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Friday, April 1, 2011
Around the NFC South

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

Time for a quick trip through the headlines around the NFC South.

Veteran Atlanta tight end Tony Gonzalez still is planning to play in 2011. However, Gonzalez said if the labor situation isn’t resolved and the season doesn’t take place, he likely will retire in 2012. I understand age would be the main factor in that move. But it probably would also be wise because there won’t be many fans left watching the league if an entire season is missed.

Georgia outside linebacker/defensive end Justin Houston has worked out with the Falcons and is scheduled to visit the Bucs next week. Both teams run a 4-3 defense, so Houston would project as a defensive end.

The Falcons have worked out Miami linebacker Colin McCarthy. He played the middle in college and the Falcons are set there with Curtis Lofton. McCarthy, who might be too small to play the middle in the NFL, could shift to the outside and is viewed as a mid-round draft pick.

The attorneys for Aqib Talib say their client is innocent of charges stemming from a March 21 incident in Texas. Of course, they are saying that. That’s what defense attorneys do. And they might be right. But this one likely will play out in court and take months. During that time, the Bucs likely will make plans to move ahead without Talib.

Charlie Campbell has his mock draft up and I’m in total agreement with him giving the Bucs and Saints each a defensive end. He’s got the Falcons taking a wide receiver. That could happen, but I think they’ll follow the Bucs and Saints and take a defensive end. Heck, don’t rule out the Falcons trying to trade ahead of the Bucs or the Saints to make sure they get one.