Evening update around NFC South

It’s been a pretty quiet day in the NFC South, particularly in Carolina and New Orleans. Tampa Bay’s the hot spot right now because the Buccaneers have some practice sessions open to the media this week and the Falcons are keeping active. I’ve got a few minor notes that I’ve stored up throughout the day.

The Buccaneers signed defensive end Carlton Powell to a two-year contract while releasing cornerback Darrell Pasco. Powell’s a long shot, but the Bucs have room for long shots to come through, especially at defensive end. Powell was a fifth-round pick by Denver in 2008 and spent some time on Cleveland’s practice squad.

As I mentioned Monday, Atlanta Falcons coach Mike Smith hosted his second annual Huddle Up For Miracles dinner. I’ve got a little update. The event raised nearly $200,000, about the same as last year. No surprise here: Wide receiver Roddy White, who is one of the more charismatic Falcons, came in with the most tips of all the Falcons who helped out as celebrity waiters. White raised more than $8,000. Safety Thomas DeCoud was the winner in the karaoke contest.

In what’s probably the biggest news of the day in the NFC South, Tampa Bay running back Derrick Ward showed up after not being around for Monday’s OTA day. More surprisingly, Ward talked to the media, something he rarely did last season. He said he was keeping quiet because he was unhappy about the team losing, but wasn’t pouting about playing a rather insignificant role behind Cadillac Williams.

By the way, I have received an advance copy of New Orleans coach Sean Payton’s book, which is scheduled for release in June. I hope to dive into that in the next couple of days and will give you a quick book report.