Hitting the NFC South hot spots

Let’s take a plunge into the NFC South mailbag.

Joshua in Canton, N.C., asks if the Panthers will pursue a wide receiver in free agency and wonders if they’ll go that route only if Steve Smith leaves.

Pat Yasinskas: With or without Smith, the Panthers are pretty high on young receivers David Gettis and Brandon LaFell. If Smith is gone, they’ll be the starters. If he stays, they’ve got a pretty good trio of receivers. While I could see Carolina adding a receiver if Smith leaves, I don’t think it will be a big name. The Panthers want Gettis and LaFell on the field as much as possible. They also have second-year pro Armanti Edwards. As a former college quarterback, Edwards is a project, but the team wants to give him a chance to contribute as a receiver this year.

Richard in Arbor Mich., says that the possibility of a four-game suspension for Will Smith could force the Saints to keep Alex Brown.

Pat Yasinskas: True, Smith could be suspended and that increases the chances of the Saints keeping Brown. They added rookie Cameron Jordan in the draft, but they don’t know for sure what he’ll bring. Brown isn’t spectacular, but he’s a solid player. And while his $3 million cap figure is a bit high, the Saints will probably keep him.

Wade in Chicago takes exception to Jerry Kramer’s comments that Drew Brees hasn’t faced any of life’s hardships.

Pat Yasinskas: I agree. Brees has endured plenty. He had a major shoulder injury and was forced out of San Diego. He also has had some family issues, including the death of his mother. Brees has endured all that as well as possible.

Ryan in Durham, N.C., wonders about the possibility of Randy Moss landing with the Saints.

Pat Yasinskas: The Saints have been known to take chances on guys with baggage. Moss reportedly is in great shape and highly motivated. I wouldn’t rule this one out.

Ned in parts unknown asks how good Atlanta linebacker Sean Weatherspoon can be.

Pat Yasinskas: Weatherspoon was starting to show some real promise before injuries slowed him down as a rookie. He should be starting off healthy this year, and the Falcons believe he can be the type of linebacker who makes big plays. I think you’ll see him have a much bigger impact this year.