Jonathan Vilma

Jonathan Polynice Vilma (born April 16, 1982) is a former American football linebacker and current ESPN college football analyst. He played college football at the University of Miami, winning a National Championship in 2001. He would go on to be drafted by the New York Jets in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft. Vilma won a Super Bowl championship with the New Orleans Saints. In July 2016 he joined ESPN as a college football commentator and studio analyst.[1] Vilma was elected as a member of the Orange Bowl Committee in 2018.

Jonathan Vilma
refer to caption
Vilma at the 2010 Tulane University commencement ceremony
No. 51
Personal information
Born:April 16, 1982 (age 37)
Coral Gables, Florida
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:230 lb (104 kg)
Career information
High school:Coral Gables Senior
(Coral Gables, Florida)
College:Miami (FL)
NFL Draft:2004 / Round: 1 / Pick: 12
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Quarterback sacks:10.5
Forced fumbles:11
Player stats at

Early years

Vilma was born in Coral Gables, Florida to Haitian immigrant parents.[2][3] He attended G.W. Carver Middle School and later Coral Gables High School, where he was a teammate of Pro Bowl running back Frank Gore.

College career

Vilma received an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Miami, and played for coach Butch Davis and coach Larry Coker's Miami Hurricanes football teams from 2000 to 2003.

2000 season

In 2000, Vilma played in all 11 games as a reserve middle linebacker and compiled 38 tackles (29 solo) and a pass deflection.

2001 season

After the graduation of Dan Morgan, Vilma stepped into the starting middle linebacker role and played an integral role on the Hurricanes' National Championship team. He led the team in tackles with 79 (54 solo) and compiled two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery for a 36-yard touchdown, three pass deflections and an interception. He started 11 of 12 games during the regular season and was selected on the First-Team All-Big East team.

2002 season

Vilma led the team in tackles with 133 (75 solo), and had two quarterback sacks, a forced fumble, recovered two fumbles, (returning one for a touchdown) and broke up five passes. He earned unanimous first-team All-Big East selection for the second time in his career and was a semi-finalist for the Dick Butkus Award, along with teammate D.J. Williams.

2003 season

In his final year, Vilma led the team in tackles for a third time with 127 (81 solo), with one sack, forced one fumble, and recovered three fumbles. Vilma ended the year as a finalist for the Butkus Award.

Along with his success on the field, Vilma was a three-time Academic All-Big East Conference. He received a bachelor's degree in finance from the University of Miami's School of Business Administration.

Vilma was interviewed about his time at the University of Miami for the documentary The U, which premiered December 12, 2009 on ESPN.

Professional career


  • 4.43 40 Yard Dash
  • 37 Inch Vertical
  • 23 Bench Reps
  • 6.67 Three-Cone Drill
  • 4.20 Short Shuttle
  • 10-foot-1 Broad Jump

New York Jets

Vilma was drafted by the Jets with the 12th selection in the 2004 NFL Draft.


In 2004, Vilma was named as the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year by the Associated Press. During his rookie campaign, he recorded 107 tackles, two sacks, and three interceptions, one of which was returned for his first NFL touchdown.


In 2005, Vilma led the NFL in tackles with 169, forced four fumbles, notched one fumble recovery, half a sack, and one interception. Vilma also replaced Zach Thomas at the 2006 Pro Bowl.


In 2006, Vilma put together another solid season. He compiled 114 tackles, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, and one interception.


On October 27, 2007, Vilma was placed on injured reserve. He suffered a season ending knee injury during the New York Jets week 7 game against the Cincinnati Bengals.[4][5]

New Orleans Saints


On February 29, 2008, the Jets traded Vilma to the New Orleans Saints for a fourth-round draft pick in the 2008 NFL Draft and a conditional pick in the 2009 NFL Draft (ultimately a third-round pick). Jets then-head coach Eric Mangini elected to start linebackers Eric Barton and David Harris in his place.

In his first season with the Saints, Vilma was a bright spot on a weak defensive unit. Vilma played in all 16 games, and recorded 132 tackles with one sack.

2009: Super Bowl year

On February 27, 2009, Vilma signed a five-year, 34 million-dollar contract with the Saints.[6] Vilma was elected one of the defensive captains, led the team in tackles, had three interceptions, and was chosen for his second Pro Bowl. In Super Bowl XLIV on February 7, 2010, Vilma made several important plays, including making a key defensive audible and deflecting a pass on 3rd and 11 in the fourth quarter. The Saints beat Indianapolis 31-17.


Vilma again led the team in tackles in 2010, started every game, and was selected to the Pro Bowl. In 2011, he started and played in 11 games but was inactive for six others with a knee injury.

2012: Bounty scandal

Vilma was a central figure in the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal. The NFL alleged that defensive coordinator Gregg Williams operated an incentive program, which paid out "bounties" for deliberately putting opposing players out of games. The league alleged that Vilma offered $10,000 cash to anyone who knocked Brett Favre out of the 2009 NFC Championship Game. Most notably, Favre was forced out of the game for one play with an ankle injury. Although up to 27 players were accused of involvement, Vilma was the only player initially singled out by the league for his role.[7][8] The NFL suspended Vilma for the entire 2012 season on May 2, 2012. The suspension was reported to be the longest suspension related to in-game misconduct in modern NFL history, dwarfing the previous record of five games handed to Albert Haynesworth for stomping on Andre Gurode's head in 2006. The league contended that Vilma and defensive end Will Smith aided Williams in starting the alleged program in 2009.[9] Vilma found out about the suspension when it was announced on SportsCenter, immediately announced his intent to appeal and adamantly denied that he was involved in any sort of bounty scheme.[10] Vilma filed a personal slander suit against Roger Goodell.[11]

Opinions about the suspensions were divided, as alleged targets like Favre and Kurt Warner claimed that incentive programs were part of the game, which was corroborated by [12] former players interviewed by Sports Illustrated. On July 26, Vilma and seven witnesses from the Saints (along with a sworn affidavit from Drew Brees) testified to a federal judge in New Orleans that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell misrepresented the facts in the league's investigation. Vilma's suspension was overturned on September 7, and he was reinstated for the 2012 season.[13] The Associated Press reported Roger Goodell's disappointment in the determination of the arbitration board's ruling.

On October 9, 2012, the league again suspended Vilma, Browns linebacker Scott Fujita, Saints defensive end Will Smith and free-agent defensive end Anthony Hargrove. Vilma's suspension lasted throughout the entire 2012 season, but he was allowed to retain his paychecks (when he was on the Physically Unable to Perform list) for the first six weeks of the season.[14] The suspensions were then reviewed by former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, who overruled Roger Goodell and vacated the suspensions on December 11, 2012. Vilma continued his defamation lawsuit against commissioner Goodell,[15] but it was ultimately dismissed in January 2013.[16]

In total, Vilma played in 11 games during the 2012 season.


Vilma underwent knee surgery during the preseason and was placed on the Reserve/Injured Designated for Return list, with the hope that he would recover in time to play during the season. He was reactivated for the Saints' eighth game, a 26-20 loss to his former team, the New York Jets, and was in the game for only 12 defensive snaps. The following week, he was again placed on injured reserve, ending his 2013 season.[17]


On February 12, 2014 Vilma's contract was not renewed with the New Orleans Saints.

He is a guest analyst on Bleacher Report.[18]

Vilma officially retired from football, and was honored by the Saints before their home game on December 6, 2015.[19]


He was inducted into the New Orleans Saints Hall of Fame on October 29, 2017.

Career statistics

Year Team G Tackles Solo Ast Sacks INT INT YDS FF FR PD TD
2004 New York Jets 16 107 77 30 2 3 58 0 1 2 1
2005 New York Jets 16 1691 124 45 0.5 1 1 4 1 5 0
2006 New York Jets 16 114 67 47 0 1 0 1 1 4 0
2007[20] New York Jets 7 43 32 11 0 1 1 0 0 3 0
2008 New Orleans Saints 16 132 98 34 1 1 8 2 3 6 0
2009 New Orleans Saints 15 110 87 23 2 3 25 0 0 8 0
2010 New Orleans Saints 16 105 71 34 4 1 5 3 1 3 0
2011 New Orleans Saints 11 54 36 18 0 0 0 1 3 2 1
2012[20] New Orleans Saints 11 37 20 17 1 1 18 0 0 2 1
Totals 124 870 611 259 10.5 12 116 11 10 35 3

1NFL Leader (2005)[21]

Personal life

Vilma is a spokesman for Under Armour and WaterBank of America USA Inc.[22]

His parents, Fritz Vilma and Nelly Banatte, immigrated to the United States from Haiti in the 1970s. After the 2010 earthquake, he was active in relief efforts.[23]

Vilma started the Jonathan Vilma Foundation after the 2010 Haiti earthquake to help with the rebuilding efforts in Haiti, in particular a charter school to educate students from elementary school to high school.


  1. ^ "Jonathan Vilma - ESPN MediaZone".
  2. ^ "Jonathan Vilma". NFL. Retrieved January 14, 2011.
  3. ^ Corbett, Jim (January 21, 2010). "Once castoffs, Jeremy Shockey, Jonathan Vilma fueling Saints". USA Today. Retrieved January 14, 2011.
  4. ^ "Chicago Sun Times". Archived from the original on December 4, 2010. Retrieved October 28, 2007.
  5. ^ Litsky, Frank (November 14, 2007). "Jets' Vilma Speaks, a Little, About His Knee and Surgery". New York Times. Retrieved September 24, 2009.
  6. ^ "Saints reach agreement with Vilma -". February 27, 2009. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
  7. ^ Judge, Clark (March 2, 2012). "Saints, team officials involved in bounty program should pay dearly". Archived from the original on December 24, 2013.
  8. ^ "NFL announces management discipline in Saints' 'bounty' matter". National Football League. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  10. ^ "Jonathan Vilma banned one year". ESPN. May 2, 2012.
  11. ^ "Vilma lawsuit puts Goodell on the run". Foxsports. May 22, 2012.
  12. ^ Perez, A. J. (March 9, 2012). "Bounty issue could be NFL legal problem". Fox Sports.
  13. ^ "Saints player bounty suspensions overturned on appeal". Retrieved September 8, 2012.
  14. ^ Brooks, Matt. "Report: NFL re-issues bounty suspensions for Saints players". The Washington Times. Retrieved October 9, 2012.
  15. ^ "Saints' Jonathan Vilma pursuing defamation case against Roger Goodell as teammates blast commissioner, NFL". The Star. Toronto. December 13, 2012.
  16. ^ "Jonathan Vilma's lawsuit against Roger Goodell dismissed",, January 17, 2013.
  17. ^ John DeShazier, "Saints defense will have to move ahead without Jonathan Vilma" Archived December 2, 2013, at the Wayback Machine,, November 7, 2013.
  18. ^ "New Orleans Saints part ways with Jabari Greer, Roman Harper, Will Smith and Jonathan Vilma" Archived February 15, 2014, at the Wayback Machine,, February 12, 2014.
  19. ^ Mike Triplett, "Jonathan Vilma announces retirement, honored by Saints",, December 6, 2015.
  20. ^ a b "Jonathan Vilma".
  21. ^ "NFL Statistics - 2005". ESPN. Retrieved May 3, 2012.
  22. ^ "NFL SUPER STAR Jonathan VILMA Signs With WaterBank of America USA Inc. as Spokesperson for ICEROCKS, Secured Spring Water Ice Cubes". Retrieved February 19, 2009.
  23. ^ [1] Archived February 24, 2012, at the Wayback Machine

External links

2001 Miami Hurricanes football team

The 2001 Miami Hurricanes football team represented the University of Miami during the 2001 NCAA Division I FBS football season. It was the Hurricanes' 76th season of football and 11th as a member of the Big East Conference. The Hurricanes were led by first-year head coach Larry Coker and played their home games at the Orange Bowl. They finished the season 12–0 overall and 7–0 in the Big East to finish as conference champion. They were invited to the Rose Bowl, which served as the BCS National Championship Game, and defeated Nebraska, 37–14, to win the school's 5th national championship. The team is considered by many fans to be the greatest in college football history.

2002 Miami Hurricanes football team

The 2002 Miami Hurricanes football team represented the University of Miami during the 2002 NCAA Division I FBS football season. It was the Hurricanes' 77th season of football and 12th as a member of the Big East Conference. The Hurricanes were led by second-year head coach Larry Coker and played their home games at the Orange Bowl. They finished the season 12–1 overall and 7–0 in the Big East to finish as conference champion. They were invited to the Fiesta Bowl, which served as the BCS National Championship Game, and lost to Ohio State, 31-24, in double overtime, ending the 34-game winning streak they had brought into the game.

2003 College Football All-America Team

The 2003 College Football All-America Team is composed of the following All-American Teams: Associated Press, Football Writers Association of America, American Football Coaches Association, Walter Camp Foundation, The Sporting News, Pro Football Weekly, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, and

The College Football All-America Team is an honor given annually to the best American college football players at their respective positions. The original usage of the term All-America seems to have been to such a list selected by football pioneer Walter Camp in the 1890s. The NCAA officially recognizes All-Americans selected by the AP, AFCA, FWAA, TSN, and the WCFF to determine Consensus All-Americans.

2004 New York Jets season

The 2004 New York Jets season was the franchise's 35th season in the National Football League (NFL), the 45th season overall, and the fourth under head coach Herman Edwards.

The season began with the Jets attempting to improve on their 6–10 2003 record. The Jets started the season by winning their first five games, which constituted a franchise record. They ultimately finished 10–6, and clinched the fifth seed in the playoffs, reaching the postseason for the third time in four seasons.

They upset the AFC West champion San Diego Chargers in the Wild Card round, winning in overtime 20–17, but would lose in the Divisional round to the Pittsburgh Steelers, also by a score 20–17 in overtime.

2005 New York Jets season

The 2005 New York Jets season was the franchise's 36th season in the National Football League (NFL), the 46th season overall, and the fifth and final under head coach Herman Edwards. The Jets were attempting to improve upon their 10–6 record from 2004 but failed to do so, and finished the season with a 4–12 record, missing the playoffs for the first time since 2003.

Anthony Hargrove

Anthony La'Ron Tony Hargrove (born July 20, 1983) is a former American football defensive end. He was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the third round of the 2004 NFL Draft. He played college football at Georgia Tech.

Hargrove also played for the Buffalo Bills as well as winning Super Bowl XLIV with the New Orleans Saints, beating Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts. He was also a member of the Philadelphia Eagles and Seattle Seahawks in 2011, and Green Bay Packers in 2012.

Beast Quake

The Beast Quake was an American football play that took place during a 2011 NFL Wild Card playoff game between the Seattle Seahawks and the visiting New Orleans Saints, then the defending Super Bowl champions. The play occurred in the fourth quarter, when Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch broke nine tackles during the course of a 67-yard touchdown run that ultimately provided the winning margin. The play's name comes from Lynch's nickname, "Beast Mode", and the fact that, during and after the play, movement from Seattle fans jumping in celebration was so intense that it registered on a nearby seismograph.

Brian Simmons

Brian Eugene Simmons (born June 21, 1975) is a former American college and professional football player who was a linebacker in the National Football League (NFL) for ten seasons. He played college football for the University of North Carolina, and earned All-American honors. He was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals 17th overall in the 1998 NFL Draft, and he played professionally for the Bengals and New Orleans Saints of the NFL.

College Football Countdown

ESPN College Football Countdown on ABC (branded for sponsorship purposes as ESPN College Football Countdown on ABC presented by Walmart) is a college football television show that typically airs at 3:00 PM on Saturday afternoons during football season on ABC. The programs precedes game action on the network and has ever since 1981.

College Football Scoreboard

College Football Scoreboard is a program on ESPN, ESPN2, and ABC that provides up-to-the-minute scores and highlights during the college football season. The official name is College Football Scoreboard presented by Honda. The name of the show was College Gameday Scoreboard until 2006. It airs four times a day, at 3 p.m. ET and 7 p.m. ET on ESPN and at 3 p.m. ET and 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2. It also airs on ABC as an interlude between the 12 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. afternoon games and will sometimes air before Saturday Night Football if that game starts at 7:30 p.m. ET instead of the usual 8 p.m. ET timeslot. The 3 p.m. ET programs on both networks are thirty minutes long and the 7 p.m. ET programs on both networks lead up to College Football Primetime. However, it is subject to being, and often is, pre-empted due to earlier games running long into the show's timeslot, and often games run into each other without any kind of Scoreboard interlude.

The ESPN College Football Scoreboard was hosted by Adnan Virk along with analysis from Joey Galloway and Jesse Palmer (who also appeared on the late night College Football Final). The ESPN2 version is hosted by Chris Cotter with analysis from Jim Mora and Emmanuel Acho. On ABC, it is hosted by their studio team of Kevin Negandhi, Mack Brown, and Jonathan Vilma. Both College GameDay Scoreboard groups also provide the half-time reports, post-game reports and live in-game updates from games around the country. The 7 p.m. ET versions, for both ESPN and ESPN2, lead up to ESPN College Football Primetime, which begins immediately following the show at 7:45 p.m. ET., unless otherwise pre-empted.

D. J. Williams (linebacker)

Genos Derwin "D. J." Williams, Jr. (born July 20, 1982) is a former American football linebacker who played 11 seasons in the National Football League. He played college football at the University of Miami and was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft. He also played for the Chicago Bears.

Darrell McClover

Darrell McClover (born August 25, 1981) is a former American football linebacker, having most recently played for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League. He was drafted by the New York Jets in the seventh round of the 2004 NFL Draft. He played college football at the University of Miami. While at Miami, McClover was part of the most talented linebacker core in the nation playing alongside New Orleans Saints star Jonathan Vilma and the young leader of the Denver Broncos D.J. Williams.

List of Big 12 Championship Game broadcasters

The following is a list of the television networks and announcers who have broadcast the college football's Big 12 Championship Game throughout the years.

List of ESPN College Football broadcast teams

The ESPN College Football Broadcast Teams are listed in the table below, including games broadcast on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN News, SEC Network, Longhorn Network, and ESPN Radio.

Note: All ESPN games are also simulcast on the ESPN App.

Broadcast pairings for college football are weekly and are subject to change.

Morton's The Steakhouse

Morton’s The Steakhouse is a chain of more than 78 steak restaurants with locations in the United States and franchised abroad, founded in Chicago in 1978. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Landry's, Inc.

National Football Foundation

The National Football Foundation (NFF) is a non-profit organization founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, longtime Army Black Knights football coach Earl Blaik and journalist Grantland Rice. Its mission is to promote and develop amateur American football on all levels throughout the United States and to cultivate leadership, sportsmanship, enthusiasm for competition, and the drive for academic excellence among America's youth.

In addition to supporting amateur football on the local level, the National Football Foundation also oversees the support, administration, and operation of the College Football Hall of Fame. Among its other programs and initiatives includes the facilitation of the Play It Smart program, which places a trained "academic coach" who turns football teams into learning teams in underserved high schools across the country, and the awarding of the William V. Campbell Trophy presented by HealthSouth Corporation, referred to in many circles as the "Academic Heisman". In spring 2007, the NFF launched the NFF Hampshire Honor Society, a recognition program for players who excel both on the field and in the classroom. Inductees must have been a starter in their final collegiate season and have earned a 3.2 cumulative GPA for their undergraduate degree. The Foundation also tabulated and released the Bowl Championship Series Standings each Fall and hosts an Annual Awards Dinner in December at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City.

Archie Manning, a former Ole Miss Rebels football All-American and member of the College Football Hall of Fame, serves as the current chairman, and Steven J. Hatchell, the former commissioner of the Big 12 Conference and executive director of the FedEx Orange Bowl, serves as its current president. The foundation has 120 local chapters distributed among 48 states. Since 1956, more than 100,000 volunteers have become members.

New Orleans Saints

The New Orleans Saints are a professional American football team based in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Saints currently compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member of the league's National Football Conference (NFC) South division. The team was founded by John W. Mecom Jr., David Dixon, and the city of New Orleans on November 1, 1966. The Saints began play in Tulane Stadium in 1967.

The name "Saints" is an allusion to November 1 being All Saints Day in the Catholic faith. New Orleans has a large Catholic population, and the spiritual "When the Saints Go Marching In" is strongly associated with New Orleans and is often sung by fans at games. The franchise was founded on November 1, 1966.The team's primary colors are old gold and black; their logo is a simplified fleur-de-lis. They played their home games in Tulane Stadium through the 1974 NFL season. The following year, they moved to the new Louisiana Superdome (now the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, since Mercedes-Benz has purchased the stadium's naming rights).For most of their first 20 years, the Saints were barely competitive, only getting to .500 twice. In 1987, they finished 12–3—their first-ever winning season—and qualified for the NFL playoffs for the first time in franchise history, but lost to the Minnesota Vikings 44–10. The next season in 1988 ended with a 10–6 record, but no playoff berth. Following the 2000 regular season, the Saints defeated the defending Super Bowl champion St. Louis Rams 31–28 to notch their first-ever playoff win.

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and much of the Gulf Coast region. The Superdome was used as an emergency, temporary shelter for displaced residents. The stadium suffered damage from the hurricane (notably from flooding and part of the roof being torn off as well as internal damage from lack of available facilities). The Saints were forced to play their first scheduled home game against the New York Giants at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey (the Giants' home stadium); other home games were rescheduled at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas or Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. During the season, it was rumored that Saints' owner Tom Benson might deem the Superdome unusable and seek to legally void his contract and relocate the team to San Antonio, where he had business interests. Ultimately, however, the Superdome was repaired and renovated in time for the 2006 season at an estimated cost of US$185 million. The New Orleans Saints' first post-Katrina home game was an emotionally charged Monday Night Football game versus their division rival, the Atlanta Falcons. The Saints, under rookie head coach Sean Payton and new quarterback Drew Brees, defeated the Falcons 23–3, and went on to notch the second playoff win in franchise history.

The 2009 season was a historic one for the Saints. Winning a franchise-record 13 games, they qualified for Super Bowl XLIV and defeated the AFC champion Indianapolis Colts 31–17. To date, it is the only Super Bowl championship that they have won, and as it is the only Super Bowl the Saints have appeared in, they join the New York Jets and Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the only three NFL teams to win their lone Super Bowl appearance.

In 52 seasons (through 2018), the Saints' record was 371–446–5 (.454) overall, 362–435–5 in the regular season and 9–11 in the playoffs.

New Orleans Saints bounty scandal

The New Orleans Saints bounty scandal, widely dubbed "Bountygate," was an incident in which members of the New Orleans Saints team of the National Football League (NFL) were not found guilty but accused of paying out bonuses, or "bounties", for injuring opposing team players. The pool was alleged to have been in operation from 2009 (the year in which the Saints won Super Bowl XLIV) to 2011.

League commissioner Roger Goodell responded with some of the most severe sanctions in the league's 92-year history, and among the most severe punishments for in-game misconduct in North American professional sports history. Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was suspended indefinitely, though this would be overturned the following year. Head coach Sean Payton was suspended for the entire 2012 season—the first time since Chuck Fairbanks in 1978 that a head coach had been suspended. General manager Mickey Loomis was suspended for the first eight games of the 2012 season. Assistant head coach Joe Vitt was suspended for the first six games of the 2012 season. The Saints organization was penalized with a $500,000 fine and forced to forfeit their second-round draft selections in 2012 and 2013. In May 2012, four current and former Saints players were suspended after being named as ringleaders in the scandal, with linebacker Jonathan Vilma also being suspended for the entire 2012 season. However, former commissioner Paul Tagliabue overturned all sanctions against the players in December 2012 after finding that despite the players being "very much involved", the coaches and the Saints organization were primarily responsible for the scandal.

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