Free agent linebacker Curtis Lofton is without a team as we head into July, but he hopes that will change by August. In an interview on 92.9 The Game, Lofton explained he underwent offseason ankle and knee surgeries, but intends to continue playing in 2016 (Twitter link via Alex Marvez of FOX Sports).
Lofton, 30, was released in a cap-saving move by the Raiders in March. The Oklahoma product joined the Raiders for the 2015 season after spending his previous seven NFL seasons in Atlanta and New Orleans. Unfortunately, inking a three-year, $18MM deal with Oakland, Lofton failed to make a real impact for the team, starting just nine games and struggling to produce. Pro Football Focus ranked him 94th out of 97 qualified linebackers.
Lofton’s contract stipulated that $3.5MM of his $5.35MM base salary for 2016 would become guaranteed in February, less than a week after the Super Bowl. Reportedly, the Raiders couldn’t cut the linebacker prior to that date because he was unable to pass a physical due to an arm injury and they ultimately wound up waiving him with a failed physical designation.
Now that Lofton has copped to having serious ankle and knee issues in addition to his arm surgery, it seems unlikely that he’ll net a deal with much in the way of guarantees. However, it wouldn’t be surprising to see a team bring him in on a low-risk, one-year deal while there are expanded rosters. After all, Lofton can provide valuable experience for someone’s linebacking corps after playing in a starting role across his eight-year career.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.