Around the NFC South

Let’s take a run through some headlines from around the NFC South.

During his media session at the combine, Ohio State defensive end Cameron Heyward talked at length about his father. Craig “Ironhead’’ Heyward played for the Saints and Falcons and you could make a case that he’s one of the most popular players in NFC South history.

It’s pretty well known that the Saints have to make some sort of decision on Reggie Bush. He has a contract that’s scheduled to pay him $11.8 million in bases salary and take up $16 million in cap room. Extending Bush’s contract and spreading his salary out seems like the most logical solution, but release could also be a possibility. If nothing happens by Friday and there is a lockout, the Saints and Bush won’t be able to do anything until the labor situation is resolved.

Gary Shelton writes about how a lockout could impede the progress of the young Buccaneers. He’s right. We’ll have much more on this later this week if all signs continue to point to a lockout. We’ll take a look at how that will impact every team. But I’ll give you a little hint right now. The fact they’re young means a lockout will be harder on the Bucs and Panthers than it will on the Saints.

I’m hearing from some fans out there who are asking why LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson isn’t getting much mention as a candidate for the No. 1 overall pick by the Panthers. There’s some good logic there because Peterson is the best cornerback in this draft and that’s likely to be a need position for the Panthers. But, as this story points out, the NFL is a league of habits and the habit has been not to take defensive backs too early. It’s rare for them to go in the top five and the earliest a cornerback ever was drafted was Seattle’s Shawn Springs, who was taken third overall in 1997.

Tampa Bay tight end Kellen Winslow says now that he and quarterback Josh Freeman have a year together, he believes he can double his receiving statistics from last year.