NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Baker Mayfield, Falcons, Jamaal Williams, Saints


  • Buccaneers QB Baker Mayfield on choosing to sign with the team: “It was important for me to be in a place that’s stable and knows how to win and do it properly. You know, I’ve gotten to see different things from my journey. That is not exactly how I drew it up, but it’s helped along the way.” (Greg Auman)
  • Mayfield on filling the shoes left behind by QB Tom Brady: “Listen, I’m never gonna be Tom Brady. There’s a reason he’s won so many Super Bowls. He’s the greatest of all time. There’s no doubt about that. I’m not gonna try to be Tom. I’m gonna be me. That’s what’s gotten me to this point…” (Jenna Laine)
  • Mayfield on if he was humbled by how things turned out for him last season: “I wouldn’t say that the last year really humbled me. I learned a lot from it. I still believed in myself like that’s the only way I was able to, to get through it and finish on somewhat of a high note like real life….and, yeah, I’m thankful for all the experience to have gone through and that’s what’s gotten me here so ready for the next chapter.” (Rick Stroud)


  • The Athletic’s Josh Kendall notes Georgia DT Jalen Carter‘s pro day did nothing to ease the work ethic concerns some in NFL circles have about him. It’s looking increasingly likely that he’ll be available at No. 8 when the Falcons pick but Kendall believes it’s doubtful the Falcons are willing to take on the risk. 
  • Pass rusher remains the top need for the Falcons and Kendall says the team could address that in the draft. However, he adds a dark horse name to watch is DE Yannick Ngakoue, who remains unsigned. 
  • Per Aaron Wilson, the Falcons’ new deal with CB Cornell Armstrong is for one year, $1.232 million, and includes a $152,500 signing bonus and salary of $1.08 million.
  • According to Mike Garafolo, the Falcons’ deal with WR Mack Hollins is for one year at $2.5 million and includes a $910,000 signing bonus.


Saints RB Jamaal Williams decided to sign with New Orleans after receiving an offer from his former team that he felt insulted by, which may come as a shock considering the big season Williams had with the Lions in 2022.

“They been done with me. I could tell,” Williams told Justin Rogers of the Detroit News. “The offer they gave me I feel like was very just disrespectful and just showing that they really didn’t want me to be there like that. But it’s all love. I know my teammates, everybody there at the Detroit Lions has a love for me and all that, but at the same time, it’s just we couldn’t come to terms on things. It’s just funny is all.”

“You can have the greatest season of your life and people are always just going to find something to be negative about,” Williams added. “I don’t really worry about it, because at the end of the day, I know I’m my biggest critic and I know what I can improve on to be better. I’m just going to keep doing that. I don’t really worry about what other people say. I take notice to it, just to have it in the area and be aware of my surroundings, but I don’t really let it affect me as a person.”

Williams said that he is taking the poor offer personally and will use it as fuel to build off of his season in Detroit. He also spoke about his surprise at joining the Saints and what he is looking forward to in New Orleans.

“Well, I do take it personally, because I take it as a personal challenge for me, just to get better,” Williams said. “At the end of the day, I just like proving people wrong. You think you know me. You don’t know me. I will show you.”

“I just liked the team,” Williams noted. “Honestly, it kind of came out of nowhere, but at the same time, I just loved how they had an interest in me and showed they wanted me to be here. Honestly, I’m just proud to be part of a great team like this. A lot of vets on it. A team that has a lot of players that know what playoffs is, what winning a Super Bowl is. I’m just grateful to be here and be part of a team that already knows how to win and knows what to do.”

  • Per Aaron Wilson, the Saints’ deal with DT Khalen Saunders is for three years at $12.3 million and includes $6.6 million guaranteed and a $3.5 million signing bonus. The contract also includes a $1.45 million sacks and playtime base escalator for 2024.

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