The Saints have signed linebacker Jonathan Vilma to a five year deal worth $34 million.

The deal includes $17 million in guarantees.

Vilma , acquired via trade from the New York Jets, led the Saints in tackles in 2008.

The Saints could not re-sign Vilma before the start of free agency. If they did, they would have to give the Jets a second round pick. That pick was already sent to the Giants in the Jeremy Shockey trade. So, the Saints would have to send their first round pick to the Giants.

Ed Daniels