South Notes: Panthers, Jags, Colts, Freeman

Peyton Manning will face Carolina in Super Bowl 50 next week, but had things gone just a bit differently, Manning could have been a member of the Panthers himself. As Steve Reed of the Associated Press details, the Panthers approached the Colts prior to the 1998 draft in the hopes of trading up the first pick, offering quarterback Kerry Collins and a myriad of draft choices. But Colts general manager Bill Polian wouldn’t hear of it. “There wasn’t anything they could give us that was going to replace Peyton Manning,” Polian said.

As we ponder what could have been, let’s take a look at a few more notes from the NFL’s two South divisions:

  • The Jaguars have two open spots remaining on their coaching staff, including defensive line coach, which is now vacant following the promotion of Todd Wash to defensive coordinator. According to Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union, Wash will continue serving as defensive line coach for the time being, but general manger Dave Caldwell indicated that could change if a different fit presents itself. Jacksonville also is looking to fill one offensive assistant role.
  • Kevin Bowen of begins his latest mailbag by tackling the subject of impending free agent linebacker Jerrell Freeman, noting that the 29-year-old might not be a priority for the Colts in free agency. Owner Jim Irsay has noted the club needs to get younger on defense, per Bowen, and with D’Qwell Jackson, Nate Irving, and Sio Moore all in the fold, Freeman could be the odd man out.
  • Speaking of Jackson, the veteran Colts linebacker is being sued for $1.5MM in connection to an assault that occurred in February 15, sources tell Dianna Marie Russini of ESPN (Twitter link). Jackson allegedly broke a bone in a delivery driver’s face.
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