Around the NFC South

May, 17, 2012
5/17/12
10:14
AM ET
Let's take a quick trip through some headlines from around the NFC South.

Judy Battista reports that the NFL might make more evidence public after the appeals process in the Saints bounty program is completed. If that happens, the league reportedly will be careful to mask the identity of its sources. The league has no obligation to release any more evidence, but there is growing pressure from players, fans and media to justify the harsh punishments.

A grievance brought by the NFL Players Association on behalf of the four players suspended in the bounty scandal was heard by an arbitrator Wednesday, but no ruling was made. That grievance centered on whether NFL commissioner Roger Goodell had the authority to punish players for conduct that took place before the new collective bargaining agreement went into place last summer. Another grievance is scheduled to be heard by a system arbitrator May 30, and the players also have appealed their suspensions to Goodell.

New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees said in a radio interview that he’s frustrated by a lack of progress in his quest for a long-term contract. Brees also said some reports of what he is seeking have been “inflated.’’

The Panthers have added tight end Joe Jon Finley. They also released tight end Tarren Floyd. Finley was with Detroit last season, and has spent time on the practice squads of the Lions and 49ers.

At least one scout says he believes rookie linebacker Luke Kuechly can have as big an impact on Carolina’s defense as quarterback Cam Newton had on the offense last season. That’s extremely high praise. If Kuechly has even half as much of an impact as Newton, Carolina’s defense will improve significantly.

Atlanta receiver Roddy White said that leading the league in dropped passes last season was unacceptable. But White said he believes he still is a top-five receiver. I think White’s a top-five receiver, if he cuts the drops at least in half.

Former Carolina linebacker and special-teams player Sean Tufts, whose main claim to fame was a draft-day statement that he would run downfield with his hair on fire on kickoffs, is now in the wind energy business.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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