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NFC South weekend mailbag

Russ in Reno, Nev. writes: Pat, I don’t understand you and John Clayton's love fest with Jimmy Clausen. What's wrong with sticking with Matt Moore as QB? He is 6-2 as a starter, including 4-1 finishing the season last year. Recall, Pat, he had "W's against Saints, Giants, and Minnesota, with his only loss at New England. I'd say that was not only respectable but how many young QB's in this league could have done equal. Moore is the perfect QB for John Fox. Also, the guy was much more productive in college than Clausen in big games.

Pat Yasinskas: Russ, I can’t speak for John Clayton. But I can tell you it’s not like I’m rooting for Clausen over Moore. I’m just stating my opinions. All indications are Moore will open the season as Carolina’s starter. As long as he plays well and the Panthers are winning, he’ll stay in that role. But the Panthers didn’t draft Clausen in the second round, and repeatedly try to trade up to get him sooner, because they want him sitting on their bench. If Moore struggles, Clausen will get his shot. The Panthers wouldn't have drafted Clausen if they were as sold on Moore as you are.


Paul in Broussard, La., writes: I am torn on the Jammal Brown deal. On one hand it seems as if the Saints gave him away for very little, but I guess it was the best offer out there. Plus, I doubt the Saints were going to re-sign him to a long-term deal so it's better to get at least something for him rather than nothing at all. This tells me that the Saints weren't sold on his health and that they feel that Charles Brown can develop faster without Jammal's presence.

Pat Yasinskas: It’s hard to question any personnel move Mickey Loomis and Sean Payton have made in the last year or two and they knew far more about the Brown situation than ever became public. They knew they weren’t going to give him a huge long-term contract and decided they’d get whatever they could for him while they still could. They drafted Charles Brown knowing Jammal Brown’s situation could end up like this and Loomis’ track record in drafting offensive linemen is pretty strong. Not sure that Charles Brown starts right away because the Saints still have Jermon Bushrod, who did a decent job at left tackle last season.


Jason in Jacksonville, Fla., writes: I am a big fan of Thomas Davis but can't help but wonder what this 2nd ACL tear in less than a year is going to do to his chances of being resigned in Carolina. What do you think?

Pat Yasinskas: The injury came at a very bad time for Davis, who is a restricted free agent this year. He is very well liked by the Carolina coaches, front office and ownership, but the Panthers have to be realistic about a guy coming off two major knee injuries and that might drive down his price tag. But, really, the key will be what happens with the NFL’s labor situation. If a new deal gets done, Davis’ fate could be determined by how big the salary cap is. Also, other teams are going to have concerns about his injuries and may be hesitant to pay him. The Panthers know him better than any other team, so I think that adds to the possibility of him returning.


Robert in Lexington, N.C., writes: I think it was great Deuce McAllister got a ring but one guy I was hoping would get one was Mike McKenzie. He was a very good corner for the Saints. It was a shame he got hurt. I thought he was the guy who got them going in the Pats game last year and made some very good plays while Tracy Porter and Jabari Greer were out.

Pat Yasinskas: According to Jeff Duncan, McKenzie did get a ring. For those who didn’t see it, Duncan’s got a good column on how the Saints decided who got Super Bowl rings. That process is never an exact science, but it sounds like the Saints were pretty generous in how they distributed the rings.