Random thoughts from around the NFC South.
I generally don’t give a lot of fantasy football advice. But let’s say a friend asked me who would be a good tight end to draft this year. I’d say Tampa Bay’s Kellen Winslow. He says his knee is feeling completely healthy and he’s looked great in offseason workouts. Winslow put up pretty good numbers last season when his knee prevented him from practicing on a regular basis. Give him a healthy knee and all these offseason workouts with Josh Freeman and I think Winslow could put up huge numbers this year.
Teams around the NFL are starting to take measures like furloughs and pay cuts to deal with the lockout. As far as I can gather, there’s been none of that in Carolina. In fact, the Panthers just filled an open position on their administrative staff. Say what you want about owner Jerry Richardson “going on the cheap’’ last year. But part of the reason for that was he was anticipating the lockout and he’s a man who thinks about the people who work for him who don’t happen to be players or coaches.
Speaking of Richardson, I get the sense that his dream is to get a Collective Bargaining Agreement he views as fair for the league and then sort of back away from day-to-day operations. He won’t just disappear and will make the big decisions, but Richardson hasn’t been in great health and he’d like to step back and let team president Danny Morrison and general manager Marty Hurney run the show. But all indications are Richardson’s still got a very full plate as the point man for the owners in a labor situation that has the potential to get much uglier.
We’re seeing two very different approaches to the players-only workouts that each NFC South team is doing (the Panthers will start a group workout next week). New Orleans and Atlanta have been pretty public with their workouts. The Saints even let some fans (winners of a raffle for charity) take part in a recent workout. That works for the Saints and Falcons because they’re established teams. Freeman has been running the show for the Bucs and he’s been doing it very quietly. He finally let a few media members attend sessions this week, but that’s not going to be a regular thing. Freeman said he wants the Bucs to be focused on football. That kind of goes along with what the Bucs said when they turned down an offer to be featured on HBO’s "Hard Knocks." That’s probably the best approach for the Bucs. They’re a promising, but very young team that might not be quite ready to deal with distractions.