Let’s start the week off with a look at some odds and ends from around the division:
General manager Thomas Dimitroff acknowledged that the Falcons are monitoring the situation of free-agent defensive tackle Richard Seymour. The reality is that the Falcons are interested and Seymour is interested, but the team isn’t going to pay big money to an aging defensive lineman. It doesn’t sound as if there are many teams making strong runs at Seymour. I’m thinking the Falcons gladly will sign him if his asking price is reasonable. Seymour still has a little left in the tank and the Falcons could use a little more explosiveness in the middle of their defensive line.
Scott Fowler writes that left tackle Jordan Gross, whose contract is scheduled to void after this season, will leave a lasting legacy on the Panthers. There’s no doubt about that. He’s been a good player and person ever since he arrived in Charlotte in 2003. This indeed could be Gross’ last season with the Panthers. But I wouldn’t be shocked if the team finds a way to re-sign him if he turns in another solid season. It’s not easy to go out and find a left tackle as dependable as Gross.
A first-round pick by Miami in 2007, Ted Ginn Jr. has been a factor as a return man, but hasn’t done much as a receiver. The Panthers will give him a shot at the No. 3 receiver spot. Ginn has elite speed and maybe he’ll prosper with a new team. At very least, he should upgrade the return game.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Although he was singing the praises of new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, inside linebacker Curtis Lofton said last year’s struggles can’t all be blamed on coaching. That’s an excellent point. Previous coordinator Steve Spagnuolo obviously didn’t work out and some of that falls on him, but the defenders need to play better for this defense to turn things around.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Coach Greg Schiano said it’s critical for him and the staff to take care of running back Doug Martin, who had 368 touches last year. Martin is a solid all-around back and he’s young. But Schiano and the Bucs might be wise to cut his number of touches just a little bit to help ensure a long career.
Kudos to general manager Mark Dominik who will take part in a unique fundraiser to benefit the Pediatric Cancer Foundation.