NFC Minicamp Insider

Do the Minnesota Vikings have enough cap space to sign Brett Favre?...Which rookie might have the biggest impact for the New York Giants?...Who were the Philadelphia Eagles really targeting had they not traded up in the first round?...Which teams are having trouble clearing up salary cap space to sign their top rookies?...These stories and a lot more, inside.

Carolina Panthers

LACK OF CAP SPACE HOLDING SIGNINGS UP: It was announced earlier this week that the team was able to sign seventh-round pick Captain Munnerlyn. The team also agreed to terms with fourth-round pick FB Tony Fiammetta on Friday. However, a league source told that it's unlikely any one of their two top picks, Everette Brown or Sherrod Martin, will be signing any time soon.

Carolina had just about $3 million of salary cap space available as of earlier this week and they don't have enough space available to sign either top player. The problem, according to the source, is if any proposed incentives included in rookie deals would be achieved this season, they would immediately count against the cap because of the lack of a CBA for next season. All incentives achieved this season are not reconciled next season as in previous years, they immediately count against the cap. It's possible that even more veterans are asked to restructure their contracts. Another source said at least 12 veterans restructured deals earlier this year. The lack of salary cap space is holding up a potential extension for CB Richard Marshall, who is in the final season of his rookie deal. Marshall took over the starting job for Ken Lucas, who was released earlier this year.

Minnesota Vikings

PLENTY OF CAP SPACE TO SIGN FAVRE: While fans of the Vikings continue to wait for Brett Favre to sign a contract with the team, blaming any potential holdup on salary cap space won't be a valid issue.

According to a league source, the team has just a little over $18 million in cap space after signing seventh-round pick Jamarca Sanford earlier this week.

New York Giants

BECKUM COULD HAVE AN EXPANDED ROLE: It's not a secret that the coaches are looking for a way to replace veteran WR Plaxico Burress and they may have someone on the roster who could be in store for an expanded role this season. While many are pointing to first-round pick Hakeem Nicks to pick up the slack with Burress gone, third-round pick TE Travis Beckum could be the one to bolster the Giant passing game this season.

Beckum is about three inches taller than Nicks and is probably more athletic. According to a league source, Beckum is expected to be moved around quite a bit. Not only will he line up at his usual tight end position, but Beckum should see time in the slot to create mismatches and he also could see time as an outside receiver because of his unique movement skills.

Philadelphia Eagles

PETTIGREW WAS THE CHOICE AT 21?: If the team didn't trade up from No. 21 to No. 19 in the first round to select WR Jeremy Maclin, a league source said the Eagles were set on selecting TE Brandon Pettigrew. Philadelphia knew RB Knowshon Moreno, who they really wanted, would be long gone by No. 21, so they set their sites on Pettigrew, who would have filled a big need. Of course Pettigrew wound up being selected at No. 20 by the Detroit Lions. The next player on their draft board, according to various league sources, was CB Vontae Davis. Davis would have been expected to replace veteran CB Sheldon Brown, who the team tried to trade on draft weekend. Instead, the team wound up acquiring CB Ellis Hobbs, who is expected to play out this season on the final year of his deal. A source said that the team will consider extending his contract later in the season if he performs at a high level. However, Hobbs is slated to be a backup this season unless Brown is traded.

BROWN STAYING PUT?: While many believe Reggie Brown won't be with the team this season, a source said the veteran receiver had perhaps the strongest performances during the team's OTA practices of any player on offense and defense. Brown was demoted to the fifth spot on the receiver depth chart last season, but could be moving up again because of his strong off-season.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

STILL HOLDING THE MOST CAP SPACE: Last year, we documented that the team finished the season with a lot of salary cap space. In fact, according to a league source, Tampa Bay had over $25 million in salary cap credits brought over to this season and had around $37 million in space as of earlier this week.

With so much space available, Tampa Bay has several players who could be targeted for contract extensions including LT Donald Penn, who is playing on a one-year franchise tender, RG Davin Joseph, RT Jeremy Trueblood, DE Stylez G. White, SS Sabby Piscatelli, and FS Tanard Jackson.

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