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Monday, February 7, 2011
Hitting the NFC South links

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

Let’s take a quick trip through some afternoon headlines around the NFC South.

Ed Werder’s got some clarification on what might have sparked those rumors about Sean Payton leaving the Saints to join the Dallas Cowboys’ front office. It turns out Payton is buying a home in the Dallas area. But he’s not leaving the Saints. He’s just planning on doing some commuting. This isn’t all that uncommon. Tony Dungy’s family stayed in the Tampa area during part of his time as coach in Indianapolis.

The Panthers are almost finished filling out their coaching staff after hiring Joe Kenn as strength and conditioning coach.

The Falcons are staying silent about a report that musician Jon Bon Jovi could be buying a share of the franchise.

Could the Bucs be in line to kick off the 2011 regular season against the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers? Well, it’s at least a possibility. Tampa Bay has some rising stars and they are scheduled to go to Lambeau Field this year. But the New Orleans Saints also are on Green Bay’s schedule and a matchup of the last two Super Bowl champions might draw more television attention. Then again, a Green Bay-Chicago matchup also looks like a strong possibility.