The New Orleans Saints announced Tuesday that three new additions will be made to the team Hall of Fame in 2017: linebacker Jonathan Vilma, offensive lineman Carl Nicks, and longtime Administrative Director Jay Romig.
"That was the first time in my life I was speechless," Jonathan Vilma said on being notified he would be inducted to "Saints Hall of Fame. pic.twitter.com/Zvs573AZj1— Herbie Teope (@HerbieTeope) May 23, 2017
Vilma played for the Miami Hurricanes in college before going pro with the New York Jets, who traded him to New Orleans in 2008. He went on to play 70 of his 125 career regular season games for the Saints, collecting 439 tackles (313 solo), six forced fumbles, six interceptions, eight sacks, and twenty-two pass breakups. Vilma was a two-time Pro Bowl selection in 2009 and 2010, and the unquestioned leader of the defense. The team arguably still hasn’t found his heir.
"I didn't cry when we won the Super Bowl, so I'm not going to cry today.... I was a part of something special here." -Carl Nicks pic.twitter.com/pXHoguYXYa— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) May 23, 2017
Nicks was drafted from the Nebraska Cornhuskers in 2008 and started 61 of 64 possible regular season games from then through the 2011 season. He and Jahri Evans formed the NFL’s best guard combination during those years, with Nicks going to two Pro Bowls in 2010 and 2011 (along with a First-Team All-Pro listing in 2011). Their effective blocking on every possible play-call paved the way for success in Super Bowl XLIV.
Congrats to #Saints Administrative Director Jay Romig: the 2017 recipient of the Joe Gemelli “Fleur-De-Lis” Award! pic.twitter.com/q9sFgnXEj9— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) May 23, 2017
Romig, a widely-respected front office employee, is also the recipient of this year’s Joe Gemelli “Fleur-De-lis” Award previously given to contributors including Hokie Gajan (2016), Jim Henderson (2012), and Saints fans (2007). The honor has been selected annually since 1989 except for 2005 due to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.
Each Hall of Fame inductee will be formally admitted with a ceremony held during an October 29th game against the Chicago Bears at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.