|Curtis Lofton had 123 tackles, forced two fumbles and recovered two fumbles last season. (US Presswire)|
ESPN.com reports Lofton's cap figure was scheduled to be $7.1 million, but now will be $3.1 million. The Saints replaced his $5 million roster bonus with a $5 million signing bonus that will be pro-rated over the four remaining years of his deal.
The Saints started out more than $20 million over the projected cap. The New Orleans Times-Picayune suggests the team could free up another $12 million by restructuring the contracts of Drew Brees and guard Jahri Evans. Defensive end Will Smith ($14.6 million) and linebacker Jonathan Vilma ($8.5 million) are mentioned as candidates for release, or restructured deals, by the paper.
Lofton, 26, signed a five-year, $27.5 million contract last offseason after spending his first four years in Atlanta. The middle linebacker racked up 123 tackles, forced two fumbles, recovered two fumbles and defended seven passes.
With coordinator Rob Ryan installing a 3-4, Lofton (6-0, 241) is expected to play one of the inside linebacker positions in 2013.
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