NFL owners approved a new realignment for the 2002 season Wednesday, one that shifts only one team. Seattle will move from the AFC to the NFC West along with San Francisco, St. Louis and Arizona.
The 32-team league has been divided into 8-four team divisions. The New Orleans Saints will be members of the NFC South Division... consisting of the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Bucs. That leaves three members of the NFC West Division intact in the new South Division beginning play in 2002.
NFC SOUTH DIVISION (2002 SEASON)
- NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
- ATLANTA FALCONS
- CAROLINA PANTHERS
- TAMPA BAY BUCS
The last realignment which took place in 1970 was difficult because three teams had to move from the NFL to the AFL. This latest change was based primarily on geography. The new Houston franchise will be in the AFC South along with Indianapolis, Jacksonville and Tennessee.