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Vilma Hopes To Return To Jets Next Season

                                        New York Jets linebacker Jonathan Vilma 

Although nothing final is coming from Jets headquarters, linebacker Jonathan Vilma, who spoke for the first time since he had surgery on his right knee last week, said that he had every intention of being with the Jets next season healthy.  Citing team policy not allowing players to discuss injuries, Vilma declined to go into great detail about the specific type of surgery that he had.

Rumors that had been floating around include Vilma receiving microfracture surgery, but according to a source with knowledge of the situation states that the surgery involved was not microfracture in nature.  Then there’s also the rumor that Voilma wasn’t a big fan of the 3-4 defensive alignment that team head coach Eric Mangini usually employs.  In addition,  it is also rumored that Vilma and Mangini do not see eye-to-eye on issues.

Vilma attempted to squash those rumors at the news conference, telling Mark Cannizzaro of the New York Post the following: “None of them are based on facts.”, “I like my teammates, I like playing here, I like the organization.”, and lastly, “I hate that we’re losing.  As a competitor you hate losing, so the only thing I hate now is losing.  Everything else, that’s all fictional.  I expect to be back. I hope to back. I’m excited about playing in 2008.”

Vilma added that the surgery was a success and that nothing was mentioned about a second surgery taking place, adding, “They (the doctors) didn’t talk about having to do further surgery.  If it all goes right this should be one and done.”  Now that the surgery has been deemed a success, Vilma and the Jets braintrust need to come to an understand regarding Vilma’s current status.

In my opinion, Vilma is a key component of the Jets’ defense, and as such – assuming he is in the last year of his current contract, needs to be re-signed. This version of the Jets need to be retooled and revised to a degree; Mangini is going through a “sophomore slump”; he isn’t the first coach to overachieve their first year then stink in their 2nd year.  But there are key personnel decisions that will have to be made during the offseason – Vilma being one of the more important ones.


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