Let’s take a look at the team-by-team highlights from Friday’s NFC South chat:
Eric (Atlanta): Can Sidbury help if Abe is unable to play effectively. He sure seems to have gotten on the coaches' bad side in the last year or two. If not, why do they even keep him around?
Pat Yasinskas: First, it sounds as if Abe will play. Second, Matthews and Massaquoi got the snaps when Abe was out Sunday. They're clearly ahead of Sidbury in the eyes of the coaches. Think Sidbury's days in ATL are numbered.
Marc C (Virginia Beach): Who do you have winning this weekend, Falcons or 49ers?
PY: I took the Falcons. Think I had it at 31-27.
Eliot (Roswell, GA): Do you think the impact of Atlanta having home-field advantage this weekend is being underplayed, grossly underplayed, or both? I've heard it thrown to the wayside several times, and if it was factored in to someone's analysis, all I heard is that it will make Colin Kaepernick more effective because of the turf. Thoughts?
PY: Underplayed. Falcons have been very good in GA Dome since Smitty arrived. And I'd expect the crowd will be louder than ever on Sunday.
Ray (Orlando): Hey Pat, did you find it odd Carolina interviewed Shurmur for the OC job?
PY: A little bit. He's a West Coast offense guy, which doesn't fit with Cam Newton. As I've said before, I'd just promote Shula. Think that makes the most sense.
Ceaser Loco (winston-salem, nc): if khalil, charles johnson, beason, and gross restructure is it possible to sign greg hardy AND look good to make a free agent move?
Pat Yasinskas: Can probably take care of Hardy, but they're not going to have room to get any big free agents.
Mike (greensboro): Pat, but when Deangleo started after JS got hurt, we started winning. i say get rid of JS. Just my opinion.
PY: I would agree with you if money wasn't a factor. But it's a huge factor there. Williams is counting more than $8 million against cap. Stewart's counting $2.8. Plus, they'd lose cap money if the cut Stewart.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Not a Falcons question (Atlanta): I am a Falcons fan, but was wondering just how close Sean Payton came to being the Cowboys coach.For me, I did not see it. Benson would not let him get away so easy and I don't see Payton wanting to work for Jerry Jones....Just how close was he to leaving?
PY: I don't think it ever got real close. Benson wasn't going to let him get away. And I think Payton wanted to come back and right the ship.
Jeff (Charlotte): Pat, will Vilma finally drop the Bountygate thing and move on?
PY: I think it's over now. There's really nothing left he can do.
Tommy (New york ): Saints fan here. Is a certainty that will Smith will be cut?
PY: I'd say it's likely. Cap figure is over $14 mil and he's getting up there in age.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
PY: Think it's pretty obvious Wright will be gone. We're talking $7.75 million. Last I heard on Black was he was still seeing specialists to figure out exactly what's going on.
Michael (London): Hi Pat, What cornerbacks do you reckon the bucs could realistically go after in free agency and also if we go cornerback in the 1st round of the draft, is the drop-off from Milliner quite high or do you think there are some other top corners to be taken at 13?
PY: Most people have Rhodes in the late 20s. But the demand could push him up. So could good workouts.
Darin (Louisville Ky): Hey Pat i have heard how Martellus Bennett wants to play with his brother. Any chance he goes to the bucs? They kinda need a TE. Also with Nicks n Joseph returning does Doug Martins numbers get even better?
PY: I think Bennett makes sense on many levels. And, yeah, could only help Martin if he's running behind two Pro Bowl guards.
Here’s the complete transcript of Friday’s NFC South chat.