NFC South Links: Franchise Tag, Combine

PanthersGreg Hardy‘s impending free agency has been at the forefront of conversation in the NFL world these past few weeks, and Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer added to the chatter today, writing that while they want the star pass rusher back, applying the franchise tag on him would eat up all of the team’s remaining cap room. David Newton of agrees that it isn’t about whether the Panthers would like to, but instead whether they could afford to. Unless they can come to a long term agreement quickly, it seems more and more likely that Hardy would be able to reach unrestricted free agency. Here are some other links from around the NFC South:

  • While Hardy, Captain Munnerlyn, and Cam Newton have been the big names of the Panthers‘ offseason, David Newton wrote that the team cannot forget to focus on improving their offensive line, even with their current cap woes.
  • The Falcons do not have any logical candidates for the franchise tag this offseason, writes Vaughn McClure of The tag could come into play in the 2015 offseason if the team is unable to sign wide receiver Julio Jones to an extension.
  • With the scouting combine fast approaching, D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution highlights five prospects the Falcons should keep an eye on. Lorenzo Reyes of USA Today picks out five position of need for the team to address in the draft.
  • Reyes also wrote about five positions of need for the Saints to address in the draft, and suggested a few prospects who could fill those needs.
  • The Buccaneers do not have a player who is a logical franchise tag candidate, writes Pat Yasinskas of Before the season, quarterback Josh Freeman was considered a likely use for the tag. Freeman was benched and then released early in the season.
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