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Saturday, July 23, 2011
Hitting the NFC South links

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

A look at the Saturday headlines from around the NFC South.

Tom Sorensen writes about the role Carolina’s Jerry Richardson played in getting owners to agree on a labor proposal. He’s right when he says it must have been a huge challenge getting so many people who are used to doing things on their own to agree on something so complex.

Carolina quarterback Cam Newton was used as the example when the proposed rookie wage scale was presented to player representatives. It’s estimated Newton’s five-year contract will be worth $36 million, which is less than half of the total amount of the contract given to Sam Bradford last year.

New Orleans rookie running back Mark Ingram said he’s fine after a traffic accident Friday morning.

Tampa Bay general manager Mark Dominik said the Bucs are going to concentrate on keeping their own free agents first. That’s the same thing we’ve heard from the Carolina people. The Bucs and Panthers are among the league leaders in salary-cap room at the moment and fans of both teams are expecting free-agent frenzies. You might want to temper your expectations a bit. The Bucs and Panthers will sign some free agents, but they’re not going to suddenly turn into the Redskins, who seem to turn over their roster each year. Both teams are committed to their youth movements, which are focused on building through the draft. In fact, I expect the Falcons and Saints, who have less cap room, to make bigger splashes in free agency than the Panthers and Bucs.

Atlanta wide receiver Roddy White discusses the labor situation.