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New Orleans Saints sign linebacker Curtis Lofton; end of Jonathan Vilma?

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September 19, 2010; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons linebacker Curtis Lofton against the Arizona Cardinals in the second half at the Georgia Dome. The Falcons defeated the Cardinals 41-7. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-US PRESSWIRE

It was announced tonight that the New Orleans Saints have signed Atlanta Falcons free agent linebacker Curtis Lofton to a five-year deal.  It begs the question if Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma is done in New Orleans.

Lofton had been pursued by several teams during free agency especially in the NFC South.  Along with the Saints, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had reportedly been after Lofton too.

Not much news came after Lofton visited the Saints last week even though it was said the visit went well.  WWL Sports Bobby Hebert had said when the Philadelphia Eagles wanted Lofton, he asked for $9 million per year.

This wasn’t looking good for signing Lofton and it looked even dimmer when it was announced yesterday that linebacker Chris Chamberlain had signed, putting even more of a squeeze on the already tight salary cap for the club.

But general manager Mickey “Money Man” Loomis, as I like to call him, is still hard at work spinning straw into gold.  The only thing left to do on the list it seems is to get that pesky long-term contract for quarterback Drew Brees.

To do that, it the Saints might be parting ways with some players fairly soon.  As a matter of fact you have to wonder if the cap situation along with signing Lofton will involve the release of linebacker Jonathan Vilma.

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