Vilma is undergoing knee surgery Thursday in Philadelphia, according to Adam Schefter. Vilma will miss the rest of the preseason, but the Saints are hopeful he can be ready for the start of the regular season.
That may be an ambitious goal. Vilma is 31 and missed six games due to knee problems last year. The Saints have a quality backup in David Hawthorne.
The Saints acknowledged their concerns about Vilma’s health when they restructured his contract in the offseason. Vilma took a cut of $3.8 million in base salary and the new deal contains a clause that allows him to recoup $1.3 million if he participates in 38 percent of the defensive snaps.