NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Cowboys, Dalton Schultz, Panthers


Buccaneers QB Tom Brady was retired for 40 days but came back without any rust and in great shape. He has a new teammate to throw to in WR Russell Gage and hopes the former Falcons receiver can have a big year.

“He has to have a big year,” Brady said of Gage, via Jenna Laine of ESPN. “That is a very important role for an offense that throws the ball as much as we do. … Russ, when he is out there, there is a lot of work that needs to go into the next six weeks to be ready. We’re challenged right out of the box this year. We’ve got really good teams [on our schedule].”


Cowboys TE Dalton Schultz skipped the final week of OTAs to signal unhappiness with how contract talks have gone after being franchise-tagged earlier this offseason. He does have a resource in QB Dak Prescott who went through his own protracted contract saga with Dallas. 

“I realize that I’ve gone through the things that I’ve gone through, obviously not just in life but in football as well, to help others,” Prescott said via the Athletic’s Jon Machota. “Just being able to talk to Dalton, maybe ease his mind through some of this. And just understand that I went through this process and a lot of people go through this process. He’s a guy I feel very comfortable with, I have a lot of trust with. He knows that, the team knows that, so I’m confident in that situation and I’m in his corner.”

  • Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News expects Schultz to report to mandatory minicamp which starts on Tuesday. 


After letting DE Haason Reddick walk in free agency, the Panthers could potentially look at adding another defensive end at some point before the start of the season. But they’re also looking at options already on the roster, and DC Phil Snow highlighted DE Marquis Haynes in particular. A rotational speed rusher with seven sacks the past two seasons, Haynes added 10 pounds this offseason to prepare for a bigger role after re-signing on a two-year deal. 

“What’s hurt him a little bit is his power-game rushing. He’s really a speed guy. … So I think that (added bulk) is really gonna help him, and I’m expecting him to put pressure on the quarterback,” Snow said via the Athletic’s Joe Person. “I think you’ll see him step up and his role will be more than it was a year ago.”

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