Time for another edition of the NFC South mailbag.
Derek in Mandeville, La., writes: The Saints didn't resign Mark Brunell and made an attempt to visit with Jake Delhomme. So as of right now that should mean that Chase Daniel will be the backup to Drew Brees. I don't have a problem with that, but at the same time I'm sure the Saints front office would like more assurance behind brees. Do you see them looking at any more free-agent quarterbacks?
Pat Yasinskas: I suspect this is a position the Saints will address at some point. This might not excite the masses, but Brunell still could be re-signed. It’s not like he’s drawing interest from other teams and he knows the New Orleans offense. If Brunell isn’t brought back, I’m sure the Saints will bring in a backup with some experience to provide insurance behind Brees. Daniel is a project and nothing more than a No. 3 quarterback at this point.
Nathan in New Orleans writes: I hear and read lots of conflicting comments concerning NFL labor negotiations. What is your perspective on the chances of a lock out next season?
Pat Yasinskas: The people I talk to that know the most about this are very worried there will be a lockout in 2011 and are bracing for it. Still, there’s a lot of time between now and then and anything can happen with the negotiations.
Bruce in Rocky Mount, N.C., writes: I love DeAngelo Williams but with Jonathan Stewart and the other young running backs, what's the possibility of trading Williams for draft picks?
Pat Yasinskas: I know some Carolina fans have thrown out the scenario of trading Williams for draft picks. But I’ve heard nothing from within the organization or around the league to give that any credibility. Besides, in Carolina’s offense, it’s essential to have two top-notch running backs, especially when you consider Stewart already has had some injury problems.
Shane in Hickory, N.C., writes: Many Panthers fans aren't pleased that the Panthers have traded away 2 future 1st round picks in the past 2 drafts. However, wouldn't it be a good idea to do that this season? The obvious reason for that is because the Panthers suddenly have many positions to fill. The other reason (and perhaps the most important) is because of the strong draft class this year compared to what will likely be a very diluted draft class next year. Also, with the possibility of the lockout looming, will there even be a regular draft assuming a lockout?
Pat Yasinskas: They say past behavior is the best indicator of future behavior, and Marty Hurney has a history of trading away first-round picks. It could happen for the reasons you state. No matter what happens with the labor situation, the NFL already has said there will be a 2010 draft, but we don’t know what that really will look like.
Raymond in Tampa writes: What’s the deal with the Bucs’ receivers? Any clue on who they might be looking for in the draft or possibly free agency?
Pat Yasinskas: Well, right now, the Tampa Bay receiving corps doesn’t look very good. The Bucs still need a No. 1 receiver to replace Antonio Bryant and I’m not sure the current crop even includes a solid No. 2 receiver. It obviously is a position that has to be addressed. The Bucs have stayed away from any of the big names available in free agency or possible trades to this point. I know it’s hard for fans to be patient when you see a glaring need like this. But the Bucs will make some moves at some point. I’m guessing you’ll see one veteran come in a trade or as a free agent (might even be somebody who isn’t even available yet) and I’m thinking one of those two second-round draft picks will be used on a receiver. Texas’ Jordan Shipley is the guy I’d keep an eye on.
Glenn in Lancaster, Pa., writes: Could you speculate a bit further and tell me what motivation Jerry Richardson would have to offer John Fox a new contract next postseason with anything less than a Super Bowl VICTORY?
Pat Yasinskas: Not sure Fox has to win the Super Bowl to get a new contract. But I think double-digit wins and a playoff berth are pretty much essential. The other factor at work in all this relates to the labor situation we’ve talked about several times in this mailbag. Richardson’s not going to tie up big money in a coach if his team’s not playing in 2011.
Daniel in Atlanta writes: For the Falcons to be a contender, they need a good pass rusher alongside John Abraham, I see Kroy Biermann and Chaucey Davis as backups. Do you think it is about time the Falcons cut their loss in Jamaal Anderson or there is still value in him?
Pat Yasinskas: Agree with you on Biermann and Davis, and I’m pretty sure the Falcons will seek a pass-rusher early in the draft. As far as Anderson, I think they’ve given up hope of him ever being a top-notch defensive end. But they moved him inside to defensive tackle last season and he was decent. Even with Peria Jerry coming back from injury to join Jonathan Babineaux, the Falcons still need depth on the defensive line. Anderson is expensive depth, but, in an uncapped year, that might not matter all that much.