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NFC Notes: 49ers, Cowboys, Falcons, Panthers

49ers

During an appearance on FSI Thursday, 49ers GM John Lynch explained that their focus in next year’s draft will be surround QB Jimmy Garoppolo will talent and continue building the team around him.

“It frees you up in the draft to go looking for other needs and build your team around him,” Lynch said of having Garoppolo in as the team’s starter, via Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk.

Lynch stressed that they’re hoping to keep Garoppolo, who is in line to be an unrestricted free agent after this season, in place as their quarterback for the foreseeable future.

I know he loves it here. I know we want him to be part of our future for a long, long time,” Lynch said.

We have Garoppolo featured in our Top 25 – 2018 NFL Free Agents list.

Cowboys

  • Cowboys LB Anthony Hitchens (left knee injury) told reporters that while he didn’t practice Thursday, he’s planning to play against the Seahawks this weekend. (Brandon George)
  • Hitchens added that he hasn’t sprinted yet, but he also isn’t experiencing any pain.

Falcons

  • Falcons HC Dan Quinn told reporters on Thursday that RB Tevin Coleman has cleared the concussion protocol. (Kelsey Conway)
  • Falcons WR Julio Jones (ankle) did not practice on Thursday. However, Jones (ankle, thumb) said he’ll “fine” for Week 16’s game against the Saints. (Vaughn McClure)

Panthers

  • NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart said the league will hire an outside counsel to conduct the investigation into Panthers owner Jerry Richardson‘s workplace conduct rather than use own staff investigators. (Lindsay Jones)
  • Lockhart said specifically: “We expect full cooperation (from Panthers). … And failure to cooperate has its own set of consequences and potential discipline.” (Joe Person)
  • Lockhart said that he does not expect a new owner to move the Panthers out of Charlotte. (Joe Person)

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