The staff at ESPN.com examined the key questions for the NFC South heading into 2014, and Mike Triplett writes that despite popular opinion, the Saints don’t have a salary cap emergency on their hands. While New Orleans is constantly up against the cap, it hasn’t stopped them from signing big-ticket free agents; this offseason, they were able to bring in Jairus Byrd at a $9MM AAV. General manager Mickey Loomis’ roster management means that the team can’t afford to miss in the draft, or else the Saint could end up in the Cowboys’ situation — no cap space and bereft of talent.
More from the NFC South:
- It’s been a rough offseason injury-wise for linebackers around the league, and a few NFC LBs (Sean Weatherspoon and Sean Lee among them) have been affected, according to Lindsay H. Jones of USA Today.
- Curtis Lofton comes in at No. 11 on the Times-Picayune’s Larry Holder’s ranking of the top Saints players; in 2014, Lofton led New Orleans in tackles for the second straight season.
- The Eagles will probably retain kicker Alex Henery, writes Phil Sheridan of ESPN.com, and Phildelphia special teams coach Dave Fipp highlights the difficulty in finding a versatile kicker. “If you get a guy who’s a better kicker than him kicking field goals and a better touchback guy, let me know where he is,” said Fipp. “Every team in the league wants him. There’s not a lot of those guys floating around out there. It’s going to be hard to beat him out, but he’s got to get better at a bunch of things, too.”
- 2013 first-rounder Datone Jones didn’t play many snaps last season for the Packers, but he seems insatiable regarding his future plans for success, per Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “I won’t be satisfied until I’m the best in the league,” said Jones. “That’s the only way I’d be satisfied. Other than that, I still won’t be satisfied until I retire. No matter what year I have next year or the years to come, I don’t think I’ll ever be satisfied.” Jones will likely be used in sub packages as a pass-rush specialist in 2014.