NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers


Buccaneers QB Baker Mayfield had high praise of HC Todd Bowles and OC Dave Canales

“I respect Coach Bowles quite a bit, and I’ve heard nothing but good things about Dave Canales… I’ve had a few coaches that were similar philosophy-wise,” Mayfield said, via the team’s official site. 

Mayfield is excited to work with WRs Mike Evans and Chris Godwin

“They’re just straight dogs, how they play the game,” Mayfield said. “They play physical, they’re very, very smart, they have a lot of experience. I’m very excited to work with them.”

Mayfield thinks it’s important to build a successful rushing attack and have a matching play-action passing attack. 

“You have to be able to run the ball to win in this league, to sustain success,” Mayfield said. “For me, it’s very important. And when you want to have your play-action game, it’s gotta marry up with that.”


  • Falcons CB Mike Hughes‘ two-year, $7 million contract includes a $660,000 signing bonus and base salaries of $1,080,000 in 2023 and $2,570,000 in 2024. He’s owed a $660,000 roster bonus in 2023 and can annually earn $595,000 in per-game roster bonuses, via OverTheCap.
  • Ryan Fowler confirms the Falcons had a pre-draft meeting with Nebraska WR Trey Palmer.
  • According to Justin Melo, Atlanta hosted Mississippi State DL Cameron Young for an official top-30 visit. 


  • At least publicly, the Panthers aren’t tipping their hand yet about which quarterback is their favorite for the No. 1 pick. But execs from other teams tell Jason La Canfora of the Washington Post they believe owner Dave Tepper is highest on Alabama QB Bryce Young, in contrast with the coaching staff who might prefer Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud if left to make the decision completely on their own. 
  • One official from another team told La Canfora senior offensive assistant Jim Caldwell will have major input into the decision, too: “He has a huge voice in this process in Carolina. In a weird way, he might have even more say than the head coach in this decision.”
  • The team still has to go through the pre-draft process but La Canfora’s sources said Tepper’s predilections have to be taken into account, which is why it’s notable if he likes Young: “The owner is going to win that one if he falls in love with one of these kids. He’s seen enough misevaluations of the position already.”
  • NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero reports the Panthers met with Stroud on Tuesday for dinner before his pro day and plan to have another private meeting with him in Charlotte prior to the draft. 
  • Carolina’s traveling pro day contingent, which includes Tepper, also had dinner with Young Wednesday night before his pro day on Thursday. That will likely be the plan for all the top quarterbacks. (Albert Breer)
  • The Panthers have hired former Cardinals assistant coach Michael Bercovici as an offensive assistant. (Joe Person)
  • The Panthers have hired former Falcons and Chargers assistant coach Mayur Chaudhari as their new defensive assistant coach. (Mike Kaye)
  • The Panthers also retained Bobby Maffei as a defensive quality control coach, hired former Colts’ assistant to the head coach Tyler Boyles as offensive quality control coach, and hired Jamel Mutunga as an offensive assistant, who was recently a Colts’ Tony Dungy Offensive Fellow. (Kaye)

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