Report: “Strong Push” Coming For Curtis Lofton

March 13th, 2012 NFL writer/NFL Radio host Alex Marvez is Twittering that the Bucs will make a “strong push” for Falcons middle linebacker Curtis Lofton.

Here’s the Tweet:

Bucs fans have been caught up in free agent receivers, cornerbacks and more, but it would be wise to remember that Greg Schiano played linebacker in college and surely knows the value of a physical run stuffer in the center of a defense.

And if he forgot how valuable that is, then he surely remembered once he started watching film of the Bucs during the Raheem Morris era.

Lofton also is known as a strong locker room guy, something the young Bucs need to add. As Joe brought you last week, NFL personnel guru and former Jets linebackers coach Pat Kirwan rates Lofton as the 11th best free agent on the market.

68 Responses to “Report: “Strong Push” Coming For Curtis Lofton”

  1. Brain Says:

    Count me among those who think Lofton is underrated. How the hell are we gonna afford all these free agents though? Personally I wouldn’t mind us just sending out offers and taking the ones who accept at our price, as long as 1 of those is Finnegan/Carr.

  2. Meh Says:

    We aren’t going to afford them all. Some of these are bound to be agent rumors. We have the cash, get teams thinking the Bucs want you and it will drive up your price.

    On the ones we actually want, we’re going to go after more than we can realistically sign. Some of them will decide they don’t want to be here, so it pays to go after anyone you’re interested in and take the best you can get.

  3. T in Orlando Says:

    Meh is right, I’m sure a lot of these are agent driven rumors, which in addition to the point Meh made, the Bucs have a lot of holes, so unless it’s for a QB, RG, LT, K or P, it’s very plausible to envision the Bucs going after just about anyone.

    That being, Marvez has all over the Bucs rumors this off season, so there could be some credibility to this specific rumor.

  4. CreamsicleBananaHammock Says:

    Personally I think Curtis Lofton stinks, but Kirwan has probably forgotten more about player personnel than I know

  5. NickinMelbourne Says:

    Raheem Morris and run stopping? You can’t say the two in the same sentence.

  6. Meh Says:

    Ya, Marvez has a really good track record with Bucs info this offseason. Would love to get Lofton, so I’m hoping that continues.

  7. Meh Says:

    Nick, yes i can: “Raheem Morris doesn’t understand how to go about run stopping”.

  8. Bobby Says:

    Lofton would be a very good addition. I think they are going after Nicks although I haven’t heard anything on Faine yet. If Faine actually does get released then I would think Nicks, Lofton and maybe Carr or Finnegan and we’re done with the big names.

  9. thibs5599 Says:

    Lofton is an absolute beast, however i think a guy like Hawthorne would be cheaper and is more versatile. However Lofton is a top 5 LB against the run and that is what this team needs, a RUN STOPPER. Lets go Bucs time to make some moves and get out of the cellar of the NFC South.

  10. Pete Dutcher Says:

    I would be satisfied with the Bucs spending $30 mil on free agents this year, and having the rest roll over.

    $12 Mill per year for Nicks.
    That leaves $18 mill for the others.

  11. Pete Dutcher Says:

    Justin is making a really good point right now…if people are not listening, they need to.

    Basically, he’s saying that if the Bucs sign a name free agent right away, it will prove to the others that Tampa is willing to spend, and they might be more willing to come.

  12. Meh Says:

    Grubbs can be had for around $8 mil per year. I’d rather have Grubbs and another middle tier FA than Nicks (although I’d rather have Nicks straight up).

  13. SensibleBuc Says:

    The problem with Lofton is that he’s only a two-down backer. We’d need to acquire a highly skilled Sam backer to come in stay on the field on 3rd downs to help in pass coverage. If we get him he needs to come in at $4-6 million per.

  14. SensibleBuc Says:

    Word is that Lofton is in Tampa already…

    and GMC is following him on Twitter for what that’s worth lol

  15. KWBUCFAN Says:

    Colston just signed 5 yr deal with Saints. I hope this means Nicks to Tampa

  16. TampaRob Says:

    I’d personally like to see London Fletcher come over.. he has the possibility to be this teams Nickerson. I don’t have a prob with Lofton’s “2 down” skillset, as Joe said- it’s better than the current “0 down” skillset, and any LB would be an immediate upgrade, though.

  17. jvato24 Says:


    How sure are you Lofton is a 2- Down Linebacker ??? He has played 3 downs most of his career. Almost all run thumpers are not an Ace against the Pass.

    Why did Tulloch sit on the market last year and get a rinky deal ??? Was supposedly bad in coverage … but 1 year later he got better and schemes make a big difference.

    Mike Nolan thought this … I watched some game film from last 2 seasons. He was very instinctive and quick to react to underneath passes and hit people right at the catch. But hes not a deep drop Tampa 2 backer.

  18. jvato24 Says:

    Draft enough corners that can actually Cover and Lofton will do his job. There is a youtube video of Lofton talking about alcohol and drugs. He reminds me ALOT of Hardy Nick … He is a no nonsense dude and Bucs fan will see this with a little more research.

  19. Pete Dutcher Says:

    Colston resigned with Saints…how they did it with no cap room is beyond me.

  20. bucbelevr Says:


    Sounds good. Really don’t know how much Lofton is “only a 2-down LB”, until we coach him, through and through. Its not as if, the LB coach, or DC before Nolan in Atlanta…was all that?!!!

    Keep it comin;’ Buc followers………

    Jusss Maybe…..Dominik, might be hell-bent on taking players from NFC South teams, like Lofton, Nicks, Connor from Panthers, maybe even (not that I prefer him to Carr or Finnegan), but maybe Tracy Porter (CB) too, from Saints….juss sayin.

  21. barton1017 Says:

    Fletcher is 137 years old, let someone else pay him. i would love to Lofton, Nicks, and Finnegan/Carr. that would still leave $$$ for fill in spots.

  22. bucbelevr Says:


    London Fletcher’s like 60……..

  23. bucbelevr Says:



  24. Dave Says:

    Nicks, Lofton, VJax, Finnegan….. I think the fan base would be pumped up to say the least.

    Just to stop some of the speculation, I hope at least one of these guys is signed tonight.

  25. jvato24 Says:

    Commish mentioning Grubbs .. i have always thought Grubbs would be a target as Dominick always mentions the Ravens.

    Lofton, Grubbs, Tolbert First 24 hour signings … Then we wine and dine Finnegan or Carr ..

  26. FlBoy84 Says:

    Agree we should go a bit younger than Fletcher a LB, but that 60y.o. guy had 166 tackles, 3 FF, and 2 Int last yr. Pretty impressive, and better than any “youngry” LB the Bucs put on the field last yr.

  27. Meh Says:

    I’ve been preaching Grubbs for awhile now. Almost as good as Nicks for 2/3 the price.

  28. Meh Says:

    And Lofton/Grubbs/Tolbert/Finnegan would be fantastic. We still need a #1 recevier, but that plugs 4 gaping holes.

  29. bucbelevr Says:


    No one, is defending the lousy Bucs present LB corps. Fletcher, is not where you put Free Agency money going forward, especially over the rest of the crop. And, he would be asked to do more here, probably, than in Washington. Isn’t even worth discussing..


    London Fletcher led the ENTIRE league in tackles, and is a consummate professional on and off the field. 166 tackles.

    Did you guys have a problem when that old guy Hardy HAR HAR Nickerson was signed? He was the beginning on the greatest era in Bucs history.

    I’m not saying fill the roster with old guys, but, if you are just looking at Fletcher’s age alone, you are doing yourself a disservice.

    This guy would show everyone in the locker room how it is done correctly. and 166 tackles. Man, he must be really old and slow.

  31. TampaRob Says:

    I know about Fletcher’s age- but he could still teach a few people … didn’t so many of us say that we should have kept 55 around? That ship pulled out, but Fletcher would be a great part time player/leader. Can’t remember his name, but Chucky signed an OL during the super bowl year.. I think he was a Gator.. point is I don’t think he dressed for more than 1 game, but his presence was definitely helpful to Kenyatta Walker and the rest of the OL. Same thing here…

  32. SensibleBuc Says:


    Google “Curtis Lofton” and “Two Down Linebacker”. It’s not something I just made up. The Falcons (and Nolan) were going to move him to the sideline on 3rd downs if he stayed.

    Mark Bradley (AJC)

    They won’t be crushed if Curtis Lofton leaves. The middle linebacker is a three-year starter and a fierce tackler, but there’s growing sentiment that he’s a liability against the pass. The question thus becomes: Would you pay $8 million a year for a two-down linebacker? At the right price, the Falcons would love to keep Lofton. If he does depart, they’d give Akeem Dent, the Georgia product taken in Round 3 last year, a long look in the middle.

    Len Pasquarelli (Yahoo)

    “Ranking high on the to-do list for new Atlanta defensive coordinator Mike Nolan is getting middle linebacker Curtis Lofton out of the team’s “sub” third-down coverage schemes. Lofton is a superb, two-down 4-3 middle linebacker, and retaining the pending unrestricted free agent is a priority for the Falcons, but the four-year veteran is a liability in third-down situations. Don’t be surprised if ascending star Sean Witherspoon, who is very good against the pass, moves more to the middle in “nickel” situations in 2012″

    Dan Par (PFW)

    “Doesn’t have great speed or ideal height and is sometimes late dropping into his zone. Limited coverage skills — a Sports XChange report suggested that new Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan intends to make Lofton a two-down linebacker, taking him out of the team’s “sub” packages in passing situations. Has had knee problems. Underwent surgery on both knees in the offseason before the 2011 campaign.”

  33. TampaRob Says:

    Lomas Brown, I think 🙂

  34. Lion Says:

    Saints reportedly had around $5 mill in cap space, yet they just signed Colston to a 5 year $40 mill contract. So that coupled with the Drew Brees situation is going to make for a strange situation when they try to sign Drew long term. They might have to purge some more players next year, and that coupled with the draft picks they are going to be losing, they don’t look so hot in the NFC South too much longer. Saint’s are burning to the ground!!!

  35. FlBoy84 Says:

    @Bucbelevr, Wasn’t saying the team should sign him or that ANYONE was defending the lousy LB corp. Was simply adding the fact that while up there in age, he is still a productive LB. As Alstottsmart mentioned, he led the league in tackles and still has the thump. Definitely not the marquee signing, but he could teach the young guys a thing or two about how to play the game. Doesn’t really matter to me if the Bucs sign him or not, but he is an interesting player at the right price though.

  36. bucbelevr Says:

    You guys think they filter our posts (even without objectionable material), before they hit the “blog”??…

  37. knucknbuc Says:

    @sensiblebuc who cares if mike nolan thought he was only a “2 down linebacker.” In case you haven’t noticed our lb’s last year couldn’t stop anyone on any down. It’s alot easier to complete a pass once your 3rd and 2 from getting two 4 yard runs. Then it’s 3rd and 7. Id be ecstatic if we got lofton to play here.

  38. FlBoy84 Says:

    Even if the Bucs decide Lofton comes off on 3rd down, he’d still be worth the investment for the leadership and instincts he brings. Foster and Black (or his replacement) should be able to handle it with the right coaching. Speaking of that, read a “where are they now” article of the previous staff recently. It says something when your HC goes to being a DB coach, your OC goes to being a QB coach, your LB coach goes to being an ASSISTANT DB coach, etc.

    One other thing on Fletcher, he had almost as many tackles as Foster, Black and Hayward combined (Bucs-178 Fletcher-166). lol

  39. SensibleBuc Says:

    @ knucknbuc

    LOL. You’re barking up the wrong tree bro.

    You won’t find one comment I’ve ever made on JBF stating that we shouldn’t sign Lofton (or Tulloch). He’ll be a great signing (word is that he’s already in Tampa) largely because we aren’t running the Tampa 2 anymore, he’s a thumper, he fills a need, Foster can move over to Will backer and he’ll immediately become the best player on our defense — bar none.

    However, if/when he signs for $8 million per year he’ll probably be overpaid because he’s a liability in pass coverage. I’m fine with that because we lack elite/Pro Bowl talent on this roster.

  40. jvato24 Says:

    Ray Lewis is no beast in pass coverage .. Patrick Willis is no beast in pass coverage .. Stephen Tulloch in no beast in pass coverage ..

    But I heard Barrett Ruud was pretty good in coverage ..

    Im sick as Hell of being last against the RUn every Damn season … My point is most Linebackers considered to tier are not not Great against the Pass … But the team can scheme a Defense to limit his area to cover a range he does well.

  41. jvato24 Says:

    From the same report with PFW

    Positives: A well-built 4-3 middle ‘backer, Lofton has exceptional instincts and is a violent, explosive tackler who plays with no fear. Reads and reacts quickly. He shoots through the gap, gets through the trash and finds the ball. Highly productive. Good awareness in coverage. Always hustles and is assignment-sound. Very tough; will play through pain. A respected leader who commands the defensive huddle with intensity and makes the play-calls

  42. barton1017 Says:

    Washington ran a 3-4 D, with Orakpo and Kerrigan, those guys are fast, Fletcher is what they call football smart, he can read the play and get into position. now with that being said, how good was the Redskins QB? my point being that wen you go 3 & out all the time the DEF will be on the field more. i would love Fletcher as a groomer of our young LB corp, just not too sure on a soon to b 37 y/o LB. i got to watch Fletch here in St.Louis his 1st 4 years and i still say thats the worst thing the “Lambs” ever did was not locking him up long-term. Buc it im out!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  43. Brasho Says:

    I’m not a fan of Lofton’s considering the types of passing attacks that other teams in the South and the rest of the NFC employ.

    Lofton is more athletic than given credit for, and maybe if he dropped a little weight he might be even more athletic, but let’s face it, facing the aerial assaults of Brees, Newton, and Ryan 6X a year might require a guy that is excellent against the pass, not mediocre.

    I’d rather pass and grab Nicks, Jackson, and Carr/Finnegan…maybe Levi Brown… and then trade down in the draft and get Kuechly for the middle for the next 10-12 years.

  44. jvato24 Says:

    Brasho .. In theory that sounds great dude … But there will not be any RG3s on board @ 5 and that greatly reduces our chances of trading down.

    Imagine this. Bucs pass on 2 pro-bowl cailber LBs in Lofton and Tulloch and go into the draft … Miss on Kuechly and now face a weak ILB class to some degree from there out. I do like Mychal Kendricks.

    Then we have close to the same stooges at LB next season. PUKE!

  45. Macabee Says:

    If we get Lofton and move Foster to the outside, we should try to trade Quincy Black to a 3-4 team…..say the Redskins for a late round pick. If they balk at the pick, then offer to take the pick in 2013. If they still balk, offer to pay them a 100 dollars!

  46. barton1017 Says:

    one last thing on Fletcher, he went UNDRAFTED!!!!!!!!!!!!! doesnt that make u sick to think of all the “GREAT” LBs taken that season. if u look @ his #’s their VERY impressive! just a lil long in the tooth for my liking.

  47. jvato24 Says:

    Macabee … make it $500 if you have too

  48. SensibleBuc Says:

    @ jvato24

    “Ray Lewis is no beast in pass coverage .. Patrick Willis is no beast in pass coverage ..”

    Don’t be ridiculous. In Ray’s hay day he was all over the field. Same for Pat Willis. Dude runs a 4.48 40.

    As for everything else, see my comments above. Why is being a “two down backer” a bad thing? If he’s an 25 year old elite run stopper and a leader so he can be on my team all day, everyday.

    However the negatives are what they are. He’s going to be overpaid. He needs to be replaced on passing downs. He’s got bad knees and he’s going to command a contract reserved for a three-down MLB that he probably doesn’t “deserve” based on the type of one-dimensional player he is. Do I care if he’s overpaid by $2-4 million? Not one iota.

  49. barton1017 Says:

    @ Macabee

    or we ask them for a bag of used hockey pucks!!! we would still be rippin’em off! lol

  50. SensibleBuc Says:

    @ Brasho

    Yeah I’ll pass on that.

  51. T in Orlando Says:

    @ Lion

    Brees currently counts $18 – $20 mil (whatever the tag number is for QB) against the cap, and if the Saints can sign him long term, that number would probably drop to $12 mil or less, freeing up roughly $8 mil in cap space. The saints would love to get that done ASAP so they would have more spending flexibility.

  52. Big Marlon B Says:

    this would be an awesome move. and if they can draft Lavonte David or (pretty unlikely, but) Zach Brown, they would have a versatile LB with coverage skills they can put in nickel situations and groom until they are ready to give Quincy the boot

  53. jvato24 Says:

    Sensible .. I acknowledge his coverage may be a weakness … But that is not uncommon for Hard Nosed run stuffing MLB ..

    Tulloch just started getting better last season at 27 … I think Lofton is 25 right now .. Best days may still be ahead.

    I think we are on the same page about just getting someone better back there … Atleast he would do 1 thing good !!! haha

  54. Big Marlon B Says:

    point is, we don’t need to sit here and nitpick about coverage or this or that. last season coverage sucked, run defense was ATROCIOUS, pass rush was almost non existent. if we can get FOOTBALL PLAYERS who bring toughness and leadership, i will consider it a success.

  55. bucfanjeff Says:

    If Lofton is a 2 down LB then that’s 2 downs better than we had last year. It could also be that our scheme isn’t as predicated to have pass covering LB’s (as much vs Tampa 2).

  56. bucbelevr Says:

    Think Dom might just wanna really raid the Falcons, Saints, Panthers of their Free Agents. We’ll see. I would like Brandon Carr, myself.

  57. bucbelevr Says:

    Wait….Carr and Mike Wallace, where the hell was I?!? Think Wallace and the #5 pick, good present and future move for us, not to get everyone started.

  58. SensibleBuc Says:

    @ jvato24

    No doubt man. I’ll be pretty happy with Lofton!

  59. barton1017 Says:

    if we beat out the Steelers for Wallace, wouldnt we have to give them our 1st rounder this year or next? wallace was a 3rd round pick, dont know if i would give up the 5th overall when another Wallace might b out there.

  60. Lion Says:

    @ T in Orlando

    For one thing the QB Tag is only $14.4 mill, far less then the $18-20 mill you stated. So if they could get it down to $12 from there they would still be right around maxed out.

    Also he is demanding $20+ million a year so it will be awfully tough to get a hit of only $12 mill against the cap. If they were to do that it would only be a short term patch and the years after his cap hit will have to be in the $20 million range on a yearly basis.

  61. k1ngAdroc Says:

    sign him in 46 mins!

  62. Patrick Says:

    Um….does anybody really care about London Fletchers age after the junior varsity level football we saw last year? The guy would be a great leader, veteran prescence, and better than anyone we currently have even if he’s 80. Draft a LB in the 2nd round, groom him, and let Fletcher start for a while. Wouldn’t be a bad scenario.

  63. Have A Nice Day Says:

    Tulloch has been getting better every single year. He was one of the best his last season with the Titans as well. He has been doing it for a while. His production is not “all of a sudden” or a “one year wonder”.

  64. Riga Says:

    Bucs have signed Lofton!

  65. Riga Says:

    I’m sorry. Agreement in pricinple. Not official yet.

  66. GenocideD Says:

    wOOOOt! We got Lofton!

  67. adam ant Says:

    Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports reports that the Buccaneers no longer are viewed as a landing place for Cortland Finnegan. WHat? Why?

  68. GenocideD Says:

    Now we may not have Lofton and they’re still in negotiations??