In the latest sign the New Orleans Saints are preparing for an immediate future that doesn't include "bounty" scandal heavy Jonathan Vilma, the team has signed former Seattle Seahawks linebacker David Hawthorne.
Hawthorne agreed to a five-year deal with the Saints, the team announced Tuesday. The 26-year-old led the Seahawks in tackles in each of the past three seasons. In 2011, he had 115 tackles, two sacks and three interceptions.
I am officially a part of the Who Dat Nation! Its been a long process but I know God has me in the place he feels i need to be!
- David Hawthorne (@D_Hawthorne57) April 3, 2012
Hawthorne joins Curtis Lofton and Chris Chamberlain as linebackers added by the Saints during free agency.
The NFL has yet to hand down player penalties, but Vilma was the only player named in the findings of the league's massive investigation. Judging by the way the NFL came down on coach Sean Payton, general manager Mickey Loomis, assistant coach Joe Vitt and former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, it's unlikely Vilma will get off with a slap on the wrist.
Sports Illustrated NFL reporter Peter King made note of the Saints' stockpiling of linebackers Tuesday night on Twitter, snark to which Vilma didn't take kindly.
@SI_PeterKing reckless journalism is beneath you sir. You've become a glorified blogger
- Jonathan Vilma (@JonVilma51) April 3, 2012
Quick, somebody set up a meeting at Starbucks.