Time for a run through some odds and ends from around the division:
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Mark Cook reports that the agent for wide receiver Mike Williams has had some productive talks with the team about a possible contract extension. But the agent said no deal is likely to come until after free agency and the draft. That makes sense because those two events are coming up fast. There will be plenty of time in the offseason to work on an extension for Williams.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Larry Holder takes a look at the Saints’ signings in free agency since 2006. It’s pretty clear that the class of 2006 was the gem, simply because that’s when quarterback Drew Brees arrived. But I think the 2009 class also was significant. That season, safety Darren Sharper provided a big spark. Jabari Greer also came in that class and I think he’s been one of the league’s most underrated cornerbacks.
Bryan Strickland runs through some first-round prospects for the Panthers after the combine. One of them is Tennessee receiver Cordarrelle Patterson. He’s a playmaker and he’s from nearby Rock Hill, S.C., and we all know owner Jerry Richardson has always been in favor of bringing in local guys. But the Panthers have used a first-round pick on a wide receiver only once in franchise history. That came in 1997. The pick was Rae Carruth and we all know that didn’t work out very well.
Coach Mike Smith will be inducted into the East Tennessee State Hall of Fame. If this guy can keep putting up the same regular-season winning percentage he has been and win a few Super Bowls, he could someday end up in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.