NFC South: Gerald Sensabaugh

We already have talked quite a bit about players from the NFC South who are expected to become unrestricted free agents. We’re going on the assumption that players not under contract who have at least four accrued seasons can become unrestricted free agents.

With that in mind, and with some help from ESPN Stats & Information, let’s take a look at some of the more prominent potential free agents from the rest of the league.

QUARTERBACKS: Marc Bulger, Kerry Collins, Rex Grossman, Matt Hasselbeck, Patrick Ramsey, Alex Smith, Billy Volek, Kellen Clemens, Brodie Croyle, Trent Edwards, Bruce Gradkowski, Tarvaris Jackson, Matt Leinart, Troy Smith and Tyler Thigpen.

RUNNING BACKS: Cedric Benson, Ronnie Brown, Kevin Faulk, Mewelde Moore, Sammy Morris, Clinton Portis, Dominic Rhodes, Tony Richardson, Kevin Smith, Darren Sproles, Fred Taylor, Brian Westbrook, Ricky Williams, Joseph Addai, Ahmad Bradshaw, Jerome Harrison, Brandon Jackson, Laurence Maroney and LeRon McClain.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Mark Clayton, Braylon Edwards, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Randy Moss, Santana Moss, Terrell Owens, Donte’ Stallworth, Steve Breaston, Malcom Floyd, Santonio Holmes, James Jones, Sidney Rice, Mike Sims-Walker, Brad Smith and Steve Smith (of the New York Giants, not the Steve Smith of Carolina).

TIGHT ENDS: Desmond Clark, Donald Lee, Randy McMichael, Bo Scaife, Kevin Boss, Owen Daniels, Daniel Fells, Zach Miller, Ben Patrick and Matt Spaeth.

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN: David Baas, Jammal Brown, Robert Gallery, Adam Goldberg, Kyle Kosier, Olin Kreutz, Matt Light, Sean Locklear, Casey Rabach, Chris Spencer, Langston Walker, Casey Wiegmann, Floyd Womack, Damien Woody, Chris Chester, Jeromey Clary, Daryn Colledge, Willie Colon, Doug Free, Jared Gaither, Charlie Johnson, Deuce Lutui, Samson Satele, Lyle Sendlein and Marshal Yanda.

DEFENSIVE TACKLES: Aubrayo Franklin, Tommie Harris, Chris Hoke, Chris Hovan, Kris Jenkins, Bryan Robinson, Gerard Warren, Jamal Williams, Pat Williams, Alan Branch, Barry Cofield, John McCargo and Brandon Mebane.

DEFENSIVE ENDS: Jason Babin, Dave Ball, Raheem Brock, Andre Carter, Shaun Ellis, Cullen Jenkins, Travis LaBoy, Trevor Pryce, Marcus Spears, Ray Edwards and Mathias Kiwanuka.

LINEBACKERS: Akin Ayodele, Keith Bulluck, Kevin Burnett, Dhani Jones, Kirk Morrison, Julian Peterson, Matt Roth, Takeo Spikes, Jason Taylor, Mike Vrabel, Stewart Bradley, Bobby Carpenter, Manny Lawson, Paul Posluszny, Ernie Sims and Stephen Tulloch.

CORNERBACKS: Nnamdi Asomugha, Phillip Buchanon, Chris Carr, Drayton Florence, Ellis Hobbs, Carlos Rogers, Lito Sheppard, Ike Taylor, Fabian Washington, Drew Coleman, Antonio Cromartie, Chris Houston, Johnathan Joseph, Dimitri Patterson, Josh Wilson and Eric Wright.

SAFETIES: Aaron Francisco, Ken Hamlin, Michael Lewis, Brandon McGowan, Quintin Mikell, Lawyer Milloy, Brodney Pool, Gerald Sensabaugh, Roy Williams, Gibril Wilson, Atari Bigby, Melvin Bullitt, Abram Elam, Dashon Goldson, Michael Huff, Dawan Landry, Danieal Manning, Bernard Pollard, Eric Weddle and Donte Whitner.

NFC South, Ricky Williams, Gibril Wilson, Gerald Sensabaugh, T.J.Houshmandzadeh, Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes, Terrell Owens, Steve Smith, Lawyer Milloy, Ronnie Brown, Phillip Buchanon, Jammal Brown, Billy Volek, Jason Taylor, unrestricted free agents, Mark Clayton, Chris Hovan, Rex Grossman, Tyler Thigpen, Randy Moss, Kris Jenkins, ESPN Stats & Information, Chris Houston, Alex Smith, Brandon McGowan, Danieal Manning, Bruce Gradkowski, Michael Lewis, Fred Taylor, Steve Breaston, Roy Williams, Nnamdi Asomugha, Trevor Pryce, Santana Moss, Tavaris Jackson, Pat Williams, Kellen Clemens, Julian Peterson, Donte Stallworth, Kerry Collins, Brodie Croyle, Cedric Benson, Clinton Portis, Zach Miller, Brian Westbrook, Damien Woody, Troy Smith, Marc Bulger, Kevin Faulk, Ray Edwards, Sidney Rice, Antonio Cromartie, Jamal Williams, Mathias Kiwanuka, Patrick Ramsey, Aaron Francisco, Joseph Addai, Darren Sproles, Matt Leinart, Tony Richardson, Ike Taylor, Josh Wilson, Matt Hasselbeck, Atari Bigby, Cullen Jenkins, Jason Babin, Marcus Spears, Jonathan Joseph, Paul Posluszny, Matt Light, Trent Edwards, Mewelde Moore, Sammy Morris, Dominic Rhodes, Kevin Smith, Ahmad Bradshaw, Jerom Harrison, Brandon Jackson, Laurence Maroney, LeRon McClain, Malcolm Floyd, James Jones, Mike Sims-Walker, Brad Smith, Desmond Clark, Donald Lee, Randy McMichael, Kevin Boss, Owen Daniels, Daniel Fells, Ben Patrick, Matt Spaeth, David Baas, Robert Gallery, Adam Goldberg, Kyle Kosier, Olin Kreutz, Sean Locklear, Casey Rabach, Chris Spencer, Langston Walker, Casey Wiegmann, Floyd Womack, Chris Chester, Jeromey Clary, Daryn Colledge, Willie Colon, Jared Gaither, Charlie Johnson, Deuce Lutui, Samson Satele, Lyle Sendlein, Marshal Yanda, Aubrayo Franklin, Tommis Harris, Chris Hoke, Bryan Robinson, Gerard Warren, Alan Branch, Barry Cofield, John McCargo, Brandon Mebane, Raheem Brock, Andre Carter, Shaun Ellis, Travis LaBoy, Akin Ayodele, Keith Bulluck, Kevin Burnett, Dhani Jones, Kirk Morrison, Takeo Spikes, Mike Vrabel, Stewart Bradley, Bobby Carpenter, Manny Lawson, Ernie Sims, Stephen Tulloch, Chris Carr, Drayton Florence, Ellis Hobbs, Carlos Rogers, Lito Sheppard, Fabian Washington, Drew Coleman, Demitri Patterson, Eric Wright, Ken Hamlin, Quintin Mikell, Brodney Pool, Melvin Bullitt, Abram Elam, Dashon Goldson, Michael Huff, Dawan Landry, Bernard Pollard, Eric Weedle, Donte Whitner

Posted by's Pat Yasinskas

One of the safeties the Saints had been looking at is off the market. Todd Archer reports Gerald Sensabaugh has signed a one-year deal with the Dallas Cowboys.

This may seem like a loss to New Orleans fans, but don't be too heartbroken. There might be some reasons why the Cowboys only signed Sensabaugh to a one-year deal and why the Saints didn't top that offer.

First off, Sensabaugh is more of a strong safety and the Saints' big need is at free safety. Second, Sensabaugh has a history of off-field problems and that might have kept the Saints' interest lukewarm.

They still might land Darren Sharper, who already has visited New Orleans, and there could be some safeties on the radar, including some guys that aren't available right now.

Mailbag: Saturday edition

March, 7, 2009

Posted by's Pat Yasinskas

It's shaping up as a very quiet weekend in the NFC South. No visits or imminent signings that I'm aware of at the moment. That could always change, but indications are it will stay quiet until Monday.

But that hasn't stopped you from filling up the mailbag. So let's take a look at some of your questions.

Brent in Bozeman MT writes: Hey love the info Pat Two questions, Do you really think Jamaal Anderson is a bust, if i remember right it took him three years to make any noise in college he had like 3,8,then 11 sacks his junior year, plus it took Roddy White, Jenkins, even Chauncy Davis three years to make any noise, Second question i believe you said we were some where around 25 million under cap is that included the horrible Vick contract or not since he is suspended.

Pat Yasinskas: Although a lot of Falcons fans are ready to give up on Jamaal Anderson, the coaching staff isn't. There's still a lot of untapped talent and the Falcons are hoping the proverbial light comes on in Year Three. But I also think the Falcons believe Chauncey Davis could be ready to take over as the starter if Anderson doesn't step up. The Falcons had about $20 million in cap room at the start of free agency. Don't have an exact update for you, but that figure has dropped with the re-signing of some of their own players. Michael Vick's contract doesn't count against the cap as long as he's suspended. If he's reinstated, he'll start counting and there's still about $15 million in pro-rated bonuses that have to be accounted for.

Devin in Dallas writes: I feel like the Bucs are making some great additions to the team but I still feel uncomfortable with Luke McCown under there any chance the Bucs can get solid QB to lead the team for years to come?

Pat Yasinskas: A lot of Tampa Bay fans share your uncertainty about Luke McCown and that's very understandable because he's barely played. But the Bucs have seen him in practice for several years and they must feel good about him if they re-signed him. That said, they're not done at quarterback. The Broncos have said they're not trading Jay Cutler, but you never know if that could change. There are some decent free agents remaining (Rex Grossman, Kyle Boller, etc.) and drafting a quarterback is certainly a possibility. From what I know, the Bucs will add another quarterback to the mix at some point.

Ian in Atlanta writes: Pat, Great job with the nfc south blog. I'm a big Falcons fan, and its been killer in the past getting one article every month or so about them in the offseason (usually negative). This offseason, they haven't done much at all, but you've done great keeping us fans fed on any updates, i especially love when you let us know they aren't interested in certain big name free agents because fans always wonder about those big name guys for the preseason hype if anything, even if they are washed up i.e. roy williams, T.O. I know you said the Falcons are going young on D this year, but any chance they will pick up a couple veteran back ups/starters out of the recently cut FA's?

Pat Yasinskas: The Falcons have been very clear that they want to continue building through the draft and there's no reason to doubt that. I don't see them pursuing any of the big-name free agents still available. But I think you could see a veteran or two added to the defense later on. I'm talking after the draft, when the Falcons see what exactly they have to work with and where there might be some holes. I don't think it will be anything dramatic and you won't see them signing any 35-year-olds, but it wouldn't hurt to bring in a little bit of experience and leadership.

Trevor in Hickory NC writes: Pat do you think the panthers would use their 2nd round pick on a QB? if so what do you think about Josh Freeman?

Pat Yasinskas: I have a tough time seeing John Fox and Marty Hurney using their second-round pick on a quarterback. They have long been believers that it takes too long for a rookie quarterback to develop. They don't have a first-round pick this year (at least as of now) and they've got some other needs to fill. I do like Josh Freeman, but I think he'll go in the first round.

AD in Raleigh writes: So its been relatively quiet here in Carolina during the first parts of FA, but now Holt says he wants out of St. Louis. He is an NCSU alum and he already said he would like to play here so what are the odds that Carolina can get something done? I think if it's possible, he would be a great fit and he would make Carolina's offense even better. How crazy would it be having that kind of running game AND Smith across from Holt?

Pat Yasinskas: Don't rule this one out. Like you said, Torry Holt has Carolina ties. The Panthers also have a history of bringing in players from the Carolinas (Stephen Davis, Ricky Proehl). The Panthers don't have a lot of cap room to work with, but Holt might come at a reasonable price. Keep an eye on this one.

Mookie in parts unknown writes: Hey Pat, 2 quick questions, Have you heard about any team showing interest in Lance Moore and has he been in any serious talks with any of them ? I'd hate to lose him. Also, It seems like the Saints and Gerald Sensabaugh talks has come to a stand still, Is he entertaining other options, Or are they crunching the numbers with him and his agent?

Pat Yasinskas: I haven't heard any rumblings of any teams making an offer to restricted free agent Lance Moore. That could happen, but I don't think you have to worry too much about this one. The Saints would have the chance to match any offer (and get a second-round pick if Moore goes elsewhere). But I think the Saints like Moore a lot and will do what they have to do to prevent him from going anywhere. They also may still be looking at signing him to a long-term contract. As for safety Gerald Sensabaugh, the Saints had him in for a visit this week. They also had safety Darren Sharper in. I think both remain possibilities and there could be some movement in that area next week.

Mark in Covington, LA writes: Do you think the Saints really believe Dan Morgan is the answer to weak side linebacker?

Pat Yasinskas: Mark, let me start by saying I covered Dan Morgan throughout his career in Carolina and he truly is one of the best human beings in the league. When Morgan was healthy, he was one of the best linebackers I've ever seen. Sadly, we all know Morgan had lots of problems staying healthy and that's always going to be a
concern. But when Morgan told me he was ending his retirement, he said he feels better than he has at any point since he came into the league and that's a good sign. I don't think the Saints can put all their eggs in one basket here. But, if Morgan can stay healthy and give them a full season, it would be a huge boost for that defense.

Saints lose out on Bartell

March, 2, 2009

Posted by's Pat Yasinskas

The New Orleans Saints made a strong run at free agent cornerback Ron Bartell, but didn't land him.

Bartell reportedly has decided to re-sign with the St. Louis Rams. The Saints reportedly made an offer similar to the four-year, $28 million contract from the Rams and Bartell elected to stay in St. Louis.

The Saints still are trying to work on their defensive backfield. Safety Darren Sharper is visiting New Orleans Monday and safety Gerald Sensabaugh visited over the weekend.

Best Match: NFC South

March, 2, 2009

Posted by's Pat Yasinskas

Atlanta Falcons


Best match: LB Angelo Crowell

While letting linebackers Keith Brooking and Michael Boley and cornerback Domonique Foxworth walk, the Falcons have been the NFC South's quietest team in free agency. General manager Thomas Dimitroff cautioned that the Falcons won't be big players.

But Atlanta can't sit still forever. The big moves likely will come through the draft, but there are some guys out there who the Falcons could move on to start patching some holes. There are some fans calling out for Derrick Brooks. But that doesn't make a lot of sense in the plan of Dimitroff and coach Mike Smith. They just let a veteran linebacker (Brooking) go. It would make more sense to add a younger linebacker like Crowell.

Carolina Panthers


Best match: WR Ike Hilliard

The saga of disgruntled franchise player Julius Peppers is the big story for Carolina, but it's likely to drag on. Peppers' $17 million franchise tender has the Panthers strapped for cap room. If Peppers gets traded, the Panthers probably will seek his replacement with the first-round pick they'd like to get in return.

But there is some other business the Panthers can take care of in free agency. They could use a little depth at wide receiver. They've got one of the best in Steve Smith, but Muhsin Muhammad is aging and Dwayne Jarrett remains an uncertainty. Again, the Panthers don't have a lot to spend, but a veteran receiver like Hilliard won't cost a lot. The Panthers had a great deal of success when they brought in Ricky Proehl a few years back. Hilliard is very similar to Proehl and could solidify the receiving corps nicely.

New Orleans Saints


Best match: S Darren Sharper

Re-signing linebacker Jonathan Vilma was the first key move of free agency. But even though the Saints don't have a lot of cap room to work with, they're not sitting still. They know they still have big needs in the secondary and they're working hard in that area.

They've got an offer in to cornerback Ron Bartell and are courting Sharper and Gerald Sensabaugh, a pair of safeties. Something should play out with those players in the very near future and that could be a huge boost to a defense that's rebuilding with new coordinator Gregg Williams. Add Bartell and either of those safeties to the current roster and -- at least on paper -- the defense suddenly looks a lot better.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers


Best match: RB Derrick Ward

The free-agent frenzy so many expected hasn't materialized -- yet. The Bucs made a strong run at Albert Haynesworth before he landed with the Redskins and made an attempt to trade for quarterback Jay Cutler. They still may be in the market for Cutler or another quarterback.

But there are other big needs to be filled in the meantime. After trading for tight end Kellen Winslow and placing the franchise tag on receiver Antonio Bryant, the Bucs still are looking to load up at the skill positions and it appears running back is the next target. The Bucs don't have much besides Earnest Graham and they know it. They've got Ward scheduled for a visit Tuesday and also are considering Kevin Jones. Look for the Bucs to make a big play for Ward. They've been cautious with the purse strings so far, but they have lots of cap room to work with. They can't afford to keep finishing second for prized free agents.

Posted by's Pat Yasinskas

As things remain quiet in Atlanta and Carolina, (and to a lesser degree, New Orleans) Tampa Bay continues to be the only real player in free agency in the NFC South.

Things could speed up for the Saints today. They've got an offer in to cornerback Ron Bartell and they're looking hard at safeties Darren Sharper and Gerald Sensabaugh. Yeah, the Saints may not have a lot of salary-cap room, but they can manipulate enough to overhaul their secondary. If they can pull that off after re-signing linebacker Jonathan Vilma, this defense suddenly will look a lot better.

As I've been saying since the story of Tampa Bay's interest in quarterback Jay Cutler first broke, this story's not over. Peter King reports Cutler previously had asked for a trade out of Denver. That helps explain that Tampa Bay's inquiry wasn't just a random shot. The Bucs knew something was up with Cutler when they made the phone call.

Now that word's out about this, Cutler may be on the market more than he ever was. Even though the Bucs weren't able to work out a three-way trade that would have involved Matt Cassel, there's a chance they still may be able to get Cutler in a straight-up deal and the price tag may become better now that the world knows Cutler and the Broncos aren't on the same page.

But the Bucs, who still have tons of cap room, aren't focused entirely on getting a quarterback. Roy Cummings reports there now is interest in running back Kevin Jones. The Bucs also are expected to have running back Derrick Ward in for a visit later this week.

And what about Carolina and Atlanta? Continue to sit tightly because that's what the Panthers and Falcons are doing. They've sat out the first wave of free agency. But they'll jump in, at least on a small level, once price tags start to drop.

NFC South evening roundup

February, 28, 2009

Posted by's Pat Yasinskas

Not sure what to make of reports the Bucs approached Denver about a three-way trade that would have sent Matt Cassel to the Broncos and Jay Cutler to the Bucs. It didn't happen, but it shows the Bucs have a pretty grand plan at quarterback. If they were looking into Cutler, they may want somebody who is several notches above Luke McCown, who has been told he will have a shot at the starting job. McCown better not get too comfortable. It is unclear if Denver actually would consider moving Cutler. If he is on the market, this story might not be over yet.

The Saints apparently are serious about upgrading their secondary. Mike Triplett reports Darren Sharper will be in for a visit Monday. The Saints will have Jacksonville safety Gerald Sensabaugh in Sunday and St. Louis cornerback Ron Bartell already has visited.

The Buffalo Bills signed offensive lineman Geoff Hangartner. It is a great move for Hangartner, who wanted to go somewhere he could be a starter. It is a tough loss for the Panthers because Hangartner gave them quality depth at center and guard.

Meanwhile, it's official. Linebacker Michael Boley, who the Falcons didn't attempt to re-sign, joined the Giants. Boley fell out of favor in Atlanta because he wasn't a good fit as a run defender.

Evening roundup

February, 27, 2009

Posted by's Pat Yasinskas

With Kellen Winslow and Jonathan Vilma dominating the headlines most of the day, it's time for a quick trip through the other matters circulating through the NFC South on the first day of free agency.

Larry Holder writes that Jacksonville safety Gerald Sensabaugh will visit the Saints on Saturday. The Saints want to upgrade free safety Kevin Kaesviharn and Sensabaugh played for new coordinator Gregg Williams with the Jaguars last season.

Holder also writes the Bucs may be interested in New Orleans wide receiver Devery Henderson. Makes sense because Henderson has the speed to be the kind of down-field threat coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski wants.

Scott Reynolds and Jim Flynn report the Bucs may target cornerbacks Jabari Greer and Jamar Fletcher if they're unable to re-sign Phillip Buchanon.

David Scott reports Carolina linebacker Jon Beason had surgery to repair a torn labrum, but expects to be ready for training camp.

D. Orlando Ledbetter reports the Falcons have re-signed safety Jamaal Fudge, who expects to compete for the starting job left open by Lawyer Milloy's departure.