Hitting the NFC South links

Time for a look at the morning's top headlines from around the NFC South.

Tom Sorensen writes that Ron Rivera should just end the mystery and come out and say he’s starting Cam Newton in the regular-season opener. I agree. Newton’s at a whole different level than Jimmy Clausen. But I understand what Rivera’s doing by waiting until next week to make a decision. He wants to give Newton one more extended look in an exhibition. As long as Newton comes through that in good shape, then it’s time to make the move official. If you dub Newton the starter now and he goes down to Miami and has a horrible game Friday, it doesn't look good and you messs with the rookie's ego. Let him go out and have another solid outing and things will become obvious.

Jeff Duncan sums up the reason why the Saints released tackle Jon Stinchcomb this week. It wasn’t about money or personality. It was all about production. Stinchcomb’s play fell of dramatically last season and it wasn’t getting any better in training camp. That should serve as a reminder to the rest of the Saints that past laurels and being a good guy aren’t enough.

Colin Franklin, a tight end just signed by the Bucs, made a good first impression.

The Falcons are in Jacksonville to work out with the Jaguars. They’re on the practice field right now, but this session is just a walk-through. The real thing comes tonight when the teams go through a padded practice together.

Here's an audio clip of me talking Saints and the rest of the NFC South with WWL Radio's Bobby Hebert.