What’s crazy is I told Ralph Malbrough the Saints would make no moves this week, and instead they’ve completely revamped their linebacking core. Shows you what I know about predicting free agency. Forget the Saints’ cap rooms woes, that hasn’t stopped them from not only massively upgrading their linebackers, it hasn’t stopped them from completely sticking it to the Falcons either. That’s what I love most about this, the complete slap in the face that is signing star linebacker Curtis Lofton to a 5 year contract.
Lofton is a stud, make no doubt about it. As much as I was was unenthused about the Chris Chamberlain signing, I’m PSYCHED about this one, regardless of what it means for Jonathan Vilma. I know you’re immediately curious of how this guy rates on Pro Football Focus, so of course I’ll tell you.
He ranked 15th of all inside linebackers with a +12.8 rating. Almost all of that came from his stellar run support, which got a +11.6. That was 15th of 50 graded linebackers, and Vilma, by the way, graded 47th in that group in 2011.
The guy is fast, a big hitter, and a sound tackler. That’s a similar description for Chris Chamberlain by the way, too. I’m not sure the Saints have gotten any better in coverage at the second level, but they’ve gotten astronomically better in run support. I don’t know what the Saints paid or where this puts them in terms of cap, but it was worth it. This guy, again, is a baller. Plus it depletes the filthy birds. What’s not to like?
Welcome aboard Mr. Lofton!