NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers

Buccaneers

Buccaneers’ veteran TE Rob Gronkowski said he plans on continuing his career next season. 

  • The Buccaneers had a virtual predraft meeting with UCLA RB/WR Demetric Felton. (Justin Melo)  
  • Michael Giardi believes other teams who are in need of a veteran tight end on a short-term deal for around $10 million per season should inquire about Buccaneers’ TE Rob Gronkowski.
  • Ian Rapoport says that the Bucs have to clear some cap space in order to retain LB Shaquil Barrett, but adds that he would be surprised if he were to leave Tampa Bay.
  • According to Rapoport, the Bucs and QB Tom Brady are looking at a one-year extension so they can gain some of the cap space needed for notable players such as Barrett, TE Rob Gronkowski, or WR Antonio Brown.

Falcons

Falkcons’ new GM Terry Fontenot said attending Pro Days are increasingly important without an NFL Combine this offseason. 

“So, it’s important to get in there even though you won’t be able to put your hands on them like you (used to), and you’re not going to have the full access,” Fontenot said, Tori McElhaney of The Athletic. “It’s going to be limited, but still, it’s really good to get in those buildings and see those players in-person.”

Fontenot added that film-study will be another important factor in the evaluation process of prospects in the 2021 NFL Draft. 

“It’s like, ‘Hey, what’s the right way to do this?’ because the coaches like to watch film with the players, so we need to find the most efficient way to do it,” Fontenot said.

Panthers

Panthers GM Scott Fitterer said he’s confronted the elephant in the room with QB Teddy Bridgewater, who most believe Carolina will try and move on from this offseason if the opportunity presents itself to upgrade. It’s an awkward situation, as there’s a realistic scenario where Bridgewater is back starting in 2021. Though Bridgewater caused a stir when he unfollowed the team on social media, Fitterer is confident there won’t be any issues. 

“He’s a total pro,” Fitterer said via the Athletic’s Joe Person. “He’s been through a lot in his career. He’s been through injuries. He’s been the backup. He’s been the starter. He’s a guy that handles it all with total class. We had a good conversation, an honest conversation. We were just very upfront about what was going on.”

“No matter what we throw at Teddy, there’s not a better guy on this team than Teddy Bridgewater,” Panthers HC Matt Rhule added. “So I have no concerns about anything character-wise with him at all — one bit, with anything that happens.”

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