Each week, I put on nose plugs and check out the blogs and websites of our NFC South brethren so that you don't have to. After the jump you'll find the most important news from the rest of the NFC South. Well, if any news this time of year is important.
Washed-up 80s rocker Jon Bon Jovi reportedly is in discussions to purchase a minority stake in the Atlanta Falcons. Apparently, Bon Jovi has wanted to be an NFL owner for quite some time, and is willing to pay $150 million for 15% of the Falcons. That'd be a nice cash infusion for Falcons owner Arthur Blank, because who couldn't use an extra hundred million or so in cash?
Vegas has yet to set odds on the number of Livin' on a Prayer jokes that we'll make if the sale goes through. All I know is that the Falcons went down in a blaze of glory last year, and they are now looking for a competent big game offense, wanted dead or alive, because in last year's playoffs, they gave choking a bad name.
I could do this all day.
Panthers owner Jerry Richardson is allegedly one of the most "hawkish" owners in the labor negotiation, taking a hard, anti-union line. It looks like Richardson isn't afraid of a lockout, and might even welcome one as a chance to get a more favorable deal.
I think Richardson's hawkishness is based on confusion, though: apparently, he thought that the Panthers players were on strike all of last season.
ESPN.com's Pat Yasinkas named QB Josh Freeman the 2010 NFC South MVP. I tried to get upset about this for a while, but then realized that it was probably a good choice. Once again, the power of the half-fro can't be overestimated. Sources tell me that Drew Brees is making Baylen grow a half-fro next year. There'll be no stopping Brees if he can successfully harness the power of both the cute baby and the half-fro. The mind boggles.
Ranking the Teams
Each week, I'll rank the teams by some criteria, important or otherwise. We'll start off by ranking the receiving corps:
- Saints. While the Saints don't have a traditional, game-breaking primary receiver, their collection of above-average-to-good receivers is hard to beat. If you cover Marques Colston, then Lance Moore, Devery Henderson, or Robert Meachem will find a way to get open and catch the ball. Well, Moore and Meachem will. Henderson might.
- Falcons. Or, more appropriately, Roddy White. Every other receiver on the Falcons is worse than any of the Saints' big 4.
- Bucs. This is a young group that may or may not develop into a good receiving corps. Mike Williams has looked good so far and might be in the process of developing a good rapport with Josh Freeman. Dezmon Briscoe had a couple of good games toward the end of the year. Micheal Spurlock and Arrelious Benn haven't shown much in their brief careers (though Benn's been injured), so it remains to be seen whether they develop into anything special.
- Panthers. Steve Smith was good at one point, but now he's old, injured, and may not be back next year. Rookie 6th-round pick David Gettis was probably the Panthers' best receiver last year, catching 37 passes in 15 games. That's all you need to know about Carolina's receivers.