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NEW ORLEANS The Saints have signed Atlanta Falcons middle linebacker Curtis Lofton to a five-year deal, according to team spokesman Greg Bensel.

Lofton, 25, has played in every game for the Falcons since they drafted him out of the second round in 2008.

Lofton had 147 tackles, 1 sack and a forced fumble last year.

'Curtis is a versatile, hard-working player that has displayed a knack for being around the football, and more importantly, making plays on the ball,' said general manager Mickey Loomis. 'He has the ability to play all three linebacker positions and we feel that he's just entering the prime of his career. We think he can come to New Orleans and fit in well and provide us with a significant contribution to our defense.'

The move may spell trouble for Jonathan Vilma, who also plays middle linebacker for the Saints. Reports have implicated Vilma as one of the key players involved in the bounty scandal, and he may be facing a multiple-game extension.

The terms of the contract have not been released.

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