Around the NFC South

March, 5, 2013
3/05/13
8:39
AM ET
Time for a morning look at some headlines from around the NFC South:

ATLANTA FALCONS

Scott Carasik has a list of free-agent tight ends the Falcons could pursue if Tony Gonzalez retires. He has Martellus Bennett and Jared Cook at the top of the list and I think both could be decent fits, although they wouldn’t be Gonzalez. Speaking of Gonzalez, I still think there’s a better than 50-50 shot he decides to play another year.

CAROLINA PANTHERS

It seemed like all the news we were hearing about the potential funding for stadium renovations was almost too positive. Well, sure enough, this isn’t going to be as easy as many thought. Governor Pat McCrory, a former Charlotte Mayor, said the state will not fund upgrades at Bank of America Stadium. Stay tuned on this one. Anytime there is negotiating, there is posturing and things can change.

Former Carolina receiver Keary Colbert has been hired as receivers coach at Georgia State. Of the many No. 2 receivers Carolina tried opposite Steve Smith in the middle of the last decade, Colbert probably came the closest to succeeding. There were moments when people with the team thought Colbert was about to click. But those same people also thought the reason Colbert never thrived was because had to deal with some difficult family issues away from the field.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

Mike Triplett has the rundown of all the contracts the Saints have restructured. There probably will be more in the coming days because the Saints still are almost $3 million over the cap.

Owner Tom Benson ranks No. 360 on Forbes 400 list. His reported net worth is $1.2 billion.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

Roy Cummings points out that we’re about to find out what the Bucs think of reserve running back LeGarrette Blount. Although he was seldom used last year, I still think Blount can be a decent backup to Doug Martin. Blount’s about to become a restricted free agent and that creates a bit of a dilemma. With the low tender, the Bucs would have the right of first refusal if another team tried to sign him. They could put tenders on him that would bring either a first- or second-round pick if Blount is signed away. But those tenders cost more than $2 million and I’m not sure the Bucs want to tie up that money in Blount.

Eric Dellaratta did what any beat writer covering the Bucs should do. He took a look at Rutgers’ draft prospects. You know, Greg Schiano seems to like his ties with Rutgers.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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NFC SOUTH SCOREBOARD

Sunday, 11/23
Monday, 11/24