NFC South mailbag

Neil in Jackson, Miss. writes: You have correctly noted that the fact that Lynell Hamilton is already on the roster is one reason the Saints weren't excessively attached to Mike Bell. But how about the fact that they found Pierre Thomas, Mike Bell, and Lynell Hamilton in the first place? Who is to say they can't find yet another RB in the ranks of the undrafted (or in the case of Bell, released) who is good enough to play? I think the Saints are going to take advantage of the proven, young guys they have to give themselves a chance to strike gold again.

Pat Yasinskas: Very good point. You’re right. Last year in training camp they also had P.J. Hill, who showed some ability. Hamilton nudged him out for a roster spot. With Pierre Thomas, Reggie Bush and Hamilton at running back, the Saints are in pretty good shape. But it wouldn’t hurt to have a fourth guy, who also can play special teams. Wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if the Saints draft a running back late or bring in a couple of undrafted rookies for a look in camp.

Nathan in Cary, NC writes: What is the word on Richard Marshall and C.J. Wilson for the Panthers? If I am not mistaken, neither has signed thier RFA tender, nor have either shown up to offseason workouts. Are they getting action on the RFA market (seems like we might have heard something if so)? What do you think will end up happening with these 2 guys?

Pat Yasinskas: Nathan, your facts are correct. But I haven’t heard of any solid interest in either one on the restricted free agent market. We’re getting close to the deadline for that. It's April 15. If nobody makes them an offer, they don’t have much choice but to sign their tenders.

Tonymac in Atlanta asks about the possibility of Carolina being interested if Chicago defensive end Alex Brown comes available:

Pat Yasinskas: I’ve wondered about that myself because Brown still should have some decent years in him and I’d like to see the Panthers get one more defensive end in the draft or a veteran who has had production. Brown fits that profile. But, to this point, I’ve not heard of the Panthers showing any strong interest. If he’s still out there after the draft and they don’t feel happy with their defensive line, I think this then could become a better possibility.

Corey in Salt Lake City writes: Why do the Panthers always play the Steelers on the last week of preseason?

Pat Yasinskas: Jerry Richardson and Dan Rooney can take the credit or the blame for that one. The NFL sets three preseason games for every team and then lets teams arrange one other. Richardson and Rooney are old friends and they like to see their teams play. This one’s been going on for as long as I remember and I started covering the Panthers in 1999.