Time for a look at some news and notes from around the division:
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Scott Reynolds puts up a strong argument that the Bucs made a mistake by letting defensive end Michael Bennett walk away for a one year, $5 million deal with Seattle. This does look questionable because Bennett led the team with nine sacks last season. But this was a very calculated move by the Bucs. They have high draft picks tied up in Adrian Clayborn and Da’Quan Bowers and they want them to be the starters. Time will tell if this was the right move or not.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Mike Triplett writes that the signing of cornerback Keenan Lewis helped cushion the departures of left tackle Jermon Bushrod and Chase Daniel at the start of free agency. Lewis will help a secondary that was bad last year. But the Saints still have some work to do. They need to replace Bushrod and they need to improve their defensive front seven.
Joseph Person reports that the Panthers have offered defensive tackle Dwan Edwards only a one-year deal to stay in Carolina. Edwards played very well last season and it’s easy to say the Panthers should reward him with a long-term deal. But Edwards is 31 and might start slowing down soon. Giving out a slew of long-term deals is what got the Panthers into salary-cap trouble in the first place. Maybe it’s wise to only offer Edwards a one-year deal.
Jeff Schultz writes that Steven Jackson doesn’t need to be the workhorse running back he was earlier in his career to be a success with the Falcons. I completely agree. All Jackson has to do is come in and provide an upgrade over Michael Turner and Atlanta could have a shot at getting to the Super Bowl.