Monday night mailbag

Scott in Prairieville, La., writes: The debate of Derrick Brooks or Rickey Jackson as the best ever player in the NFC South is a good one. Rickey played 13 of his 15 years in New Orleans. I wouldn't say that a chunk of his career was played in San Francisco. Ricky helped re-define the position along with Lawrence Taylor. Had Rickey played in a larger market, he would be considered in the top 3 of all time. I know that Tampa and New Orleans are both small markets, but had Rickey played during the media explosion era that Brooks did, it would be no contest.

Pat Yasinskas: New Orleans fans have been firing away with notes arguing Jackson over Brooks as the best NFC South Player of all time. I respect your arguments and agree Jackson was great. That’s why he’s in the Hall of Fame and I’m glad he finally got there. But I’m sticking with Brooks, who, I think, will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

Nate in Palmer, Alaska, writes: Tampa Bay's Kareem Huggins has officially put Derrick Ward on the trading block if you ask me. I think Tampa overpaid the guy, so there isn't a lot in return they could get for him, but do you see Ward in a Bucs uniform much longer?

Pat Yasinskas: Ward’s contract makes it virtually impossible to trade him, because no team would want to pick up the rest of that deal for a guy who has shown nothing since he came to Tampa Bay. Do the Bucs just cut Ward? Wouldn’t surprise me at all. Huggins has looked very good and Ward has not. Plus, I don’t think Ward is viewed as a great chemistry guy. However, the one thing that could keep Ward around is Cadillac Williams’ history of injuries. Huggins is undersized and inexperienced. The Bucs might decide to hang onto Ward in case something happens to Williams.

Robert in Sterling, Va., writes: Just a suggestion, but maybe do a piece of the NFC South projecting what the outcome will be like (Ex: player states, injuries, W/L record) like the writer who does the AFC North blog did by simulating a season in Madden 11.

Pat Yasinskas: I’d love to sit down and play a season of Madden 11, but I don’t exactly have a lot of free time these days. I did do a simulated season once when I was covering the Carolina Panthers for The Charlotte Observer. If my memory is correct, I guided the Panthers to a 7-9 record – with Chris Weinke as my quarterback. If someone out there wants to play a Madden 11 for the NFC South, I’ll be happy to share the results with the readers.

Cory in Knoxville, Tenn., writes: Did the Panthers make a move for Kentwan Balmer?

Pat Yasinskas: No, San Francisco traded Balmer to Seattle. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Panthers make a move to add a defensive tackle when other teams start cutting down rosters.