One way for the Saints to minimize the impact of suspended defensive players in 2012 is to sign defensive players who didn’t play for the Saints from 2009 through 2011, the three years in which the team used a bounty system.
That’s precisely what the Saints did Saturday night.
Per a league source, the Saints signed former Falcons middle linebacker Curtis Lofton to a five-year deal.
Coincidentally (or not), Jonathan Vilma plays middle linebacker for the Saints. He’s widely believed to be facing a significant suspension for his role in the bounty program, which included (according to NFL Security’s confidential report of March 2) offering $10,000 to anyone who knocked former Vikings quarterback Brett Favre out of the 2009 NFC title game.
UPDATE 10:20 p.m. ET: The Saints have announced the deal with Lofton. “Curtis is a versatile, hard-working player that has displayed a knack for being around the football, and more importantly, making plays on the ball,” G.M. Mickey Loomis said in a team-issued release. “He has the ability to play all three linebacker positions and we feel that he’s just entering the prime of his career. We think he can come to New Orleans and fit in well and provide us with a significant contribution to our defense.”