Curtis Lofton signs with the New Orleans Saints

ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 13: Marques Colston #12 of the New Orleans Saints pulls down a first down catch against Curtis Lofton #50 of the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on November 13, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

There goes the supposed number one linebacker target of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers: former Atlanta Falcon Curtis Lofton has signed a five-year deal with the New Orleans Saints. The middle linebacker was heavily pursues by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers early in free agency, but after signing Vincent Jackson, Carl Nicks and Eric Wright their interest swiftly cooled.

Lofton signing with the Saints is not a huge deal, as Lofton is a solid but unspectacular linebacker. It is mostly a problem for the Bucs because they have very few alternatives in free agency at linebacker, while they do need to add at least one reliable, starting linebacker this offseason - something they haven't done so far. With Mason Foster penciled in as the only surefire starter, the Bucs have a whole lot of underperformers and unknowns competing for the last two linebacker spots at the moment.

The only immediate starter the Bucs could still sign in free agency at linebacker is David Hawthorne. Outside of him, the available linebackers are mostly backups and special teamers.

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