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NFC South mailbag

Michael in New Orleans writes: I know the Saints initially signed Patrick Ramsey to backup Drew Brees, but with Chase Daniel's improvement and knowledge of the offense, are the Saints considering releasing Ramsey? Ramsey is a veteran; he's had his chance in the NFL; and the Saints already know what they have with him. I was against the Ramsey signing and for Mark Brunell's release. The Saints should save the roster spot and, if Brees' does go down, give Daniels a shot.

Pat Yasinskas: I don’t think anything’s been decided on this just yet. But Chase Daniel has done nothing but help himself a lot this preseason. Sean Payton has implied Ramsey will get more playing time in this week’s preseason game. It hasn’t been unusual for the Saints to carry only two quarterbacks in the regular season in recent years and that’s a possibility again.


Greg in Harrisburg, Pa., writes: Just a quick question about NFL salaries if you know or could find out. When a player signs in training camp/ preseason with no guaranteed money, and gets cut before the season starts does that player not get paid a dime even if he plays in 2-3 preseason games?

Pat Yasinskas: During preseason and training camp, all players receive a stipend each week. I don’t have the exact figure for this year, but it’s somewhere around $1,000 a week. But that’s it. Unless a player receives a signing bonus, roster bonus or workout bonus he doesn’t get paid (regular salary) until the start of the regular season. Players get paid their base salary over the course of the 17 weeks (including the bye) of the regular season.


Todd in Indiana writes: I know I'm dreaming. The Colts are in a dispute with Robert Mathis. He isn’t happy about his contract and they drafted a young beast to fill his spot in the future. I would love to see the Bucs send Derrick Ward and a pick for Mathis. Can you imagine what a difference that would make for the Bucs (he already familiar with the system). If Mark Dominik could pull that off he would have earned a lot of respect with the fans.

Pat Yasinskas: If Dominik could pull that one off, he’d probably be charged with grand larceny. Do you really think another team is going to trade for Ward and the big contract he’s carrying? Especially when there’s a chance the Bucs might cut him and he could be available to sign to a much lower contract? Nice idea, but, yeah, you are dreaming.


Kurato in Gardena, Calif., writes: I can't understand why the Panthers haven't signed a veteran QB this year? There are 3 (maybe 4) very young QBs who may have the talents to make it in the NFL, but who are they learning from? It's a complete waste to have 2 talented RBs and a decent D. Another 7-9, 8-8 season for the Panthers?

Pat Yasinskas: The Panthers had a veteran quarterback. His name was Jake Delhomme and they had to get rid of him. They decided to go with a youth movement and it was a conscious decision. They felt good about Matt Moore, who has been in their system for a few years and looked good at the end of last season. They went out and drafted Jimmy Clausen and Tony Pike. There is talent here, although it’s young. I know the quarterbacks haven’t been lighting it up in the preseason. But keep it in perspective. Preseason games really don’t mean a thing and the quarterbacks have been playing without Steve Smith. He has the ability to make quarterbacks look a lot better.


Nick in Oviedo, Fla., writes: I have heard rumors about Carolina wanting to get a new stadium. Have you heard about this? Shouldn’t the Panthers worry about signing their own players since their stadium is only 14 years old.

Pat Yasinskas: I think your “rumors’’ are from a recent story in The Charlotte Observer. All it said was Panthers president Danny Morrison had a meeting or two with some city leaders to discuss the future of Bank of America Stadium. There were no immediate requests for a new stadium. Morrison is still pretty new in his role and I believe he’s just getting acquainted with the power brokers in Charlotte. The Panthers have done a nice job of keeping Bank of America Stadium up to date and the facility has had several renovations. It’s still a great facility and I don’t think the Panthers are looking for a new stadium any time in the near future. Somewhere down the road, that could happen. But I don’t think that point is near.