NFC Notes: 49ers, Giants, Panthers, Saints

49ers

  • Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee writes that the 49ers have fewer positions of need than some other teams around the NFL leading into free agency, given that WR Pierre Garcon, FS Jimmie Ward, S Jacquiski Tartt, and LB Malcolm Smith are all expected to be completely recovered from injuries that landed them on the injured reserve.
  • According to Barrows, the word among NFL agents is that the 49ers will pursue a cornerback in free agency.
  • Barrows insists that the 49ers are “content” with LB Eli Harold at the Sam linebacker spot, though he mentions they thought about playing him at Leo as the season wound down.
  • 49ers’ sixth-round LB Pita Taumoepenu may receive an opportunity as the Sam linebacker during the offseason program.

Giants

  • Jordan Raanan of ESPN writes that the there likely won’t be enough room for the Giants to re-sign impending free agent QB Geno Smith, given the team still has QBs Eli Manning and Davis Webb under contract.
  • As for free agent OL Justin Pugh, Raanan expects the lineman to have plenty of interest this offseason and thinks it will cost the Giants a lot to re-sign him.
  • Raanen believes Giants C Weston Richburg will receive better offers on the open market than what New York could provide him.
  • As for some guys the Giants could consider re-signing, Raanan lists LB Kelvin Sheppard, LB Devon Kennard and WR Tavarres King.
  • Regarding restricted free agent C Brett Jones, Raanan believes the center will likely be retained at close to $2 million annually.
  • Raanan also expects exclusive rights free agents DT Robert Thomas, OL Jon Halapio, and TE Ryan O’Malley to return.

Panthers

Panthers WR Curtis Samuel announced Wednesday that he needed surgery to repair both a broken bone and ligament damage to his injured ankle.

This is a big injury. He had ligament (damage) and a broken bone,” assistant athletic trainer Kevin King said, via Panthers.com. “There are multiple parts to his ankle injury. He’s working his way through the process.”

“I’ve had a chance to be around him and know him,” King added. “I had confidence that he was going to be able to get through this. He has great support outside of here with his mother and sister (in Charlotte) with him. That helps.

“He’s shown that he’s compliant and committed to whatever it takes to get better. And he’s still thinking about football and engaged with football. You see some individuals that have trauma like this and they’re taken away from the game – they don’t want to watch football, they don’t want to talk about football. He’s still very much engaged with the game.”

Saints

  • According to Joel Corry, $3.4M of Saints TE Coby Fleener’s $6.3M 2018 base salary officially became fully guaranteed Wednesday.