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Friday afternoon mailbag

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas
Time for an NFC South mailbag as we get inside the 24-hour mark until the start of the draft.

Ben in Tampa writes: Pat, I have been throwing Brady Quinn's name out for the bucs to persue for a while now. Now that it appears the Jets are after him, what are the chances the bucs will make a run for him as well?

Pat Yasinskas: A lot of folks have thrown out Quinn's name, but I don't think the Bucs were listening. I think they're serious about going with either Luke McCown or Byron Leftwich.

On to a couple of questions about Jake Delhomme signing a five-year contract with Carolina.


Tyler in Winston-Salem writes: Why is everybody bashing on Jake? I'm 17 and for the past year have been all about the NFL, but mainly the Carolina Panthers. I was extremly close on deciding to not go to my prom so i could watch the draft. And everyday i check the panther's website and the nfl website. i'm always caught up everything for the most part, and from what i can see everybody want's to get rid of jake after one bad game. it took me a few weeks to see the light and realize that he is a decent qb. but the articles ive read have all pointed to this is how fox wants his qbs(energetic and compassionate about the game). it hurts me thatpanther fans are wanting jake's head when only two years ago we wanted him back. and instead of getting mad at pepper's for holding us hostage, fans want to resign him to a 5-yr deal. can you help me out here as to why people would want this?

Mike in Black Mountain, NC writes: Hey there Pat, Just wanted to make a comment on the entire Delhomme siuation. I'm not necessarily the biggest fan of Jake, nor am I his biggest detractor, but I think that it is a little bit interesting to see how the fans react to Delhomme vs. Peppers. Considering that, objectively, the success of Delhomme is much more important to the success of the entire team than Peppers is, why are some fans so against this extension? After all, have these same fans not been complaining that Peppers just "doesn't appreciate" the team or is a crybaby that should leave? Isn't Delhomme the perfect team player? Just a couple of thoughts.

Pat Yasinskas: You both make an interesting point about how many Carolina fans don't like giving Delhomme, who wants to be with the Panthers, a new contract while they want Julius Peppers, who wants to leave, to stay. We could talk about this one all day, but here's the bottom line. John Fox and Marty Hurney have made the decision that Jake Delhomme is going to be the quarterback for the Panthers this year. You can argue against that all you want, but that's not going to change anything. As far as Peppers, I'm not sure fans are going to get their wish there, either. I still think there's a decent chance the Panthers trade him away Saturday. Also, Tyler, I suggest you go to your prom. You can always tape the draft and watch it later.


Jeremy in Reno writes: I was wondering how much more "breathing room" in salary cap space does Carolina have after Delhomme's new contract?

Pat Yasinskas: Haven't seen the exact breakdown of the Delhomme contract yet, but I'm hearing the Panthers freed up a little more than $2 million in cap space with the move. That puts them about $5 million under the cap. The probably need about $3 million just to be able to sign their draft picks, so don't get your hopes up for a sudden spending spree. That's not going to happen unless the Panthers unload Peppers and his $17 million cap hit.