- Pat Yasinskas, ESPN Staff Writer
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Time for an afternoon run through some news and notes from around the division:
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
The Bucs did more than make the official announcement that Warren Sapp will be the next inductee into the team’s Ring of Honor. The Bucs also announced that Sapp’s number (99) will be retired. The late Lee Roy Selmon is the only other Tampa Bay player to have his number retired. Sapp will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August and the Ring of Honor ceremony will take place Nov. 11 when the Bucs host Miami.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Charlie Campbell calls linebacker Chase Thomas the best signing of an undrafted free agent in the entire league. Thomas has some pass-rush skills and could have a chance to compete with Martez Wilson and Junior Galette.
In an interview with Charlotte’s WFNZ, general manager Dave Gettleman wouldn’t go much further than to say running back DeAngelo Williams is on the roster "right now." Go ahead and start the speculation (again) that Williams could be traded or released. The Panthers have way too much money invested in their running backs and unloading Williams could free up a lot of cap space now and in the future.
In this radio interview, cornerback Asante Samuel said he would respect Tim Tebow if he walked into Atlanta’s locker room. Don’t worry, that’s not going to happen. The Falcons aren’t looking to put in a gimmick package in their offense because there’s no way they want to take the ball out of Matt Ryan’s hands.
Samuel might not be the only Atlanta player with that last name. Former Georgia player Richard Samuel reportedly will get a tryout during this week’s rookie camp. The younger Samuel bounced between running back and linebacker in college and his best bet to earn an NFL roster spot might be as a special-teams player.
Chris Polian, who spent last season in Atlanta's scouting department, has left to become pro personnel director in Jacksonville. Polian is joining Jacksonville general manager Dave Caldwell, who previously worked for the Falcons.
The team announced it will hold combined practices with the Cincinnati Bengals on Aug. 5 and 6. The two teams will play an exhibition game at the Georgia Dome on Aug. 8.