With the labor negotiations going on and a potential lockout looming if a deal isn’t completed by the end of the day on March 3, I decided to see who the representatives are from each NFC South team to the NFL Players Association.
Here’s the official link to the list on the union’s website.
I knew several off the top of my head. But there also have been several changes, and one division team suddenly lost its player rep. Atlanta's rep, safety Erik Coleman, recently was releasedd by the Falcons. Offensive lineman Tyson Clabo and linebacker Coy Wire are listed as the co-alternates, and one of them will take Coleman’s place. Interesting side note here, Clabo is a potential free agent.
Carolina’s rep is veteran kicker John Kasay. That’s very interesting, because Kasay and Carolina owner Jerry Richardson, who is leading the ownership part of the talks, might be as close as any player and owner in the league. The co-alternates after Kasay are wide receiver Steve Smith and punter Jason Baker. Makes you almost wish Kasay comes down with the flu for a few days so that Smith has to go to the negotiating room. Smith might not be able to get a deal done by himself, but asking the mercurial receiver to step into a room where people are supposed to be diplomatic sure might liven up the talks.
Contrary to popular belief, quarterback Drew Brees is not New Orleans’ player representative. That title officially is held by offensive lineman Jon Stinchcomb, and defensive end Will Smith is listed as the alternate. Brees was in the room for talks the day before the Super Bowl when Richardson allegedly made condescending comments to Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning. For the record, neither Brees or Manning are listed as representatives or alternates for their teams.
Tampa Bay’s rep is center Jeff Faine, with guard Davin Joseph and receiver Maurice Stovall listed as the co-alternates. Joseph’s scheduled to be a free agent, and there are some questions about Faine’s future with the team. He has a high salary and has been injury-prone since joining the Bucs.