We've been hearing the following whispers from our sources around the NFC South:
• RB Pierre Thomas was placed on injured reserve Jan. 5 after aggravating an ankle injury in practice leading up to Week 17. It was the same ankle injury that sidelined him for more than half of the season. He's due to become a free agent this offseason, and while the Saints have interest in re-signing him, we hear they're not prepared to go all out to bring him back if another team makes a high bid on Thomas. We're told the rift between him and head coach Sean Payton that reportedly emerged while Thomas was sitting out with his injury around the middle of the season is not something that will play a significant role in the team's decision on Thomas this offseason.
• One Buccaneers assistant coach who will undergo a particularly thorough review this offseason is Todd Wash, who just completed his first season as the team's defensive line coach. He coached the defensive ends in '09. The Bucs invested their top two draft picks in defensive tackles in 2010, and it's expected that they'll spend at least one early pick on a defensive end this year. Wash's contract is set to expire early this offseason, and he won't be re-signed if the Bucs have any doubts about his ability to develop the young talent they're collecting up front on "D."
• Falcons director of player personnel Les Snead reportedly interviewed with the 49ers for their GM vacancy before they hired Trent Baalke, and while Snead may not get an opportunity to move up the ranks this year — no other teams were known to be pursuing a general manager as of this writing — he could draw serious consideration for a promotion to a GM position in the near future. Snead received an endorsement from Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff this week. "(Snead is) going to have opportunities," Dimitroff told PFW. "He's a very adept personnel man."