The following quotes are from NFL scouts, coaches and front-office personnel, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
• "(Panthers offensive coordinator) Rob Chudzinski is one of the brightest young coaches in football. He understands personnel. He understands schemes. And he knows how to adjust his scheme to his personnel. He's a rising star. I've been tracking him since he was at Miami — I was really impressed with him then, and he's continued to grow under some of the best in the game. I wouldn't trade our head coach for anyone, but if we needed one, he'd be the first guy I'd bring in. After what he did for Cam (Newton) this year, he'd be the first guy I'd bring in if I were in Jacksonville."
• "What are the Redskins going to do at quarterback next year? Are they going with Rex Grossman again? They have a left tackle — they don't need a mobile (quarterback). John Beck is bad. Remember, (Mike) Shanahan said he was staking his reputation on the quarterbacks they had. Everyone in D.C. is waiting for him to address that. I've been through the area and heard the talk radio — the fans want to know — how is he going to get himself out of this one? I could see Jim Haslett being the fall guy — they might blame him. It's almost like they can never score enough. If it's low scoring, they lose 17-13."
• "Cincinnati has a quarterback. They have a great receiver. The defense is playing their (butts) off. The one piece they have to think about replacing is Cedric Benson."
• "Even though (Dolphins owner) Stephen Ross is not young in age, he is a young owner. Before he jumped on a plane to go see (Jim) Harbaugh, maybe he needed someone to tell him he should not do that. Even though you are hearing things, you can't just go jump on an airplane. You called the agent and now you lost all leverage. What Ross needs is a mentor of sorts if that makes sense. That's where Carl Peterson could really help Ross. They are friends — Carl can talk to him and tell him what he needs to hear."
• "The 49ers have as much depth on their offensive line as any team in football. There are teams that do not have a single (starting-caliber offensive) tackle on the roster. (The Niners) have four-plus depending on how you classify Adam Snyder."
• "Marty Schottenheimer and Bill Cowher were so close — I don't see any way Cowher goes to San Diego with (GM) A.J. Smith there. The question I'm sure Bill is asking himself — and he is a smart guy — does he want to take it up to level 10 again? I'm not sure he does. I think he is smart enough to know (that) to be successful, he has to be at level 10. You have to really work at it. I think he can be honest with himself looking at the two situations. He's got a nice, 20-week gig going and gets to enjoy life. You look at having to grind it and get grilled by the media all year long — I'm not sure he wants to work that hard again."
• "When it comes to understanding contracts and knowing when to tie guys up and lock up talent, (Chargers GM) A.J. Smith may be the worst in the NFL. He screwed up with Drew Brees and had zero leverage. Is it ironic that when Brees set the NFL passing record, he threw it to (Darren) Sproles? Sproles set the all-time (all-purpose) yardage record this week. How many yards has Michael Turner rushed for in Atlanta? (The Chargers) got in a pissing match over a few thousand dollars with Kassim Osgood last year — and then they lose three games on special teams in the first five weeks. He's a Pro Bowl special-teamer. You think that didn't hurt? I don't know that it is all A.J. — there are financial pressures in the building - but to let so many guys walk out the door for free is awful management. You've got to take care of your own."