morning, the Redskins drove up the price on DT Albert Haynesworth, stealing him from the Bucs, who were Washington's closest competition.

Vilma is primarily a middle linebacker, and the Bucs don't have a need there with Barrett Ruud entrenched at the position. But it's believed Tampa Bay had intentions of using him as an outside linebacker, likely on the weak side.

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 3:26pm]


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