- Pat Yasinskas, ESPN Staff Writer
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Time for a trip through some Monday morning headlines around the NFC South.
Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank sent out another letter to fans Sunday. He said the league worked hard on the labor situation at the recent NFL owners meeting and said there’s no reason the sides can’t go back to the negotiating table.
Raheem Morris hints that the Buccaneers may be a little more active than in recent years when free agency opens, but I’ll believe that when I see it. Yeah, the Bucs might sign a complementary player or two, but they’re committed to building with youth. At the NFL owners meeting, Morris said the team was in a spot similar back in 2001 and 2002 and he pointed to free agents like Simeon Rice who helped push the Bucs over the top. Hey, there’s an idea, Rice was playing in the United Football League the last I heard. He’s still better than any pass-rusher currently on the roster.
Dennis Dillon lists five teams that could be impacted negatively by a lengthy lockout and the Carolina Panthers are one of them. No argument here and we’ve made similar statements before. The Panthers have a new coach, Ron Rivera, and new systems on offense and defense. Every missed workout will hurt. But you can also throw the Tampa Bay Buccaneers into the mix on this one. They didn’t have a coaching change, but they were the league’s youngest team last year and they can use all the practice time they can get.
Some of the Panthers are getting in some of their workout time at a local high school.
New Orleans running back Chris Ivory is walking again after lisfranc surgery on his foot following the season. But he admitted he still has a long way to go before he’s 100 percent. Ivory said he expects to continue his rehabilitation in Pensacola, Fla.