Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFL Nation [Print without images]

Thursday, March 15, 2012
Some notes on the Saints

By Pat Yasinskas

We’ve got a few developments involving the New Orleans Saints.

They reportedly now are showing some interest in Atlanta linebacker Curtis Lofton. The Saints already have expressed interest in Seattle’s David Hawthorne and Denver’s Joe Mays. This is a pretty strong indication the Saints are looking to shake up their linebacker situation. Middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma is coming off knee surgery and has a high-cap figure. Lofton is younger than Vilma and the Saints are very familiar with him after playing against him the last four seasons.

But I don’t think the Saints are the only NFC South team keeping an eye on Lofton. The Falcons made an offer to him before free agency started and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are at least monitoring Lofton’s situation. There also have been reports the Philadelphia Eagles may have interest in Lofton.

In the case of both the Falcons and the Bucs, I think the teams would be more interested in Lofton if his initial asking price drops.

In other news, New Orleans cornerback Tracy Porter is expected to make a free-agent visit to the Cincinnati Bengals, according to two league sources.

Porter also reportedly has drawn interest from the St. Louis Rams.

Porter, 25, has been a starter for the Saints most of the past four seasons and it’s likely the team has some interest in retaining him. But the Saints’ tight salary-cap situation may prohibit that.

If Porter leaves, they have starter Jabari Greer and the team believes Patrick Robinson is ready to be a full-time starter. The team also has high hopes for second-year pro Johnny Patrick.