Saints lift Curtis Lofton from Falcons

AP

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.”

65 responses to “Saints lift Curtis Lofton from Falcons

  1. Mind you he led a defense that held a SB champ to 24 points in their own stadium in the playoffs. Meanwhile the Saints beat the champs 49-24 in the dome.

  2. For a team who looked like they were going to have serious problems retaining their own free agents it seems like the Saints have signed way more players than they’ve lost. Of course they still haven’t signed Brees who’s clearly pissed about the franchise tag. Perhaps some of that money should have gone towards hiring additional coaches since they’ll be a little short on that end.

  3. After Goodell guts the Saints defense, after robbing the team of their head & assistant coach, after the world turns against everything New Orleans up to and including adolescent criticism of a player’s poetry and any player’s right to defend himself, the Saints show class by moving forward and proving that this is an organization that good players would choose to play for. Sorry Atlanta.

  4. All you folks that hate us, what did you think we would lay down and die. No…we will dust ourselves off and move on to be the Best we can be. Guess ya’ll won’t want us to do dat. We Will.

    Geaux Saints

  5. I Love it! Saints gonna have a run stopping ball hogging defense to compliment their explosive offense. Can’t wait, this bounty gate is making the Saints better. Thanks Spags, I think your the first and best pickup of the year!

  6. As a Eagles fan this is the free agent that i initially wanted (although Im ecstatic we got Demeco Ryans) , this is great news for fans whose team has spent this past week getting nut kicked from the NFL . Good pick up

  7. “Shot me three times and still couldn’t keep me down.” Saints always keep their heads high and walk above everyone else. NFL wants to play that dirty cheat game, we gone show em’ what’s up. I’m so proud of my team for not complaining about all that’s been dealt to us. We just line up and smack you in the mouth again. Now what’s up. Who Dat Nation still running strong baby.

  8. I honestly don’t see any holes on defense now other than that sieve that is Patrick Robinson. Corner in 3rd round for sure now.

  9. Keep it rocking Saints, there are two precedents about to be set this set. The Saints are the first team to lose their head coach to a suspension for the whole season and the Saints will be the first team to win a Superbowl with their head coach. WHO DAT !!!!

  10. Atlanta should trade a bunch of their picks to move up and get blackmon. Who cares about defense, I think they are one WR away. “Matty ice” just needs more weapons, then he will win a playoff game.

  11. When a team can put points on the board like the Saints who cares if Lofton can’t defend the pass?

    Falcons were 4th worst in the league last season at allowing 1st downs on 3rd down at 44%…. and that stiff in the middle that couldn’t cover Kellen Winslow, Sr, was a big reason for it.

    I love the Saints picking up Lofton, he’ll eat up cap space, suck against the pass, and for the short term convince the Saints not to try to find a new MLB.

  12. NOLA survived natural disaster Katrina…it’s gonna take more than that candya** pansy Goodell, his pink uniform accessory mandates, the Spygate Patriots’ apologists and all the haters in the NFL to keep the Saints down.

  13. Haters, kiss our azz!!! Great move Mickey!!! Nows lets sign Drew and take no prisoners this year!!!

  14. It’s the Lofa Tatupu/Akeem Dent (3rd round pick in 2011) show now for the Falcons. Money/personnel needs to go to improving the pass rush.

  15. jacksaysfu says:
    Mar 24, 2012 10:37 PM
    As a Eagles fan this is the free agent that i initially wanted (although Im ecstatic we got Demeco Ryans) , this is great news for fans whose team has spent this past week getting nut kicked from the NFL . Good pick up.
    ——————————–
    Dude, that means a lot to me as a Saints fan. The amount of hatred and ridicule we have been putting up with has been a bit much. Classy comment, and from a Philly fan no less. I’ll be rooting for you guys when they play Dallas and NY for sure.

  16. Don’t worry Lofton, your career will be over soon. Thought you had more self respect than to venture into hell, with a divisional rival nonetheless. So congratulations on selling your soul and getting in bed with the devil. I hope it’s worth it as your career slowly begins to become nothing.

    Also on another bright note, looking forward to “bountygate revenge 2012” you didn’t think the other 31 teams would just forgive and forget did you? I didn’t think so. The suspensions are for their safety not the NFL’s.

  17. Good pick up for the Aints. I am sorry to see Curtis go but don’t get ahead of yourselves, Saints fans. You are forgetting one very important question:

    Who dat, who dat, who dat said they gonna coach den Saints?

  18. As a Eagles fan this is the free agent that i initially wanted (although Im ecstatic we got Demeco Ryans) , this is great news for fans whose team has spent this past week getting nut kicked from the NFL . Good pick up

    Thank you very much. The thing that’s not been mentioned that often during this whole situation is the Saints defense wasn’t very good under Williams.

    The record setting offense is still intact. Obviously,that’s going to depend on getting Brees signed and happy before TC. Releasing Vilma would save 5 mil against the cap and that amount was the difference between the team and Brees agent during the last round of negotiations. Imo,the signing of brees will happen very soon.

  19. ampking101 says:
    Mar 25, 2012 6:31 AM
    Don’t worry Lofton, your career will be over soon. Thought you had more self respect than to venture into hell, with a divisional rival nonetheless. So congratulations on selling your soul and getting in bed with the devil. I hope it’s worth it as your career slowly begins to become nothing.

    Also on another bright note, looking forward to “bountygate revenge 2012″ you didn’t think the other 31 teams would just forgive and forget did you? I didn’t think so. The suspensions are for their safety not the NFL’s.

    Bitter much? I have breaking news for ya. Players nor management care about loyalty. Players will go where the money is,or where they feel they have a good shot at a ring. Lofton is a true MLB and was a square peg in a round hole in the 3-4 defense ran by Mike Nolan. That’s the same reason we were able to get Vilma from the Jets when Mangini switched to the 3-4.

    Some Saints fans were livid and still bitter about Bobby Hebert,Morten Andersen,and Joe Horn playing for the Falcons after their Saints career was over. I didn’t care. I would have done the same for a million dollar a year raise. Wouldn’t you?

  20. BTW, Ampking

    There will be no bountygate revenge. I’ll tell you what opposing players are thinking,and that’s 2 things.

    1. I’m glad you got caught and not us.

    2. Who’s the rat who blew the whistle?

  21. mikeockizard says:
    Mar 25, 2012 8:06 AM
    Good pick up for the Aints. I am sorry to see Curtis go but don’t get ahead of yourselves, Saints fans. You are forgetting one very important question:

    Who dat, who dat, who dat said they gonna coach den Saints?

    The offense averaged 37 points a game when Payton had to sit out due to his knee injury. Pete Carmichael will most likely be still calling those plays. I believe the offense will be fine. Once again,the defense is the real ?

    turbodog1027 says:
    Mar 25, 2012 9:33 AM
    Saints steal Falcons best defensive player !!!!

    Nice

    I wish I could say that,but Imo Brent Grimes is their best defensive player. The problem there is they overpaid for Dunta Robinson at the other CB spot. If I were them,I’d release Robinson if I had too and sign Grimes long term.

  22. There was speculation on the release of Vilma before all this bounty stuff came to light. He is coming off a season where he was injured and missed a significant amount of time. His replacement, Joe Lonn Dunbar played well, and Vilma has a high cap number next year. The Saints may now choose to release Vilma to free up more cap space to get Brees signed to a long term deal.

  23. steelydean says:
    Mar 25, 2012 9:58 AM
    Why do saints fans act like their team is a dynasty? Remember the 30+ years they were an absolute joke? You will!

    Who said anything about a dynasty? Saints fans like myself should be confident about our teams chances. The reason is we have a first ballot HOF Qb leading our team. The paper bag days may or may not return. As long as Brees is the Qb,the team is going to be competitive,and in this unfettered era of FA,that’s all anyone can ask for.

    Steeler fan I assume? If not, I apologize,but they are a great example of the next point I’ll make. from 92-04 the team was in the top 10 in rushing and total defense every year. They didn’t win a title until Big Ben came along. Teams can win a title without a franchise QB,but they are an exception and not the rule. Baltimore won with Dilfer and the Niners came close with Alex Smith,but both of those teams had supercharged defenses and got turnovers in droves. That stat usually doesn’t repeat itself two years in a row. It didn’t with the Ravens and I’d almost bet my house the Niners won’t be +28 in that category next year either.

  24. steelydean says:
    Mar 25, 2012 9:58 AM
    Why do saints fans act like their team is a dynasty? Remember the 30+ years they were an absolute joke? You will!

    You also aren’t well versed in history. The Saints overall record since Tom Benson took over before the 86 season is 218-205. That’s not great by any stretch,but hardly the joke they were under the ownership of John Meacom who used to trade draft picks for straight up cash. Meacom was arguably the worst owner ever in pro football.

    If you discount the Ditka era (error) and I know you can’t the overall record under Benson would be even more respectable.

  25. kingfish4242 says:
    Bitter much? I have breaking news for ya. Players nor management care about loyalty. Players will go where the money is,or where they feel they have a good shot at a ring. Lofton is a true MLB and was a square peg in a round hole in the 3-4 defense ran by Mike Nolan. That’s the same reason we were able to get Vilma from the Jets when Mangini switched to the 3-4.

    Some Saints fans were livid and still bitter about Bobby Hebert,Morten Andersen,and Joe Horn playing for the Falcons after their Saints career was over. I didn’t care. I would have done the same for a million dollar a year raise. Wouldn’t you?

    BTW, Ampking

    There will be no bountygate revenge. I’ll tell you what opposing players are thinking,and that’s 2 things.

    1. I’m glad you got caught and not us.

    2. Who’s the rat who blew the whistle?
    _________________________________
    Bitter would not be the correct word (seeing as I wouldn’t have minded seeing him go to Tampa Bay),what I am is disappointed. First things first, Lofton did 2 dumb things. 1.) Lost his core fan base by jumping ship (Most recent someone to no one. Steve Smith: Giant turned Eagle anyone?) 2.) Lofton is going into an organization in complete and utter turmoil and disarray, especially with your star QB holding out. So the answer to your question, no I would have rather stayed with an organization for a million less than venture into the nightmare that is the Who Dat organization for a million more. With that said, I’ll take Lofa Tatupu over Lofton any day. His work ethic and leadership qualities alone make me welcome him with open arms into the ATL locker room. So to your “u mad bro” type statement, no just disappointed in what looks to be career suicide (I don’t expect a Saint fan to understand as most are blindly gripping onto the rails as the ship goes down).

    As far as “bountygate revenge 2012”. Believe what you want, yeah some other teams ran bounties Redskins being one (and I never had much respect for them in the first place anyways) and I am just as disgusted with them but news flash (and this is the important part) not all teams are dirty (wow shocker right? I know who would have thought). Trust me a handful of teams are upset and there are some guys licking their chops for when they face the Saints next. If you honestly deny that then you are naive.

    I wouldn’t take an extra million dollars to venture to hell but if you’ve tried messing with my career or a teammate of mines career. Well I would feel mightily unaccommodating if I didn’t to pay it that wonderful gift back in kind.

  26. Kingfish4242

    You are right, the Saints did score a lot of point while Payton had is knee injury. Please don’t forget that he was still very much involved with the game plan and he watched from the sky box.

    This is completely different. He wont help you draft, he will not contribute during training camp, they will miss his advise in game planning and play calling. This WILL hurt.

    You all feel like everyone is against you because you are good. That is incorrect. People are beginning to hate the Saints because of the way your fans behave. Saints fans used to be fun. After one SB win the fans managed to change over night to the trash talking classless bunch that you would expect to find at an LSU game. It is really sad.

  27. You cant really “lift from” or “steal” a player from a team that was making little effort to keep him.
    You can disagree with the value you think Lofton had to the Falcons or what value he brings to the Saints.
    But you can’t say the Falcons lost anything they were not planning to lose or had anyone stolen away.
    In Atlanta’s view Loften is a 2 down linebacker they were not going to overpay to keep.

  28. pftstory says: Mar 25, 2012 10:47 AM

    You cant really “lift from” or “steal” a player from a team that was making little effort to keep him.
    You can disagree with the value you think Lofton had to the Falcons or what value he brings to the Saints.
    But you can’t say the Falcons lost anything they were not planning to lose or had anyone stolen away.
    In Atlanta’s view Loften is a 2 down linebacker they were not going to overpay to keep.
    —-

    Better to overpay for 33 year old Abraham at three times the price (who only plays on 3rd down BTW) than 26 year old Lofton (who plays on 1st and 2nd downs). Lol

  29. I wouldn’t take an extra million dollars to venture to hell

    I know this is cherry picking,but I don’t believe this for a second. Careers in the NFL are very short. Players have a very short shelf life to be able to collect this type of money.

    As a Saints fan,I despise Atlanta,but if I were good enough to play in this league,I’d put on their uniform in a NY second if they offered me the most money.

  30. just a little FYI.

    Marshall Faulk grew up in New orleans and as a Die Hard Saints fan. That didn’t stop him from trying to beat them when his teams faced them on the field.

    Did he take plays off or not try as hard because he was playing against his favorite team?

    I don’t think so.

  31. mikeockizard says:
    Mar 25, 2012 10:38 AM
    Kingfish4242

    You are right, the Saints did score a lot of point while Payton had is knee injury. Please don’t forget that he was still very much involved with the game plan and he watched from the sky box.

    This is completely different. He wont help you draft, he will not contribute during training camp, they will miss his advise in game planning and play calling. This WILL hurt.

    You all feel like everyone is against you because you are good. That is incorrect. People are beginning to hate the Saints because of the way your fans behave. Saints fans used to be fun. After one SB win the fans managed to change over night to the trash talking classless bunch that you would expect to find at an LSU game. It is really sad.

    Saints fans are still fun if you can recognize the bandwagonners from the diehards. People are going to hate winners regardless of the sport. The ones like me who’ve been around since Kilmer was our Qb know we are very lucky and fortunes can change overnight.

    If you want to recognize a bandwagon fan,it’s pretty easy. They bought their Brees Jersey from Walmart and couldn’t tell you anything about History prior to 2009 or so. They also talk mindless smack without anything to back it up except for pointing at the trophy. More often than not,they are less than 20 years old as well.

    Personally,I could do without those types,but NFL marketing depend on them too much. They are really the ones who drive merchandise sells the most.

  32. kingfish4242 says: Mar 25, 2012 12:19 PM

    just a little FYI.

    Marshall Faulk grew up in New orleans and as a Die Hard Saints fan. That didn’t stop him from trying to beat them when his teams faced them on the field.

    Did he take plays off or not try as hard because he was playing against his favorite team?

    I don’t think so.

    —-
    Not sure where you are going with this but it isn’t helping the cases of Manning and Wayne in SB XLIV. Both are from Nola as well.

    The top tier talent in the NFL from the area is outstanding. Ed Reed, Mike Wallace, Matt Forte, etc.

  33. Not sure where you are going with this but it isn’t helping the cases of Manning and Wayne in SB XLIV. Both are from Nola as well.

    The top tier talent in the NFL from the area is outstanding. Ed Reed, Mike Wallace, Matt Forte, etc.

    It was in reference to the Falcon fan who said he wouldn’t take an extra million to play for the Saints.

    I simply called BS and gave an example of a diehard Saints fan playing hard against the team he loved as a kid. Manning,Wayne,and Reed are good examples as well.

  34. We needed some new blood at Linebacker, Spags will improve the defense, and well, Drew will be Drew, i can see why the rest of the NFL hates us.
    Glad we are sticking by Vilma too, New Orleans has been through a lot of years of bad football, a flooded city and now everyone and the NFL is out to get us.
    Well, you know how we will respond, “We Are New Orleans” we will come back stronger, better and i can see why the rest of the NFL is worried.

  35. ampking101 says: First things first, Lofton did 2 dumb things. 1.) Lost his core fan base by jumping ship (Most recent someone to no one. Steve Smith: Giant turned Eagle anyone?) 2.) Lofton is going into an organization in complete and utter turmoil and disarray.

    1.) Don’t ever compare the Saints fans support to Atlanta Falcons fans support, it’s not fair to Atlanta sports fans, they simply cannot hold the jock of, or a candle to, the Saints fanbase. Please don’t embarrass yourself. Go watch the Green Bay playoff game again and see how many empty seats there were at the start of the 3rd Quarter and get back to me.

    2.)If you really think the Saints are going to be in such disarray you watch too much tv fool. These people are still professionals, you think they woke up and forgot how to do their job because the head coach won’t be there? You don’t think they know their ass could be on the line when daddy Payton gets back?

    Maybe this is all just wishful thinking on your part or maybe you’re playing the roll of the dissed boyfriend who thinks that your ex-girlfriend won’t be able to find anyone who likes her since she broke up with you but in either case, you need to get your ish together son.

  36. Sure Saints opponents were excited to hear that they think Lofton can play all three line backing positions….However, when Loomis goes on suspension I’m sure rational heads will prevail and Lofton will stay in the middle……

    Curtis is a fine player, but if he had that much flexibility the Falcons would have never let him out the door……

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