NFC South News Round-Up: Saints' Money Problems, Bucs' Recent Moves and More
Welcome to NFC South Nuggets, where the most biased Falcon fan from the Gritz Blitz blog presents some NFC South links in the most biased way possible. It is a great week around the NFC South if you are a Falcon fan. Now it is time to "get [our] ducks in a row" as if we were Saints players about to give the NFL "categorical denials" of our activities.
Arguably the 18th biggest issue facing the Saints is their lack of cap space. New Orleans is currently believed to have about $6 to $7 million free, meaning they are out of the running to sign Carl Nicks, Marques Colston or anyone who had any football relevance the past few years, considering their desperate need for depth.
Speaking of complete football irrelevance, the Saints brought in Randy Moss for a work out so everyone forgets about whatever caused Roger Goodell to privately say, "God forbid this is true," or what completely unrelated thing caused Drew Brees to be "livid." Moss reportedly looked good. So good the Saints have not signed him to replace the two of their top three wide receivers they are losing this upcoming week. Just saying. I doubt they would talk up Moss just to create a distraction. The Saints are otherwise such straight shooters.
The Panthers may be moving away from kicker Olindo Mare, perhaps because he is a mediocre talent flirting with 40. Doing their best to pick up any kicker who is not Mare, the Panthers signed Justin Medlock, most recently of the CFL Hamilton Tiger Cats. Expect Carolina to pick up just about anyone else once available (I am faxing them my resume).
Dan Connor, quality run thumping linebacker for Carolina is expected to be targeted by the Eagles. This is odd, because I am not certain the Eagles know exactly what linebackers do because they keep drafting/signing undersized linebackers who are awful in coverage and run defense. This will take away from one of Carolina's actual strengths and substantially improve Philadelphia's run defense.
Carolina is also letting Geoff Schwartz go after he was knocked out this year with a hip injury. I mention this if only to say he is better than anyone else we plugged in at right guard, and Atlanta should sign him. Of course, this could mean he is still suffering from his injury and will be unable to play for a substantial portion of this year.
Tampa Bay has officially tendered LeGarrette "Increasing Disappointment" Blount, guaranteeing he will make about $540,000 to come out of games once the Buccaneers fall behind, due to his complete inability to catch or pass protect. Currently playing the Forrest Gump role (getting the ball, running forward, nothing else), Blount is expect to be phased out reasonably quickly in the Bucs offense.
Michael Bennett was given a first round tender, ensuring he will remain in Tampa Bay. Bennett put up four sacks last year, and may actually add to a solid rotation of pass rushers for the Buccaneers.
Much more surprising was Tampa selecting quarterbacks guru* Ron Turner as their quarterbacks coach. *Tampa Bay online mentions he is most known for "his work with the Bears from 1993-96 and again from 2005-09 that he's best known for," which is in the same vein as, "Edward Smith is best known for his work on RMS Titanic." Turner got the very least possible out of Rex Grossman and Kyle Orton, so this hiring is fantastic for all defenses opposing Tampa. Fact: There is a huge reason Turner was working on his cover letter skills in March.
Get more great Atlanta Falcons news and analysis over at The Grits Blitz.