While the defending NFC South Champion New Orleans Saints opened training camp Thursday, defensive captain Jonathan Vilma was in a New Orleans courtroom. Vilma is seeking a restraining order that will allow him to practice with the team, and he hopes, play.

The Saints linebacker has filed a defamation suit against NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for his allegation that Vilma offered $10,000 during the 2009 playoffs to any player that knocked Brett Favre out of the NFC Championship game. The seven hour hearing featured testimony from teammates and coaches that they never witnessed the offer. The Saints signed Middle linebacker Curtis Lofton

to replace Vilma in March. Vilma's been hampered by chronic knee problems. Lofton is younger and has missed only one game in four previous  seasons with the Atlanta Falcons. He was their leading tackler last season.