Curtis Lofton was one of the few members of last year’s free agent class who didn’t pan out. The veteran interior linebacker was expected to be a three-down producer at the center of the Raiders defense, but he quickly fell from favor and lost responsibility as the year went on.
He was a decent run stopper and a solid goal-line presence, but the Raiders preferred other options alongside Malcolm Smith at inside linebacker.
The Raiders decided to move on after one year. They released Lofton on Friday afternoon with a failed physical designation.
The team should save $2 million in salary cap space with Lofton’s release. He signed a three-year, $18 million deal last offseason.
The Raiders will add interior linebackers this offseason through free agency, the draft, or both methods of acquisition.
Lofton had 64 tackles and a sack in 585 snaps, half the Raiders’ defensive total.
Outside of Smith, the Raiders hope fifth-round pick Ben Heeney continues to develop on his rookie year. Fellow fifth-rounder Neiron Ball also has promise, but it’s uncertain how he’ll recover after a knee injury that cost him most of last year.