Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFC South [Print without images]

Monday, April 25, 2011
Around the NFC South

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

Time for a trip through the NFC South headlines.

Pete Dougherty writes about Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy as a late-round prospect with a chance to be a sleeper. I’ve thrown out the suggestion the Atlanta Falcons should take a shot on Delaware’s Pat Devlin a bit later in the draft. But McElroy also could also be a fit. He’d be an instant upgrade over former Alabama teammate John Parker Wilson as the No. 3 quarterback and could challenge Chris Redman for the backup job. I could also see New Orleans taking a look at McElroy.

Atlanta tight end Tony Gonzalez has earned the right to say just about anything he wants. In a recent radio interview, Gonzalez said he’s strongly in favor of a rookie wage scale.

Joe Person tracked down a bunch of Cam Newton’s former coaches, including Urban Meyer, who had the quarterback at Florida. Read into it whatever you want, but Meyer was willing to talk about Newton as a football player. When asked to talk about him as a person, Meyer said, “I’m going to pass on that one."

Take a look at this pre-draft synopsis and go straight to Carolina. I get a little tired of people saying the Panthers need help everywhere and I know general manager Marty Hurney turns red every time he hears or sees something like that. Fact is, Carolina was 2-14 last season and it’s easy to say their roster is bare. But that’s simply not the case. Last year was about a lot of other things. But Carolina’s roster still has plenty of talent -- Jordan Gross, Steve Smith, DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart, Ryan Kalil, Jon Beason, Chris Gamble and Charles Johnson.

Rick Stroud writes that troubled cornerback Aqib Talib is all but gone from Tampa Bay. I agree and have been saying that since Talib was charged with a crime in a March incident in Texas. Yes, the legal system hasn’t played out and there is the chance Talib can be exonerated. But the mere fact Talib, who has a long history of off-field problems, was even involved in an incident with a gun didn’t exactly flatter the NFL or the Bucs. The only thing remaining is sorting out the exit strategy. The Bucs can’t do anything until after the lockout. If they don’t cut or trade Talib right away, the NFL could beat them to the punch and suspend Talib.

Mike Triplett has an interesting chat with some of the veteran Saints who potentially could be free agents when the lockout ends and gets them talking about the uncertainty surrounding their futures.