Lots of odds and ends around the division on this Monday. Let's take a look:
Marc Sessler ranks the Falcons and Saints as the fifth-best rivalry in the NFL. I think you could rank it a little higher. With both teams being good in recent years, this rivalry has escalated. The teams don’t like each other and neither do their fans. That makes for great entertainment.
The Panthers released defensive end Thomas Keiser. He had a productive season in 2011, but was limited by injuries last season and the emergence of Greg Hardy made him expendable.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
The team signed six players after they made favorable impressions in the rookie minicamp.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Jeffri Chadiha writes that Ronde Barber, who retired last week, was the most underrated defensive player of his time. There are a lot of mixed opinions on whether Barber eventually belongs in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Count Chadiha as one who believes Barber deserves a spot in Canton.
Speaking of Barber and the Hall of Fame, here’s a numeric look at how his career compared to some other prominent defensive backs.
Part of the reason the Bucs drafted defensive end William Gholston is his versatility. Gholston likely has a shot at a spot in the rotation with starters Adrian Clayborn and Da’Quan Bowers. But he also could line up on the inside at times.