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Saints Punishment Official: Now What Happens To Curtis Lofton?

Atlanta Falcons middle linebacker Curtis Lofton has drawn interest from the Philadelphia Eagles and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but no team has given him as much attention as the New Orleans Saints have. But Lofton's still yet to sign, perhaps waiting to see just how hard the Saints get hit before choosing to settle for the Bucs offer or not.

And now we know how hard the Saints were hit (tl;dr: hard), but further punishments could help decide Lofton's course.

Jonathan Vilma, current New Orleans middle linebacker, still has yet to learn his fate. As the player most prominently named in #GreggGate, not to mention a player who was involved in some business during his college days at Miami, Vilma figures to get hit pretty hard himself. His exit would mean the Saints would have to pay top dollar to bring in a middle linebacker, and that market's clearing up in a hurry, with DeMeco Ryans and Stephen Tulloch off the shelves.

But with Sean Payton and Mickey Loomis -- both of whom Lofton has met with, according to the AJ-C -- suspended, Lofton would be choosing New Orleans mainly to play under Steve Spagnuolo. Tampa Bay's a far more stable place, obviously, but it'll only be a year of turmoil before the Saints come back all fired up to have their vengeance on the rest of the world and so forth.

I don't see any way he returns to the Falcons, unless if the Bucs sign a linebacker out of panic and the Saints situation just looks like too much to walk into. Even then, the Falcons linebacking corps would be a tough one to figure out, with Lofton and Lofa Tatupu both only fit to play the same position.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.