Jonathan Vilma causes brief stir

New Orleans linebacker Jonathan Vilma caused a bit of a stir Thursday morning on his verified Twitter account.

Vilma caused a panic among New Orleans fans when he tweeted “Finally... freedom!!’’

That’s a natural reaction, because Vilma is one of the team’s most popular players, but has been the subject of wide-spread speculation that he could be released because he has a high salary-cap figure.

But Vilma came back quickly and said he hasn’t been cut.

“Freedom from these crutches ... relax lol,’’ Vilma said in his follow-up tweet.

Still, that second tweet raised another question. Why was Vilma on crutches? He had knee surgery during the season. Did he have another operation after the season? If so, that could only add to the speculation about his future with the Saints.

This is a team with serious salary-cap issues. Vilma seemed slow when he was playing last season, and as he approaches 30, you have to wonder if his knee problems could be chronic. He still could be a cap casualty before the start of free agency next week. At the very least, he’s a candidate to have his contract restructured.