The biggest news coming out of the NFL’s South divisions in the past couple of days emerged when the Saints relocated Kyle Wilson to injured reserve, depleting a cornerback corps that was already attempting to move past a rough 2015 season. Here is the latest on the franchises from the southern divisions on Saturday.
- The loss of Kelvin Benjamin during the 2015 preseason didn’t end up plaguing the Panthers nearly as much as most thought, but Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer lists some nightmare scenarios that could be difficult for the defending NFC champions to overcome. He includes the team’s young cornerbacks not being ready as one of those. Carolina drafted three corners and, as Roster Resource details, is likely dependent on at least one of them to start alongside Bene Benwikere and help fill the void created by Josh Norman‘s departure. The Panthers have eschewed veteran help thus far here, cutting Brandon Boykin and ignoring Charles Tillman‘s reunion preference.
- After Fletcher Cox signed his six-year Eagles extension worth $103MM, Greg Rosenthal of NFL.com (video link) points to the Panthers signing Kawann Short to a similar extension within the next month. Entering his contract year, Short is only set to count $1.4MM against the cap. The Panthers possess over $28MM in cap space, making an extension tenable. Short skipped the Panthers’ OTA sessions but reported to minicamp to avoid being fined. However, he declined to comment on his stalled contract negotiations while there.
- The NFL.com writer slots Drew Brees as a player to keep an eye on regarding a new contract before training camp. However, he notes Brees’ negotiations with the Saints could get ugly before they result in what could well be Brees’ final NFL contract. Earlier this month, we heard Brees’ deal could reach $100MM over four years, only no news has emerged about the sides resuming talks since April. However, the Saints may be hesitant to extend their franchise quarterback long-term until they see what his age-37 season looks like. The 15th-year passer is set to count $30MM against New Orleans’ cap this season — nearly three times every other Saint’s price tag — if no extension lowers that number.
- Kendall Langford lost his job to wunderkind defensive tackle Aaron Donald on the Rams in 2014 but became a key Colts cog last season, starting 16 games. A defensive end in the Colts’ 3-4 scheme, Langford may have been Indianapolis’ most important defensive player in 2015, writes Kevin Bowen of Colts.com, who adds the 30-year-old could be a Pro Bowl sleeper this season.
- The Texans and first-round pick Will Fuller agreed on a four-year rookie contract expected to be worth just more than $10MM.