Looking at all-decade defense and NFC South

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

ESPN.com's all-decade defense features three guys who spent most of their careers in the NFC South and the list of near misses from the division is even larger.

Defensive tackles Warren Sapp and Kris Jenkins join the team along with linebacker Derrick Brooks. No surprises there. For my money, Brooks was the best player from the division (ever) and the best linebacker of this decade. Sapp was the best defensive tackle through much of the decade, but Jenkins surpassed him for at least a couple of years around the middle of the decade. Makes you wonder how dominant Jenkins could have been if he'd done a better job controlling his weight.

Guys with NFC South ties, who didn't make the team (but almost did), included Julius Peppers, John Lynch, Ronde Barber and Keith Brooking. I don't think it would have been much of a stretch if any of them had been chosen.

Finally, one last note on Brooks. He continues to say he wants to keep playing after his February release by the Bucs. That sounded like a nice idea back in February, but teams haven't been lining up to sign him.

As painful as it may be, sometimes you have to realize it's over and walk away gracefully.