How I See It: NFC South Stock Watch

April, 1, 2010
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Falling

Muhsin Muhammad, wide receiver, free agent. A lot of Carolina fans think one of the best players in franchise history will re-sign with the team. It’s a nice thought, but it’s probably not going to happen at a time when loyalty, which the Panthers have preached about so much, has disappeared. They cut Jake Delhomme, Brad Hoover and others because they were old.

Muhammad’s going to be 37 in May. He was somewhat productive last season and the Panthers have no other proven receivers on their roster beyond Steve Smith. Muhammad’s a good locker room guy, wants to stay in Carolina and probably would sign there for a very reasonable rate. But I wouldn’t anticipate any offer from the Panthers. That would be a complete reversal of all they’ve done this offseason. They’re intent on getting younger, and will be looking for wide receivers in the draft and maybe a young and cheap receiver in what’s left of free agency.

Muhammad probably will get signed by someone after the draft because he still wants to play and probably still has the skills to contribute somewhere. But it won’t be in Carolina.

Rising

Tampa Bay’s chances of getting one of the top-two defensive tackles in the draft. By all accounts, quarterback Sam Bradford had a great workout this week. That improves the chances of the St. Louis Rams taking him with the No. 1 overall pick. If that happens, Ndamukong Suh and Gerald McCoy won’t go No. 1 and at least one of them will be available at No. 3.

You can argue all you want about which defensive tackle would be a better fit for the Bucs, and there are strong cases for each of them. But if one of them is available at No. 3, the Bucs are in a no-lose situation. Either way, they’ll get a quality defensive tackle, which would be a major upgrade over what they currently have.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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