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Thursday, March 5, 2009
NFC South quickie mailbag

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

Got a lot of great questions in the mailbag that came in too late to get into Wednesday's team-by-team mailbags. In an attempt to stay ahead of the mail and to answer questions in a timely manner, I'm going to do a quick division-wide mailbag right now.

Al, who didn't declare a hometown, writes: I'm a Falcons fan and it was great to have them in the playoffs last year. So why aren't they making any off season moves? Our defense was suspect all year and we let go of our 2 veteran's (Brooking and Milloy). Being as close as they were and obviously not that good, why haven't we signed a veteran or made a move for someone to help out on defense? Our wide receivers could use a little bit of tutelidge as well. Why no Receiver the last 2 years? Matt ryan is the real deal, and unless we have a great draft, I think this season will be bad. Do you see a move for peppers for us? He's proven and we need help for abraham. Me personally, I would give up our first rounder this year and maybe a 3rd round next year for him.

Pat Yasinskas: I understand your frustration with the inactivity in Flowery Branch. But this is all part of a calculated plan from which you're not going to see any earth-shattering moves in free agency. First, the Falcons don't have a lot of cap room. Second, and more importantly, general manager Thomas Dimitroff and coach Mike Smith believe in doing things differently than a lot of people are used to. Dimitroff and Smith believe they have a good, young core in place (and I won't argue that) and they want to continue building through the draft. The best you're going to see are some role players added through free agency. They've got tight end L.J. Smith in the building for a visit right now. As far as Julius Peppers, I don't see that happening. You'll see the Falcons sign some guys like Smith, but that's about it.


Vegasbeefcake in St. Pete writes: Mike Nugent? I know that you try to improve every area of your team, but when did placekicking become a priority for us?

Pat Yasinskas: Yep, that move by Tampa Bay was more than a little surprising. The Bucs already have a good kicker in Matt Bryant and they have more pressing needs in a lot of areas. Looks like they'll take both kickers to camp and let them compete. But keep one thing in mind, Nugent costs a lot less than Bryant.


Shimoni in Charleston, SC writes: What are the chances that Peppers gets traded? Clearly no one is willing to give up two first round picks, but is someone willing to give up a late first round pick? I don't see why the Panthers wouldn't want this. They could get value for him now and fill the void by either drafting a DE or signing a veteran free agent like Taylor or Holliday.

Pat Yasinskas: Looks like the Panthers are prepared to play hardball with Peppers and force him to play with them for the franchise tender. At least that's the stance for now. But this one's far from over. I think you could see some movement around draft time. The Panthers don't have a first-round pick right now and they could use one.


Cory in Dallas, TX writes: Do you think the Saints resigned Henderson because they are expecting someone to get Lance Moore? Reason being, if they lost Henderson and Moore...i dont think Meachem or Arrington are solid #3's...

Pat Yasinskas: That might have been part of the logic in re-signing Devery Henderson. But it would take a second-round pick for another team to land Lance Moore. Even if there's a strong offer, I think the Saints would try to match it and keep Moore. He and Marques Colston give them a very nice combination as starters. Yes, Robert Meachem and Adrian Arrington remain question marks, but they do have some talent. But there are two other reasons I see for the Saints keeping Henderson. First, he's become a good receiver and still has upside. Second, last year's injuries (all over the place) showed how important depth is. Right now, the Saints have one of the deepest receiving corps in the league.


Kelly in Wilmington, NN writes: My question is in your opinion what are the chances of torry holt coming to carolina?

Pat Yasinskas: Keep an eye on this one. Not saying that Torry Holt, who wants out of St. Louis, definitely ends up with Carolina. But there's some logic to this school of thought. Holt has ties to the Carolinas and the Panthers could use an insurance policy behind Steve Smith and Muhsin Muhammad in case Dwayne Jarrett doesn't work out.


David in Bradenton writes: Do you think that Cadillac Williams and a 1st round pick would be enough to pick up Boldin from the Cardinals. They lost Arrington and maybe Edge, all they have is Hightower. The NFL is a two back system now...

Pat Yasinskas: No. With all due respect to Cadillac Williams, he has absolutely no trade value right now. He's in rehab for his second major knee injury in two years and he's not even running yet. Maybe he makes a strong comeback, but no team can afford to bank on that. Not even the Bucs. That's why they signed Derrick Ward.