Tag Archives: curtis lofton

Falcons Gain Four Compensatory Picks in 2013 NFL Draft

The Atlanta Falcons have received four compensatory picks (a fourth-rounder and three seventh-rounders) in the 2013 NFL Draft.

The league uses a formula to determine which teams lost more or better free agents than gained the previous year.

Last season, the Falcons lost cornerback Kelvin Hayden and wide receiver Eric Weems to the Chicago Bears, linebacker Curtis Lofton to the New Orleans Saints, and safety James Sanders to the Arizona Cardinals.

With the newly awarded picks, the Falcons now have 11 selections in the upcoming draft.

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Falcons’ Offseason Needs

With free agency starting on March 12 and the NFL Draft beginning April 25, it’s time to take a look at the positions the Atlanta Falcons need to address.

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Akeem Dent Returns to Contact Practice, Set to Start Friday

The Falcons second-year middle linebacker Akeem Dent was cleared to return to contact practice Sunday. Dent suffered a concussion in the first preseason game versus the Baltimore Ravens on a special teams play. He will start Friday when the Falcons visit the Miami Dolphins.

Abiding by the league’s strict protocol in dealing with concussions, Dent was held out the second preseason game versus the Cincinnati Bengals last Thursday.

Dent was moved to first on the depth chart after Lofa Tatupu suffered a pectoral injury, effectively ending his season. The Falcons are looking to replace the middle linebacker void left by Curtis Lofton, who opted to become the New Orleans Saints’ middle linebacker.

Because he’s only a second-year player and a first-year starter, Dent needs all the reps he can get. The concussion undoubtedly set him back again; expect to see him on the field a lot in the next two preseason games.

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Linebacker Lofa Tatupu Out For Season

The Falcons have announced middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu is out for the season after suffering a pectoral injury in the weight room last week.

After sitting out last season, Tatupu considered retirement before the Falcons signed him to a two-year, $3.6 million deal in March. He was to compete with Akeem Dent for the open middle linebacker spot vacated by Curtis Lofton.

The Falcons brought back veteran linebacker Mike Peterson to offset the loss of Tatupu.

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Lofa Tatupu Suffers Pectoral Injury, Likely to Miss Start of Camp

Falcons middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu suffered a serious pectoral injury in the weight room this past Thursday. The Falcons start training camp this upcoming Thursday; barring a miracle, Tatupu is unlikely to participate.

Tatupu was expected to compete with second-year player Akeem Dent for the starting middle linebacker job, a spot left open after Curtis Lofton signed with the New Orleans Saints in free agency. The Falcons signed Tatupu to a two-year, $3.6 million contract after Tatupu was out of football last year.

The Falcons may look to sign another linebacker.

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Falcons 2012 Schedule Analysis

The NFL has officially released the regular season schedule for the 2012 season.

The Falcons have notched four primetime games. They have two matchups on Monday Night Football. The first matchup comes in Week 2, as the Falcons play host to the Peyton Manning-led Denver Broncos. Their second MNF appearance is actually on Saturday night in a Week 16 road matchup against the Detroit Lions. The Dallas Cowboys visit the Georgia Dome in Week 9 for Sunday Night Football. In Week 13, the Falcons host the New Orleans Saints on Thursday Night Football.

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Curtis Lofton is a Saint

Several days after being wined and dined by the New Orleans Saints, Curtis Lofton agreed to a five-year deal with the team.

Lofton was the Falcons’ second-round selection in the 2008 NFL Draft.  Since being drafted, Lofton has been the Falcons’ starting middle linebacker.

With Lofton, you’re getting a stout run defender who’ll rack up tackles but won’t make many game-changing plays. His lateral speed has already been adversely affected after already undergoing two knee surgeries by age 25. He’s been dubbed as a two-down player, and despite the coaches desperately wanting him to be a three-down linebacker, he never became that. At least it’ll give the Falcons a chance to take the defense in a different direction.

Lofton was one of my favorite Falcons. Unfortunately, now that he’s a member of the Falcons’ biggest rival, he’s officially dead to me.

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So Long, Curtis Lofton

The signing of Lofa Tatupu can only mean the Falcons are allowing Curtis Lofton to walk.  With the recent extensions of D’Qwell Jackson and Ahmad Brooks, it pretty much spelled the writing on the wall for the Falcons and Lofton to part ways.  Lofton would demand more than the Falcons cared to pay, especially with speculation of him being a two-down linebacker.

The contract is a two-year deal with a maximum value of $5.75 million.

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