Southbound and Up: The Top 10 Offseason Moves In The NFC South

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Southbound and Up: The Top 10 Offseason Moves In The NFC South
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

2010 is a big season for the NFC South.

On one end are the defending Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints, who return 20 of their 22 starters and are poised to make a run at back-to-back Lombardi Trophies.

On the other end are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, now entering year two of a post-Gruden rebuilding phase and with seemingly nowhere to go but up.

And, in between, you have the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers looking to return to the playoffs after a season away.

All in all, you have four teams who have made dozens of personnel moves, draft picks, and front office shake-ups over the last six months.

In the pages that follow are perhaps the 10 biggest moves, and I say perhaps because of a couple caveats.

Firstly, none of the next 10 slides will say “Team X drafted Player Y.” Seriously, if Tampa Bay didn’t think Gerald McCoy would make an impact, they wouldn’t have drafted him at No. 3, right?

So while McCoy, Brian Price, Sean Weatherspoon and the like could be huge for their new teams, I can’t count drafting (either for need or talent) as a key move.

Secondly, any “re-signed” free agents won’t be included, as that says more of “maintaining the status quo” than acquisition.

And finally, any “lost” free agents won’t be there, as whether the loss was due to money, the player simply wanting to go somewhere else, or any other reason, so you can’t fault the team for a situation that was at least partially out of their hands.

So with that, let’s take a look at those moves that will make the most waves in the South.

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