There was a time - just a few short weeks ago - when Falcons fans wanted Thomas Dimitroff to do whatever was necessary to try to keep Curtis Lofton on the team. The young talented middle linebacker had proven to be a huge asset to the defense, and was very popular among fans...until....
Quick rewind. Lofton was one of many potential Atlanta free agents this year. He was a quick middle linebacker, great nose for the ball and a solid tackler (much like his predecessor Keith Brooking). He wasn't much in pass coverage, but in the scheme that the Falcons ran under Brian VanGorder, he was really looked upon more as a captain of the defense, and the guy who would make sure the coverages were set.
And, like defensive teammate John Abraham, he was one of the guys who would not be cheap to keep around. The Falcons' front office made the decision to sign a handful of guys who they knew that they needed, and then wait things out and see how the first couple of weeks of free agency played out when it came to the more pricey guys.
It wasn't a popular strategy for the fans, or even for a lot of the Atlanta media.
When the Falcons went out and signed free agent linebacker Lofa Tatupu from Seattle, it was pretty obvious that Lofton's days might be numbered. But, there was still a chance. Lofton was reportedly meeting with several teams, including the division rival Saints and Buccaneers. There was even an erroneous report that he had indeed signed with the Bucs, but it was later refuted by his agent.
Then the Falcons came to an agreement with John Abraham. This compiled with the other moves made it nearly implausible that Atlanta would be able to re-sign Lofton. But again, no moves had been made. The thinking of the Falcons' front office seemed to be that maybe Lofton would test the waters in free agency, and find that although he was a valuable player, nobody could afford him that really needed him, and that a deal with Atlanta even on a short term basis could be reached.
Ok, back to present time...the news breaks that Lofton signed a 5-year deal with the New Orleans Saints. Really? The Saints? Lofton actually wanted to be a part of the bounty hunting, sorry for nothing, who-dat nation? It was intolerable to Falcons fans. Of the 31 other teams in the league, the Saints were the one team that Lofton needed to not pick. The grumbling began, as did the mud-slinging at Lofton's back as he walked away.
But even as the hissing, booing, and one-finger salutes were flying Lofton's way, he managed to turn around and throw a few last sucker punches Atlanta's way. (Left to the kidney) "I feel like Atlanta and the Saints have been evenly matched. But I really feel like there is more talent with the Saints. They definitely can score more than two points in a playoff game. I will say that." (Right to the groin) "I wanted to go to a team that, number one, had a chance to win a Super Bowl, had true fans, a great defensive coordinator."
True fans? A great defensive coordinator? As the crew on ESPN's Monday Night Countdown would chant..."C'Mon Man!!" You've been reading far too much of Rob Parker's work and taking it to heart Curtis. Falcons fans are as true blue as the day is long, and twice as pretty! And as for a defensive coordinator, I guess your extensive four years experience in the league gives you the clairvoyance to know exactly how good or bad Mike Nolan is, especially since you...let's see....NEVER played for him.
Bottom line...so long Curtis. Don't let the door hit you on the butt on the way out of town. You may have just replaced Bobby Petrino as the most loathed person leaving the Falcons camp ever.
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