Time for a run through the top headlines from around the division.
The latest in the quest for a new stadium had team president Rich McKay telling the Atlanta City Council that the Falcons will look to the suburbs if they can’t reach a deal for a new stadium downtown. McKay said team owner Arthur Blank wants to make things work downtown. But, if the city isn’t going to help with the funding, the Falcons may have to look to the suburbs. I think that will only come as a last resort because Blank seems intent on a downtown stadium.
Mel Kiper Jr. has the Panther taking Missouri defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson in the first round of the draft. But Kiper said this draft class is deep at the position and the Panthers still could get a quality defensive tackle in the second or third round.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Kiper also made it sound as if there’s a good possibility the Saints go with a defensive tackle in the first round and pointed to Florida’s Sharrif Floyd as a candidate. But there is some debate about whether Floyd is better-suited for the 3-4 scheme the Saints are switching to or a 4-3 system.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Roy Cummings writes that the Bucs are well-positioned to make a big splash in free agency for the second straight year. I think the Bucs will be active in free agency, but the splurge might not be as big as last year when the team signed Vincent Jackson, Carl Nicks and Eric Wright. The Bucs have about $30 million in cap space, but that number will be chopped down a bit if the team re-signs defensive end Michael Bennett and defensive tackle Roy Miller.