Around the NFC South

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

A quick trip through the NFC South's local headlines.


There have been some talks about signing quarterback Jake Delhomme to a contract extension. But it doesn't sound like the process is very far along. Delhomme, who is heading into the final year of his contract, is scheduled to take up about $11 million in salary-cap space. The Panthers could free up a lot of space with an extension, but the league's lack of a long-term labor agreement makes any long-term deal a little fuzzy.

Coach John Fox said he could see the proverbial light coming on at the end of receiver Dwayne Jarrett's second season. It better stay on because the Panthers don't have much else behind starters Steve Smith and Muhsin Muhammad.


Coach Sean Payton said the idea of moving cornerback Usama Young to safety is just a possibility at this point. The Saints don't really need a starter after signing veteran Darren Sharper. But there's growing depth at cornerback and that means the best long-term move for Young's career might be a switch to safety.


Coach Raheem Morris said cornerback Ronde Barber survived the offseason purge of veterans because he's still playing at a high level. Barber did slump early last season, but finished strong. Keeping Barber might not be the most popular move with fans. But Morris, who was the defensive backs coach last year, should have a better idea than anyone what Barber has left.


Defensive tackle Trey Lewis, who hasn't played since 2007 because of two knee surgeries, has been medically cleared to participated in the offseason program. Quietly, this could be a big boost for a team that's looking for help in the middle of the defensive line after the departure of Grady Jackson. Running back Thomas Brown and linebacker Robert James, who each missed their rookie seasons with injuries, also have been cleared to participate.