It happens every time a player of any prominence is released elsewhere. Fans from just about every corner of the NFC South start asking if that player will land with one of the division's teams.
It’s been happening ever since Philadelphia released veteran defensive end Jason Babin on Tuesday. It’s a logical question because Tampa Bay, Atlanta and New Orleans all could use some punch in their pass rush. Babin had 18 sacks last year.
It makes sense for the Falcons to make a play for Babin because he could be the player that puts them over the top, right?
No. According to D. Orlando Ledbetter, the Falcons have no interest in Babin. He was a free agent in 2011 and the Falcons didn’t pursue him, instead choosing to sign Ray Edwards and look how that worked out. The Falcons are going to stick with what they have.
I feel pretty safe in saying Tampa Bay is not going after Babin. The indications I’ve received are that the Bucs don’t have much interest in a guy in his 30s because that doesn’t fit their style. It also doesn’t make sense for a team that has spent a lot of time getting problems out of its locker room to go out and sign a guy that Philadelphia thought wasn’t the best locker-room guy in the world.
What about the Saints? This is the one team I wouldn’t completely rule out. It’s painfully obvious the Saints could use help in the pass rush. New Orleans has a history of being willing to take on veterans that wore out their welcome elsewhere. I’m not saying the Saints will end up with Babin, but I think the situation is at least worth watching.
How about Carolina? Defensive end is one position where the Panthers really don’t need help. Charles Johnson is set at one position and Greg Hardy finally has started to play up to his potential. Besides, with a new general manager, and possibly a new coach, expected to be hired after the season, I can’t see the Panthers making any major personnel moves right now.