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Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Around the NFC South

By Pat Yasinskas

Time for a run through the Wednesday morning headlines from around the NFC South:

ATLANTA FALCONS

Mark Bradley makes an excellent point when he writes that the fact the Falcons already have clinched the NFC South title essentially puts them into another preseason. But the Falcons can’t afford to look at it that way. They still need to wrap up the No. 1 seed throughout the NFC playoffs, and they need to build some momentum as they head into the playoffs.

CAROLINA PANTHERS

The team placed safety Haruki Nakamura on injured reserve. That gives the Panthers 16 players who are out for the season. That’s two short of last season's franchise record.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

Jeffri Chadiha writes that coach Sean Payton is the person most responsible for the whole bounty scandal. I’d put former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams up there, too. But Chadiha’s point is that Payton’s arrogance set a tone in which an unhealthy culture grew out of control, and I think that’s a pretty accurate assessment of this sordid affair.

Jonathan Vilma has until Wednesday afternoon to decide if he wants to continue with his defamation lawsuit against NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Vilma’s attorney said Tuesday that his client plans to continue with the suit, but we’ll see what happens in the next few hours.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

Just in time for Christmas, the Bucs announced they’re cutting prices on about 35 percent of their seats for next season. The team also said prices won’t increase for the other seats. Smart move by a team that’s only had the local television blackout lifted for two home games this season.

Cornerback Brandon McDonald, who was with the team earlier in the season, was re-signed. McDonald should provide some depth after Myron Lewis was placed on injured reserve.