Monday, April 30, 2012
Around the NFC South
By Pat Yasinskas
Let’s take a look at some Monday afternoon headlines from around the NFC South.
- One of the NFL’s lead investigators in the Saints bounty program reportedly is resigning. But don’t get carried away with conspiracy theories. League officials said the investigator has had another job offer for some time, and part of the agreement with his new employer was that he would finish the bounty program investigation before leaving the NFL. He is scheduled to work through the end of May. Speaking of the bounty program, the NFL hasn't announced any player discipline so far Monday. If it hasn't come by this point, I'm pretty sure we'll have to wait at least another day.
- As expected, Atlanta running back Jacquizz Rodgers has given up his jersey number (22) to veteran cornerback Asante Samuel, who recently was acquired in a trade. Rodgers will now wear No. 32.
- Here’s the list of what numbers Atlanta’s draft picks are planning to wear.
- In this Insider post, Mel Kiper Jr. lists the players drafted in the first round who he thinks will have the biggest impact on their new teams. He lists Tampa Bay running back Doug Martin and Carolina linebacker Luke Kuechly. No argument here. Martin might share playing time with LeGarrette Blount, but the rookie will be on the field more because he’s a more complete player. It remains to be seen if Kuechly or Jon Beason will occupy the middle, with the other sliding outside. But Kuechly’s going to be an instant starter. You don’t have a top-10 pick sitting on the bench.
- Speaking on Sirius NFL Radio, Seattle general manager John Schneider said Mark Barron, Kuechly and Bruce Irvin were the three-highest rated defensive players on Seattle’s board. So we know the Bucs weren’t the only team that had Barron rated above cornerback Morris Claiborne. Here’s the bottom line on that one: The Bucs played their hand very close to the vest and media (and therefore) fans weren’t expecting Barron. Instead, everyone focused on Claiborne. You probably don’t want to play poker with Tampa Bay general manager Mark Dominik.
- Former LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson, who went undrafted, reportedly was scheduled for a tryout with Tampa Bay on Monday.