Time for a look at some news and notes from around the division.
First-round draft pick Desmond Trufant remains unsigned. He is ticketed to start at cornerback, but a holdout could interfere with that plan. Trufant had to miss most of the offseason program because his University of Washington class had not graduated. If Trufant misses much of training camp, fellow rookie Robert Alford or veteran Robert McClain could jump ahead of him on the depth chart.
Jonathan Jones points to numerous statistics that show Carolina’s offense was better in the second half of last season than it was in the first. The reason is pretty clear: Once the Panthers cut back on the zone read and used a more traditional running game, they had a lot more offensive success. I think it’s pretty safe to expect this year’s Carolina offense to look a lot more like it did in the second half of last season.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Mike Triplett writes that outside linebackers Junior Galette and Martez Wilson are excited about the upcoming season. They’re two of the more intriguing players on the defense. Both spent last year as defensive ends, but are moving to linebacker as the Saints switch to a 3-4 scheme. Galette and Wilson have potential as pass-rushers, but they’ll get a chance to produce more, especially after the loss of Victor Butler to an injury that will keep him out all season.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Scott Reynolds points out that wide receiver Mike Williams is scheduled to make less money this year than some of the team’s backup receivers. Williams and the Bucs have been talking about a contract extension for months, but nothing has happened yet. I wouldn’t be surprised if that changes soon and the Bucs lock up Williams sometime before the start of the regular season.