TAMPA, Fla. (AP) New Orleans linebacker Jonathan Vilma made his debut Sunday while appealing a suspension for his role in the Saints bounty program.
The ninth-year pro didn't start but did get on the field throughout the opening half of the Saints' game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
He pressured Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman on an incompletion that was nearly intercepted by Roman Harper and got his hands on another pass that he tipped first with his right hand and then his left before it fell incomplete.
Vilma has been rehabbing his surgically repaired left knee and practiced for the first time Wednesday. He was moved from the physically unable to perform list to the 53-man roster Saturday.
The linebacker's return could wind up being relatively brief. His appeal hearing on a season-long suspension has been scheduled for Oct. 30.
The Capitals re-signed one of their lone remaining restricted free agents, but it's not the big-name you were waiting for. Madison Bowey signed a two-year deal with Washington in a deal that will carry a $2 million cap hit, the team announced Thursday.
Bowey, 23, did not start last season with Washington, but was called up and made his NHL debut on Oct. 14 due to an injury to Matt Niskanen. He played in 51 games last season and tallied 12 assists.
With Bowey's signing, Tom Wilson remains the team's only remaining restricted free agent.
More on this story to come.
MORE CAPS NEWS:
The stage has been set for Carmelo Anthony to hit free agency, as the 10-time All-Star was traded to the Atlanta Hawks on Thursday in a three-team deal, one that will lead to a subsequent buyout of his contract. ESPN first reported the news and noted that the Rockets are the favorites to sign him.
The full deal sends Dennis Schroder from the Hawks to the Thunder in exchange for Anthony and a protected first round pick, and sends Mike Muscala from Atlanta to Philly. Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot will go to the Thunder from Phily and Justin Anderson will go from the Sixers to the Hawks.
That's a complicated deal, but it ultimately frees Anthony up to choose a new team. He was set to make $27.9 million from the Thunder next season, but the Hawks are footing the bill to let him walk.
Anthony's skills have declined now that he's 34 years old. Last season, he averaged 16.2 points on 40.4 percent shooting, way down from the 22.4 points he averaged the season before with the Knicks.
Still, Anthony could help a team looking for a scoring punch and the Rockets would like some more help in their quest to take down the Warriors. If he signs there, he will join friend Chris Paul and the 2017-18 MVP, James Harden.
Houston has been the logical landing spot for Anthony ever since news broke that the Thunder were looking for a way out of his contract. If he doesn't go there, perhaps the Lakers would make sense. LeBron James is going to need a lot more help than the roster he currently has around him to make some noise in the crowded Western Conference.
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