NFC South Quick Hits: Sean Payton, Drew Brees, Steve Smith, Tanard Jackson and More

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Sean Payton and Mickey Loomis appealed their punishment in Bounty Gate, which ended up like a Bobby Petrino motorcycle ride.  Both Payton and Loomis are walking away bruised and broken for one-year and eight games, respectively, after Roger Goodell affirmed his previous ban hammering punishment which was received for lying. 

Peter King of Sports Illustrated believes the NFL will announce punishment for the Saints defensive players this week, which is funny considering I did not realize they had a defense.  Seems the bounties were not quite high enough to make anyone want to tackle Vernon Davis in the playoffs.

The Saints news has been rolling in, which includes New Orleans wishing to be Tuna-free, a situation that would have otherwise been a hilarious train wreck with Bill Parcells as the Saints headcoach.  I am sure they are aware that Bobby Petrino is still available.

Shockingly, there has been no change in the Drew Brees contract situation after the Saints signed every free agent available to eat up every dollar of cap space.  This is weird, because the Saints are otherwise such a well run organization that should have been able to sign Breesus two-years ago, considering Peyton Manning got a contract hammered out in about 15 minutes.

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I like to have a small moment of silence for every terrible player who is cut from a division rival.  My thoughts are with the injury-prone, poor tackling, constantly suspended Buccaneers safety Tanard Jackson.  I am slightly concerned Tampa may sign someone who is not terrible in all aspects of their football play, but I will hold off until they sign someone.

Tampa signed Amobi Okoye, helping to upgrade a defensive line that bordered on circus ugly last season.  With Gerald McCoy and Brian Price healthy, and the addition of Okoye (as well as the subtraction of Albert Haynesworth) they may have a sporting chance to keep offenses beneath 40 points.

The Panthers gave Steve Smith a contract extension after his comeback year, giving him more cash while clearing up cap space.  This is a pretty good move that may create some cap problems in the future, but it is probably best to keep their only legitimate wide receiver happy.

On that note, Carolina is expecting big things out of WR Brandon LaFell.  Good luck with that, Panthers, and I hope that keeps them from selecting a pass catcher in the draft.

Get more great Atlanta Falcons news and analysis over at The Grits Blitz.