The team brought in the two linebackers after learning that veteran Mark Simoneau had a torn triceps in his right arm, which will require surgery.
When Payton disclosed Simoneau's injury Tuesday, he initially believed the surgery would be Wednesday, but he later said it won't happen until Thursday.
The Saints have several options with Simoneau. They could place him on injured reserve, ending his season, or release him and hope to re-sign him when he heals later in the season. If Simoneau's recovery is expected to be relatively quick, the team could keep him on its roster.
"It's a question we haven't really answered yet," Payton said. "A lot of it is going to be based on how the surgery went and the doctor's prognosis."
"What more can you ask than to have a guy like that come in -- instant leadership, instant veteran play," Vilma said. "I couldn't be happier if they did bring him in."
"It's really an even race," Williams said. "Both those guys you have to treat with great respect. They worked out very well. They really did. It was fun to watch them."
"In either player's case, it would be as a guy that could come in and initially give us depth," Payton said. "There's going to be a learning curve that's pretty significant this late in the process.
"Both players are hungry and looking forward to an opportunity," he said. "I don't think that would be a big sticking point."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press