After watching Cam Newton and the Panthers win 15 games in his division in 2015, then seeing Newton run for his life against a fearsome Broncos pass rush in the Super Bowl, Buccaneers linebacker Kwon Alexander would like to see his team make an effort this offseason to add some more defensive players capable of wreaking havoc in opposing backfields.
“We need to get some more guys to, you know, to get some push on the quarterback,” Alexander said during an appearance on WDAE-AM 620 (link via JoeBucsFan.com). “I think that’s what we’re going to be drafting this year, defensive ends. We had great defensive ends this year, but we need a little more help. So whoever we can get, you know, we’re going to need that pressure to get Cam and, you know, try to get to the Super Bowl this season.”
As general manager Jason Licht takes Alexander’s recommendations under consideration, let’s check in on some other updates from around the NFL’s South divisions….
- Thursday is the day that the contracts for Panthers wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery and safety Roman Harper void, so both players will officially become free agents when the new league year begins, tweets Joel Corry of CBSSports.com. For his part, Cotchery said this week that he’s not sure what his future holds, but he has only positive things to say about the two years he has spent in Carolina (link via Bill Voth of Black and Blue Review).
- By the end of his 2015 campaign with the Colts, Matt Hasselbeck was pretty banged up, but the veteran quarterback said today during an appearance on 710 ESPN Seattle that he’s “strongly leaning toward” playing another season (Twitter link via Brady Henderson of 710 ESPN Seattle). Hasselbeck is an unrestricted free agent, so if he does continue his NFL career, there’s no guarantee that will happen in Indianapolis.
- The agent for veteran guard Jahri Evans, who was released by the Saints this week, said on SportsRadio 94 WIP today that New Orleans asked Evans to take a pay cut to remain with the team, but his client wasn’t willing to do that for the second consecutive year (Twitter link via Matt Moscona of ESPN New Orleans). Evans signed a new contract last April that reduced his salary for 2016.