Around the NFC South: Bucs looking to sign Penn

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

It's been (so far anyway) a very quiet news day in the NFC South. No major headlines, but a couple of interesting items in the local coverage.

  • For all those Tampa Bay fans drooling at the possibility of adding Julius Peppers, Albert Haynesworth, Anquan Boldin or anybody else that's available, remember one thing. While it's true, the Bucs have more than $40 million in cap space right now, some of that's going to go to keep the guys already on the roster. It's believed the Bucs want to re-sign receiver Antonio Bryant before he becomes a free agent and they also are looking into locking up left tackle Donald Penn for the long term.

  • If the Falcons aren't able to work out a long-term deal with punter Michael Koenen very soon, they're reportedly prepared to place the franchise tag on him. The cost would be a relatively reasonable $2.48 million in 2009.

  • Linebacker Landon Johnson is still hurt, so the Panthers might not be able to cut him as quickly as they would like (and they really want to erase this mistake from last year's free-agent class). But there's an easy way around this. It's called an injury settlement.

  • The Saints and Louisiana officials continue to work on a deal that would make sure the team stays in the city for the long term. They might want to hurry a bit because there's an April 1 deadline to submit bids to host the 2013 Super Bowl, which seems to be something everyone involved wants to do.