NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers


  • FOX Sports’ Greg Auman writes the Buccaneers have a lot of work to do to get under the cap this offseason and that could include cutting players like LT Donovan Smith, RB Leonard Fournette, TE Cameron Brate, and K Ryan Succop. They’d need to find replacements, for Smith and Succop in particular, but if they hit the reset button this offseason, it’s hard to avoid. 
  • Auman adds short-term extensions for WRs Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are another way to free up space, and those are players Tampa Bay can reasonably invest more into as a part of their future. 
  • Finally, Auman notes the Buccaneers can restructure deals for DT Vita Vea and CB Carlton Davis, who are young, core players. These moves would get the Buccaneers under the cap with a little bit of wiggle room for 2023. 
  • To create more space to re-sign pending free agents or go after other players, Auman points out the team could work out extensions with veterans who would have higher dead money hits if they walked than if they stayed. He mentions LB Lavonte David and DL William Gholston specifically, though it would be contingent on both taking a smaller salary than what they played for this past season. 
  • And of course, QB Tom Brady remains a big variable in all of this. If he plays somewhere else, he counts $35 million against the cap no matter what. If he retires, the Buccaneers can split that into $11 million in 2023 and $24 million in 2024. And if he comes back to Tampa Bay, they’ll need an entirely different plan. 
  • Jason La Canfora of the Washington Post mentions that the Buccaneers could be a team to watch for Browns QB Jacoby Brissett this offseason in a bridge quarterback role.


Jason La Canfora of the Washington Post believes the Falcons stand out as a “prime destination” for Ravens QB Lamar Jackson this offseason.

“I think it’s the best fit for him and they match up for a trade,” a GM tells La Canfora.

  • La Canfora mentions that the Falcons have a top-10 pick they could use to entice the Ravens in a trade for Jackson if they’re unable to come to an agreement on a long-term deal.


Panthers’ new HC Frank Reich said his first order of business is to build his coaching staff. 

“Next on the agenda, is building the staff,” said Reich, via the team’s official Twitter. “Very excited about that. We’re committed to giving our team one of the best staffs in the NFL. Mr. Tepper’s made that clear. ‘Hey, let’s bring in the very best, Frank. Let’s bring in the very best.’ So that’ll be a methodical process. This isn’t just call up your buddies, let’s go to work.”

  • Panthers HC Frank Reich is expected to sign a four-year contract with the team on Monday. (Joe Person)
  • Carolina thought it would be “weird” offering a position to former interim HC Steve Wilks on the staff considering both he and Reich were viewed as head coaching candidates. (Person)
  • Reich had to answer questions about the revolving door of quarterbacks he had in Indianapolis, considering Carolina went through similar issues. Reich impressed the Panthers with his staffing options and what he learned from his time in Indy. (Mike Kaye)

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