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NFC South Power Rankings

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3. Carolina Panthers

The Panthers suddenly forgot that they don’t have infinite resources, and they made the quizzical move of the offseason by signing Mike Tolbert to a four-year deal. I get that they want insurance for Jonathan Stewart and would like to trade the 2013 FA, but this was a mistake. Tolbert is a nice utility back, but he doesn’t deserve four years as future insurance. But this signing is really the cause of a terrible addition to throw loads of money at DeAngelo Williams, who is a veteran, elusive back and will fall off the edge in a couple of years; I’d rather have Stewart. Tough to say what’s going on in Carolina, but they’re better than Tampa at this point.

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Bucs are the worst team in the division, but I think they are right behind the Panthers, even though it is too early to tell. Heck, you can even call it a tie, but the fact that the Panthers did better last season gives them the tie-breaker. Tampa desperately needs a linebacker, and Curtis Lofton would be the perfect antidote. Jeremy Trueblood is a liability at right tackle and the biggest weakness on an improved line that still has a poor spot at RG. In any case, the Bucs did well to add Vincent Jackson, but I will never say the same about the horrendous deal given to Eric Wright.

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Tags: Atlanta Falcons Carl Nicks Carolina Panthers Curtis Lofton DeAngelo Williams Drew Brees Dunta Robinson Eric Wright Jeremy Trueblood Jonathan Stewart Jonathan Vilma Lofa Tatupu Marques Colston Mike Tolbert New Orleans Saints NFC South Pete Carmichael Popular Robert Meachem Sam Baker Sean Payton Tampa Bay Buccaneers Trent Cole Vincent Jackson Will Smith Will Svitek