Around the NFC South

Let's take a look at the top Tuesday morning headlines from around the division.

This one sounds a little strange at first. Carolina coach Ron Rivera said Brandon LaFell “encapsulates who we are’’. Think about that for a minute. LaFell is a young player that has shown some flashes of promise. But, overall, LaFell hasn’t done all that much. He hasn’t even been able to permanently lock up the No. 2 receiver job, but the hope is he can fill that role and start showing more consistency. So, in a way, LaFell does represent the Panthers. They’re a young team with a lot of potential, but they have yet to arrive.

Joseph Person takes a look at the top position battles for the Carolina Panthers' defense as they begin workouts on the field. The top one is for the No. 2 cornerback job. Fans might not want to hear this, but it looks as if that’s Captain Munnerlyn’s job. He remains undersized, and that makes him a target for opposing offenses. But unless Brandon Hogan, who played little as a rookie as he recovered from knee surgery, takes a huge step forward, I don’t see anyone else on the roster ready to challenge Munnerlyn.

There is one slight positive to New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees being unsigned and not participating in offseason workouts. Safety Roman Harper said that makes it easier to install the defense of new coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. Harper said if Brees was around, he would show no mercy on a defense that’s going through some big adjustments.

Gary Shelton writes that Kellen Winslow shouldn’t be surprised by the Buccaneers' decision to trade him. He’s right. It was pretty obvious that Winslow’s a guy who is used to doing things as he pleases. It’s also pretty obvious coach Greg Schiano runs a very tight ship. If Winslow really wanted to play for Schiano, he should have realized it was time for some changes. At the very least, he should have first talked to the new coach about his plans for the offseason. I’m not sure Schiano would have been excited at the prospect of Winslow spending some of his time working out in San Diego. But it’s at least possible the coach and player could have worked out a deal if the situation was put on the table before workouts started.