NFC South: Free Agency Report Card NFL Expert Tom Marino has evaluated the offseason free agent and trade acquisitions and losses by the four NFC South teams. Check out his analysis and team grades inside...

New Orleans Saints      Grade: B

Added Lost
CB Jason David, Colts
LB Troy Evans, Texans
LB Trev Faulk, FA
P Chris Hanson, Jaguars
TE Eric Johnson, 49ers
S Kevin Kaesviharn, Bengals
DE Lance Legree, Buccaneers
PK Olindo Mare (trade Dolphins)
DE Anton Palepoi, FA
WR David Patten, Redskins
LB Brian Simmons, Bengals
P Mitch Berger (released)
PK John Carney (released)
LB Danny Clark, Texans
TE Ernie Conwell (released)
PK Billy Cundiff, Falcons
CB Curtis Deloatch, Panthers
OG Montrae Holland, Broncos
WR Joe Horn (released)
RB Fred McAfee (retired)
LB Terrence Melton, Panthers
S Bryan Scott, Titans
OG Chad Setterstrom (released)
SS Omar Stoutmire, Redskins

Re-signed:  S Jay Bellamy, WR Terrance Copper, DE Charles Grant, CB DeJuan Groce, DT Antwan Lake, DT Rodney Leisle, TE Billy Miller, WLB Scott Shanle, OT Jon Stinchcomb, DT Hollis Thomas.

Comments: Not flashy, but the Saints' staff devised a plan to upgrade the squad at some critical position (DS, LB, DC, KS and TE) and the feeling was that they succeeded in their plan. Joe Horn was an outstanding player, but due to injuries and high cap numbers, his time had past with New Orleans.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers        Grade: B-

Added Lost
FB B.J. Askew, Jets
WR David Boston, FA
DE Kevin Carter, Dolphins
DE Patrick Chukwurah, Broncos
CB Sammy Davis, 49ers
QB Jeff Garcia, Eagles
LB Cato June, Colts
OG Matt Lehr, Falcons
OT Luke Petitgout, Giants 
QB Jake Plummer (trade Broncos)
DT Ryan Sims (trade Chiefs)
TE Jerramy Stevens, Seahawks
S Blue Adams (RFA rights terminated)
CB Juran Bolden (released)
OT Cornell Green, Raiders
OG Sean Mahan, Steelers
LB Shelton Quarles (releasedl)
QB Tim Rattay, Titans
OT Kenyatta Walker (released)
DE Dewayne White, Lions

Re-signed:  FB Mike Alstott, CB Phillip Buchanon, DT Darrell Campbell, CB Torrie Cox, LS Andrew Economos, OG Jeb Terry

Comments: The Buccaneers were active and made some moves to secure the services of some established veteran players (Luke Petitigout , Kevin Carter, and Jeff Garcia). A lot is riding on their success for 2007. Losses were minimal. A good job overall.

Atlanta Falcons        Grade: C

Added Lost
PK Billy Cundiff, Saints
OG Toniu Fonoti, Dolphins
QB Joey Harrington, Dolphins
WR Joe Horn, Saints
OT Leander Jordan, Chargers
FB Ovie Mughelli, Ravens
QB Chris Redman, FA
CB Lewis Sanders, Texans
LB Marcus Wilkins, Bengals
TE Eric Beverly (released)
OG Ben Claxton (released)
FB Justin Griffith, Raiders
LB Ed Hartwell (released)
CB Derrick Johnson (released)
DE Patrick Kerney, Seahawks
C Austin King, Seahawks
OG Matt Lehr (released)
WR Ashley Lelie, 49ers
CB Kevin Mathis (released)
LB Ike Reese (released)
QB Matt Schaub (traded Texans)
CB Jason Webster (released)

Re-signed:  TE Dwayne Blakley, P/PK Michael Koenen, RB Corey McIntyre, LB Demorrio Williams, 

The Falcons lost three significant players in Matt Schaub (via trade), Ashley Lelie and the Patrick Kerney via free agency.  But in Joe Horn, Joey Harrington, and underrated FB Ovie Mughelli the Falcons hope to negate those loses.  I don't see it happening. Chris Redman??? He was virtually handed the job in Baltimore a few years back and was a miserable failure. Most of the Falcons losses (subtractions) were insignificant.

Carolina Panthers        Grade: D

Added Lost
DE Dave Ball, Jets
QB David Carr, Texans
S Deke Cooper, 49ers
CB Curtis Deloatch, Saints
NT Chad Lavalais, FA
LB Terrence Melton, Saints
LB Vinny Ciurciu, Panthers
LB Chris Draft, Rams
WR Karl Hankton (released)
WR Keyshawn Johnson (released)
TE Kris Mangum (retired)
S Kevin McCadam (released)
TE Mike Seidman, Colts
DE Al Wallace (released)
QB Chris Weinke (released)

Re-signed:  QB Brett Basanez, DT Jordan Carstens, WR Drew Carter, LB Na'il Diggs, TE Michael Gaines, DT Kindal Moorehead, CB Christian Morton, S Cam Newton, RB Steven Jackson, S Nate Salley

Deloatch and Ball were not tendered by the Saints and Jets respectfully and were signed to contracts. David Carr could claim the starting QB job as soon as this season, and that in itself would be significant. Losses will have no bearing on the success of the Panthers in 2007.

Tom Marino is a veteran of 35 years in the player personnel field, most recently with the St. Louis Rams. He has worked in three professional leagues (NFL, USFL, and WFL), and among his many accomplishments, is credited with the discovery of Eric Swann, the first non-collegiate player since 1946 to be selected in the 1st round of the NFL college draft.

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