NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers


It’s natural for great competitors to look for new challenges, and that’s apparently part of what spurred Buccaneers QB Tom Brady to leave the Patriots after 20 years. The natural speculation is that Brady wanted to prove he could be successful apart from Patriots HC Bill Belichick, and Buccaneers HC Bruce Arians didn’t necessarily disagree. 

“I think his competitive spirit is so strong that he wanted to do it,” Arians said on Inside The NFL, via “He wanted to show people. I’ve never said anything bad about Bill Belichick; I know everybody tries to say I do. His record speaks for itself. He is probably the greatest one ever. But I think he wanted to try a different way.”

  • Arians notes that the ability to legitimately compete for a Super Bowl again is going to help Tampa Bay retain some free agents like DT Ndamukong Suh and TE Rob Gronkowski, but not more than money will: “I don’t think it’ll trump it much. Hopefully, we can keep them within the framework of the team. I know they both want to be back.” (Greg Auman)
  • Arians said he feels good about the chances of the Buccaneers being able to give WR Chris Godwin a fair offer and for him to stay: “He loves it here. It’s hard to leave and go to another system just for money. But it’s not bad paying two No. 1 receivers, that’s for sure, when they’re as good as our two No. 1s.” (Auman)
  • Buccaneers S Jordan Whitehead, CB Carlton Davis and G Alex Cappa will have higher than anticipated raises through the Proven Performance Escalator, with Whitehead and Davis’ 2021 base salary increasing to $2.43 million and Cappa’s going to $2.18 million. All told, the three will count for $4.12 million more in 2021 than they were originally scheduled for. (Auman)
  • Brady will also count an additional $3.375 million in 2021 and WR Antonio Brown an additional $750,000 due to hitting incentives in their contracts. (Auman)



  • Adam Caplan confirmed the Panthers were not interested in trading for Eagles QB Carson Wentz
  • The Athletic’s Joe Person highlights Browns TE David Njoku as someone the Panthers could be interested in trading for, as he’s just 24, is a former first-round pick and was recruited by HC Matt Rhule when he was at Temple.
  • Other options for additions include Giants G Kevin Zeitler or Falcons G James Carpenter if they’re released by their current teams to cut costs. Carpenter was drafted by new GM Scott Fitterer with the Seahawks actually. 
  • Other players with Seahawks connections like DT Jarran Reed or Bills DL Quinton Jefferson could also be options if they become available. 
  • Charleston WR Mike Strachan had a virtual meeting with the Panthers. (Justin Melo)

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