- Pat Yasinskas, ESPN Staff Writer
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There hasn’t been a great deal of positive news out of the NFC South for the last month or so. Let’s break tradition and start our Friday evening roundup off with something bright and cheery.
If you’ve ever spent much time around the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, you probably know or have heard of Jill Hobbs. That’s largely because she’s been with the team forever -- almost. Hobbs, currently the team’s director of player benefits and alumni programs manager, will celebrate the 35th anniversary of her hiring on Sunday. The Buccaneers started the celebration Friday by calling all staff members together for a meeting. Then, the Bucs surprised Hobbs, who has worked in a variety of capacities throughout the years, with a celebration and some very nice gifts.
Updating a story we mentioned previously, it’s now official -- New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson has agreed to buy the New Orleans Hornets from the NBA. The league took ownership of the team in 2010. Ironically, the announcement of the deal comes on the same day the Hornets host the Utah Jazz, the same franchise that left New Orleans in 1979.
Carolina quarterback Cam Newton is in the final four of the Madden 13 Cover Vote. Newton said he’s not worried about the so-called “Madden Curse’’ that has seen some players featured on the cover suffer injuries or have bad seasons. Newton said being on the cover is "what you make it."
Take a look at this Insider post that features three underrated prospects that could be available early in the second round. The Buccaneers have a pick early in the second round and this list features a linebacker and running back -- two positions the Bucs could be considering at that time.
No surprise here. Safety Tanard Jackson, who was released by the Bucs earlier this week, will join the Washington Redskins. Former Tampa Bay coach Raheem Morris is the defensive backs coach in Washington.
Jeff Duncan reports the deal linebacker David Hawthorne signed with the Saints is very salary-cap friendly. That’s not surprising. Despite having limited cap room, general manager Mickey Loomis has done a nice job of overhauling the linebacker corps. He also has signed Curtis Lofton and Chris Chamberlain to cap-friendly deals.