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Friday, May 11, 2012
NFC South links: Panthers ink Kuechly

By ESPN.com staff

Atlanta Falcons

Did the Falcons do enough in the draft to help protect quarterback Matt Ryan? NFL.com's Marc Sessler explores.

Will Peter Konz break the Falcons' starting lineup? He'll begin to make his case today, as the Falcons begin their three-day rookie minicamp. Konz, five other draft picks, 23 undrafted free agents, six veterans and 10 players on tryouts will participate.

Carolina Panthers

The Panthers have agreed to a four-year, $12.58 million guaranteed deal with first-round pick Luke Kuechly. The team has now signed all seven of its draft picks to four-year deals.

Former LSU lineman Will Blackwell, who signed with the Panthers as an undrafted free agent, postponed his wedding to July since it conflicted with this weekend's rookie minicamp, reports the Charlotte Observer's Joseph Person. His spouse-to-be was understanding, but with one caveat: "I told him he better block like he’s never blocked before,” said Laura Cummings, Blackwell's fiancee.

New Orleans Saints

Saints fifth-round pick Corey White doesn't lack for confidence, writes the Times-Picayune's Nakia Hogan. "It's going to be fun picking off some balls from Drew Brees," said the cornerback after he was drafted by the Saints. "It is going to be real fun."

No news is bad news? According to a league source, Brees and the Saints still have not resumed negotiations -- and talks have been practically non-existent for more than a month, writes the Times-Picayune's Mike Triplett.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Bucs have waived former LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson.

Defensive end Da'Quan Bowers tore his right Achilles tendon, which might end his season. But Bowers isn't buying that prognosis, writing via Twitter: "2013?? Get real. I'm playing THIS year, 2012."