NFC SOUTH Atlanta Falcons Off-season newsmakers: LB Mike Peterson is a solid player and locker-room guy, but the Falcons said goodbye to stalwart MLB Keith Brooking and OLB Michael Boley. CB Dominique Foxworth went to Baltimore.
Needs: DB and TE.
The buzz: The Falcons have to beef up their secondary.
Carolina Panthers Offseason newsmakers: By re-signing OT Jordan Gross, the Panthers were able to put the "franchise" tag on DE Julius Peppers, who could be traded before the draft.
Needs: DL and OL.
The buzz: The Panthers need trench help, for sure, but they'd better find a quarterback of the future (present?) to stand behind Jake Delhomme.
New Orleans Saints Offseason newsmakers: The Saints took pains in waiving RB Deuce McAllister and also cut CB Mike McKenzie. DE Paul Spicer was added, and the club hopes former William and Mary S Darren Sharper still has some splash left.
Needs: CB and OLB.
The buzz: With only four picks in the draft, the Saints would be wise to trade down if the difference-making receiver or cornerback is not available.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Offseason newsmakers: Big changes at coach ( Jon Gruden, Monte Kiffin out; Raheem Morris, Jim Bates in) and in the front office (GM Bruce Allen gone). Joey Galloway, Ike Hilliard, RB Warrick Dunn and team icon Derrick Brooks are also gone. Trading for TE Kellen Winslow and signing RB Derrick Ward should add punch.
Needs: DT and DE.
The buzz: The defense needs to be reconstructed. LB Angelo Crowell will help. And who is the QB of the future?
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