Time for an afternoon run through some news and notes from around the division:
Invest Atlanta, the city’s economic-development agency, voted to approve a hotel tax that will help finance a new downtown stadium for the Falcons. This was the last political hurdle for the Falcons to get approval for a retractable-roof stadium. The Falcons want to have the facility open in 2017. I think it’s safe to predict Atlanta will be bidding for a Super Bowl that will take place within a year or two of the opening.
I got a look at the official numbers for the contract signed by linebacker Chase Blackburn recently. He’s getting paid like a backup linebacker and special-teams player. Blackburn’s two-year deal is worth $2.05 million. He got a $200,000 signing bonus and will count $1 million against this year’s cap.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Speaking of contract numbers, the Saints took advantage of the veteran minimum benefit when they signed defensive lineman Kenyon Coleman to a one-year deal. He’ll earn $1 million between base salary, but the benefit allows him to count only $620,000 against the salary cap.
The Saints also got backup quarterback Luke McCown as inexpensively as possible. He'll earn $840,000 in base salary (there are no bonuses or incentives in the one-year deal), but the minimum benefit means McCown only will count $555,000 against the salary cap.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Sticking with contract numbers, the Bucs used the veteran minimum benefit on kicker Nate Kaeding, receiver Steve Smith and running back Brian Leonard. Defensive end George Selvie received a two-year deal worth $1.36 million. Defensive tackle Derek Landri received a two-year deal worth at least $2.75 million. Landri will get $1.25 million in base salary, with $715,000 of it guaranteed, this year. In 2014, his base salary is scheduled to jump to $1.5 million, but he could earn a raise because the contract includes an escalator tied to 2013 playing time.