Links: Panthers' Smith dishes on retirement

Atlanta Falcons

Free-agent defensive tackle Richard Seymour told NFL.com's Steve Wyche that negotiations with the Falcons might be visited again closer to training camp.

A woman who falsely accused Falcons rookie linebacker Brian Banks of rape has been ordered to pay The Long Beach Unified School District $2.6 million.

Robert Alford, Atlanta's second-round pick, has signed a four-year contract with the team. The Atlanta Journal Constitution's D. Orlando Ledbetter reports the Falcons have now signed six of their eight draft picks.

No surprise here, as some of the biggest offseason questions surrounding the Falcons involve the defensive side of the ball.

Carolina Panthers

When will Steve Smith hang up the cleats? The Pro Bowl wide receiver fills in some dates with the Charlotte Observer's Tom Sorensen, and discusses his post-NFL career plans.

Domenik Hixon and Chase Blackburn went to rival high schools in Ohio, played and lived together at Akron and won two Super Bowls with the New York Giants. Now, the pair is reunited on a Panthers squad that could use a little championship experience, says Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer.

Carolina has scheduled its annual Fan Fest at Bank of America Stadium for Aug. 3.

New Orleans Saints

Former New Orleans Saints special teams star Steve Gleason guest-writes for Peter King and his MMQB column. With humor and wit, Gleason writes on topics including the connection between football and brain disease, and the technology that enables him to write a 4,500-word column. Also, Alex Restrepo of NewOrleansSaints.com writes a column on Gleason and his family. “Every day is an adventure of discovery,” said Steve through email.

It’s 40 days and counting till the Saints take the field again for training camp. The Advocate's Brian Allee-Walsh takes a look at questions including Victor Butler's injury impact, Rob Ryan's 3-4 defense and Drew Brees' backup.

Former Saints defensive end Joe Owens passed away last week at the age of 68.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Quarterbacks coach John McNulty tells the Tampa Bay Times that quarterback Josh Freeman is demonstrating "his urgency, his inflection, his demeanor. Everything has been high energy and positive and going at a fast pace. Guys don't have a choice but to go along with him."

Will the Bucs make the playoffs this season? NFL.com's Marc Sessler gives five reasons Tampa Bay will be playing in January.

The aftermath of losing two Pro Bowl guards to injury last fall helped create what appears to be very good offensive line depth and flexibility heading into 2013, according to the team's website.