Atlanta Falcons: Lofton’s value rises with Brooks deal

 

Atlanta Falcons linebacker Curtis Lofton (50), who could become a free agent, forces Miami Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne (7) to throw an incomplete pass during first quarter NFL preseason football action in Miami, Friday, Aug. 27, 2010. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Atlanta Falcons linebacker Curtis Lofton (50), who could become a free agent, forces Miami Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne (7) to throw an incomplete pass during first quarter NFL preseason football action in Miami, Friday, Aug. 27, 2010. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

UPDATE: San Francisco signed linebacker Ahmad Brooks to a six-year, $44.5 million contract with $17.5 million of it guaranteed, his agent Greg Williams told the Associated Press. Here’s a story on Brooks going from party boy and getting cut in Cincinnati to being baptized last week and inking his new deal.

INDIANAPOLIS – The market is starting to set for Falcons middle linebacker Curtis Lofton, who can become an unrestricted free agent on  March 13 if the Falcons do not sign him to a contract extension.

 Mary Kay Cabot of The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported on Monday that the Browns have signed linebacker D’Qwell Jackson to a five-year contract worth $42.5 million. A total of $19 million is guaranteed.

So now, here are the top five contracts for inside linebackers:

1. Patrick Willis, San Francisco: seven years, $53.51 million, $29 million guaranteed.

2. Jon Beason, Carolina: six years, $51.3 million, $25 million guaranteed.

3. Jerod Mayo, New England: seven years,$49.85 million, $25 million guaranteed.

4. D’Qwell Jackson, Cleveland: five years, $ 42.5 million, $19.5 million guaranteed.

5. David Harris, New York Jets: four years, $36 million, $29.5 million guaranteed.

The Falcons held talks with Lofton’s representatives here over the weekend.

Lofton has played 95, 95 and 99 percent of the defensive snaps over the last three years. When asked if Lofton was a three-down linebacker, Lofton’s Atlanta-based agent Todd France said, “I spoke to the team and they told me it’s ridiculous to say Lofton isn’t a three-down linebacker.”

With free agency pushed back to March 13, teams have not brokered a lot of deals during the combine like they have in years past. France believes that talks to get Lofton a contract extension will pick up over the next two weeks.

The Falcons seem to prefer to signing him to an extension as opposed to getting into a bidding war with three or four teams if he’s becomes an unrestricted free agent.

“He’s been a very important cog in our defense on all three downs,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said. “He has definitely been the leader of our defense and signal-caller. He’s done a very nice job. Curtis is a very active middle linebacker in terms of his ability to play both the run and the pass. He’s one of the leading tacklers. He’s really developed into a top-level linebacker.”

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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100 comments Add your comment

PMC

February 27th, 2012
4:15 pm

Why would the team tell Todd France that? That would be poor negotiating strategy even if it is true.

PMC

February 27th, 2012
4:17 pm

He is an outstanding middle linebacker against the run and I hope he’s still here for sometime to come, but for the sake of fixing other glaring holes, I’m hoping the price is reasonable.

Joe Tess Fish House

February 27th, 2012
4:22 pm

Man U no Dummytruff will screw this 1 up.

Swingman 912

February 27th, 2012
4:32 pm

Great against the run! The pass, not so much, but he is a leader and a good signal caller for the D. Bring him back!

Birdman of Falcatraz

February 27th, 2012
4:38 pm

I think he will slot in a bit below these top 5, but it will take at minimum 6 million annually for 5 years to secure his services. Worth that or take chance on Akeem Dent? I say if we can target a big dollar DE (Mario or Avril), and re-ink Grimes also, then it might be worth the risk to let Lofton walk.

Swingman 912

February 27th, 2012
4:49 pm

Birdman, you think Dent is ready? And do u think they’ll tag Grimes?

easy to spend other peoples money, not so when it's yours

February 27th, 2012
4:55 pm

Go ahead and sign him

My hamburger tastes like goose

February 27th, 2012
4:57 pm

No word on if the Falcons will trade for Tim Tebow?

Mave2124

February 27th, 2012
4:58 pm

How long do you sign him for? 5, 6 or 7 years? Then for how much per? I’m thinking about 7 mil average per year with 26 guaranteed for 6 years…but this is what is being discussed, figured out.

Joe Tess Fish House

February 27th, 2012
5:00 pm

If U look at the foto of Lofton U can see he his hiting the QBs head witch is a penalty. Not sure if the Falcons need to have anoter cheep shot artist on the team. They already got Donto Roberson.

The Grinch

February 27th, 2012
5:04 pm

He’s a fine MLB who makes a lot of tackles; it’d be nice to keep him. But this D lacks a real game changer; if the right player were to come along I’d at least have to consider taking a chance on Dent.

Birdman of Falcatraz

February 27th, 2012
5:09 pm

No telling if Dent is ready, did not see enough of him in live action except Special Teams. I think with 30 million to spend this year but not wanting to lock yourself into no cap space next year they will tag Grimes. Its so dangerous to sign FA db’s to long term contracts, their play is so dependent on scheme, and no one knows if Grimes will be better or worse in Nolans scheme. There is only one sure thing corner in the league right now and that is Revis. Even Nnamdi didnt play up to his billing last year.

SimpleDawg

February 27th, 2012
5:10 pm

So…. about 8 million for 5 years. or 8.5 million 4 years.

About half guaranteed.

Done.

Tell it like it is

February 27th, 2012
5:12 pm

I say ,let him walk! sign grimes,and put dent in at linebacker. lofton is kind oflike the guy that we had can’t think his name,that signed with Dallas,good against the run,but not so good covering the pass.

Jamaaliver

February 27th, 2012
5:17 pm

@Joe Tess-

No. He’s actually wrapping up the QB for a sound, safe, legal tackle.

If there’s an issue with Lofton in the photo, it’s the fact that the ball has already left the QB’s hands and thuis is not a sack.

The only ‘cheep shot artist’ here is you.

Astro Joe

February 27th, 2012
5:17 pm

He seems like a great guy and a sure tackler. But he isn’t an impact player. No team has 11 impact players on one side of the ball and it would be foolish to allow above average players to walk while being fixated on a perfect 11 player unit. As long as the price is right, he’s a keeper. But the market price must be set against other MLBs who are above average and NOT against the truly great/impactful MLBs.

tt44

February 27th, 2012
5:22 pm

Akeem Dent! Can get it done! dont over pay..need D line and pass rushers.! Oline too!

Tell it like it is

February 27th, 2012
5:31 pm

come on falcons,save that extra money ,and build a big and strong d line,remember its a pass happy league,we need people that can get to the QB!

GT Alum

February 27th, 2012
5:38 pm

PMC -

If they completely BS the guy (and trying to say he’s not an every down player when he’s played that many snaps is obvious BS), then he’s just going to hit free agency. Yes, you don’t want to concede too much, but disputing obvious facts just hurts your case.

Falcon30291

February 27th, 2012
5:47 pm

Let him walk. Not worth the money, decent but not great MLB, we have biger needs like DL (I would go for Mario Williams), OL (LT and LG). He is no Spoon.

Falcon30291

February 27th, 2012
5:52 pm

How aboout a real FS. Also cut Turner. He is washed up just look at the facts. Sure he ran for around 1300 but it was all vs garbage teams, any time we needed him most vs the good to great team he wasn’t there infact since he has been here all he has done is pad stats vs the Panthers and other bums. Cut Tuner now.

Falcon30291

February 27th, 2012
5:55 pm

And if Ryan dosen’t step up this year might be time to find a new QB. He is another stat padder vs BUM TEAMS- should have never traded Shaub.

TD has no clue!

February 27th, 2012
6:08 pm

He’s good at tackling guys 5 yds. down field. Lofton = Brooking

bear, stu

February 27th, 2012
6:21 pm

Let him walk!!!!!!!!! we need the money 4 other things!!!! 3 down linebacker my butt. Akeem will make a huge DENT on opposing offenses. I love LOFTON but we dont have the money to pay a 2 down linebacker as a 3 down player. u cant coach speed and he doesnt have it. SRY curtis here’s ur pink slip. Cut Abraham while we are at it!!!!!!!!! INK GRIMES!!!!!

Supes

February 27th, 2012
6:39 pm

I’m gonna keep on saying this until most of you here get it…show me the IMPACT plays that Curtis Lofton made from his MLB position this past season…I can think of 1-2 plays MAX. Reason is he’s often making a tackle 5-10 yards pass the line of scrimmage and or whiffing while rushing the QB on an UNBLOCKED blitz. Yes sadly those are the memories that Lofton has left us with…now it’s up to you to decide if that’s the product of the Van Gorder Defense Scheme used or just simply Lofton being a “good” but not “great” player. Meanwhile…Spoon had more than an adequate amount of what I would qualify as IMPACT plays…he’s the LB we should worry about signing long term.

Supes

February 27th, 2012
6:41 pm

Let Lofton hit the road and use the money to ensure we’ve got the impact DE that this team needs! Simple as that :)

Jimmy Crack

February 27th, 2012
6:49 pm

No way this kind of money goes out of Arthur’s bank account with all the other problems we have. Dent will learn fast under fire, maybe we sign a veteran MLB, and good luck to Curtis with his new team. They will need all their cap money for a free agent O lineman, resigning players, franchising Abe, and hopefully picking up Robert Mathis.

Sterling

February 27th, 2012
6:52 pm

Do you guys really think Dent is ready 2 start at middle linebacker?? He hasnt played a single Defensive snap all year at middle linebacker. Hes been on special teams. Sign the man.

nobody

February 27th, 2012
6:59 pm

Dent was an outstanding LB in the SEC. Thats all I know. I wouldn’t mind seeing him get the job and sign a veteran incase it doesn’t work. Also, I think it’d be much better to sign Mario than try and keep an aging Abe. Sign Grimes. Draft a big CB like Nolan likes and put Robinson at the Nickel. I think we all know Nicks is really needed

nobody

February 27th, 2012
7:00 pm

Also we don’t want to tie up a lot of money in Lofton when Spoon will come up for a contract soon. We don’t want to spend a lot of money on 2 LBs

Cleveland Plain Dealer | NewsTrendr

February 27th, 2012
7:14 pm

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CAPT-ATL

February 27th, 2012
7:16 pm

those numbers are mean nothing. Lofton is not a top 5 LB. He is marginally top 10. That said, I stilll like him and would like him back for what he is really worth and not what the Lofton camp thinks he is worth.

CAPT-ATL

February 27th, 2012
7:30 pm

on another note…..is this @Joe Tess being real or is he just playing one of the 3 stooges? BTW JOE, how can the foto show a blow to the hed, when Loftons write arm is over the sholder pad and threw the jerzy and stiking out the back. Wrot that so u culd reed it Joe.

Eddie L. Baker

February 27th, 2012
7:31 pm

Keep Lofton, a bird in the hand is worth three in the bush, (Dent may or may not be ready) We know what we have in Lofton.

Falcon30291

February 27th, 2012
7:36 pm

Lofton is no playmaker, average MLB, let him walk and cut Turner. Use the money on a DE and LT.

kevin

February 27th, 2012
7:58 pm

I think the falcons need to let Abe go he is geting older we need someone like Mario Williams we need to let curtis Lofton go he is not good we save some money to something better.

falcon Jonk

February 27th, 2012
8:02 pm

sign him or be sorry…

falcon Jonk

February 27th, 2012
8:07 pm

I think somebody will sign Stephen Nicolas…he will be no longer with us sometime near in the future! good luck Nicolas.

steven a smith

February 27th, 2012
8:13 pm

Overated middle linebacker. Average at best….

falcon Jonk

February 27th, 2012
8:13 pm

Talk about turner yeah he can go…he is getting old not so old, we need to save couple of bux here and we need to go get DE, we need it badly, Ray Edwardo is not gonna cut it just yet ,either from draft or free agency that doesn’t matter.

Falcon30291

February 27th, 2012
8:20 pm

Let Abe & Lofon go, cut Turner and Baker. Try to bring back Grimes but don’t over pay (Franks did a good job). Get a new LT and DE, if Edwards dosen’t bounce back cut him and Robinson next year when the hit will be better on the cap.

Supes

February 27th, 2012
8:38 pm

I don’t think Dent would be a big drop off at all at MLB (if he had to play).

Look at the Giants…dominant DL that rotates, and played primarily Boley and a guy who was going to become a substitute teacher for their superbowl run. Point is, you DO NOT need to have 2 STUD LB in order to dominate defensively, but you sure as heck need a DOMINANT defensive line that can penetrate and rush the passer. Falcons already have a stud LB in the making with ‘Spoon’…now they need to focus on upgrading our D-Line.

Let Lofton walk and get over payed elsewhere.

Gumbo

February 27th, 2012
8:43 pm

Love his competetiveness, but does not have the athletecism of any of those 5!

Choke

February 27th, 2012
9:55 pm

Collectively, Lofton has always had fairly impressive stats, but that doesn’t really mean a whole lot. In this scheme, MLBs are supposed to collect a lot of tackles if they’re any good. He’s definitely above average, but like many others have said, he’s only worth what he’s worth. Even if Dent is a step down (which I kind of suspect he will be), if we can use the cap space to secure an elite DE (probably by off-loading an aging Abraham), then D will be better. What we’re really lacking is an elite (consistent and not injury prone) pass rusher and a good FS.

lagunadawg

February 27th, 2012
9:55 pm

Above average MLB,Good Team Guy and plays hard. 6 year $30,000 with $20,000 Gauranteed. Done. If He wants more say good luck and so long. He is maybe top 10 but not close to top 5. Not an impact player.

Choke

February 27th, 2012
9:59 pm

I still don’t buy the argument to get rid of Michael Turner. He’s always been productive behind a line that is–at best–serviceable. He might be getting older, but there hasn’t been a lot of dropoff; he’s got a couple of good seasons left. Remember, it’s not just a matter of production from a player like Turner. It’s the physical toll it takes on opposing defenses as they try to tackle him. We could definitely use another good RB, though.

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Ichabod

February 27th, 2012
10:30 pm

@lagunadawg. He might be happier with like 3 more zeros in the guaranteed numbers.

Falcon30291

February 27th, 2012
10:42 pm

Of the top 5 paid MLB listed I would only say two are worth the money. Willis and Beason when healthy. The others are over paid just like we would be doing with Brookings, I mean Lofton. Basicly the same player.