NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers


  • The Athletic’s Greg Auman points out that DT Ndamukong Suh is representing himself as an agent and he and his wife are expecting twins this month, which could be why negotiations with the Buccaneers are moving slowly. 
  • Buccaneers TE Rob Gronkowski confirmed he flirted with the Bills and some other teams in free agency but ultimately coming back to Tampa Bay was important to him: “There was a little extent to that … There were a couple other teams also. But just overall I wanted to be back with the Buccaneers organization. … I knew I wanted to come back.” (Ben Volin)
  • Gronkowski is still taking things one year at a time but he added his body feels terrific and he feels ready to play a full season right now: “I feel really good right now. I feel light. I feel flexible … I definitely feel like I’m ready to go.” (Auman)


  • The Athletic’s Tori McElhaney writes that after restructuring QB Matt Ryan, it’s more likely the Falcons trade down and grab a quarterback at the end of the first or beginning of the second round than use the No. 4 pick on a signal caller. 
  • McElhaney expects the Falcons to address running back in the draft and would be surprised if they re-sign RB Todd Gurley
  • She also mentions that it’s possible 2021 is Falcons WR Julio Jones‘ last season in Atlanta and a trade could be a possibility in 2022. 
  • On the offensive line, McElhaney says the right side is locked down with RT Kaleb McGary and G Chris Lindstrom. 2020 third-rounder Matt Hennessy will step into the vacancy at center left by Alex Mack and Matt Gono is currently penciled in at left guard. 
  • However, McElhaney says if the Falcons find another left tackle they could kick current LT Jake Matthews inside to guard. 
  • McElhaney mentions the door is still open for Falcons DT Grady Jarrett to sign an extension as a way to lower his cap hit. Atlanta is also counting on 2020 second-round DL Marlon Davidson stepping into a larger role in 2021. 
  • McElhaney expects edge rusher and safety to be priorities for the Falcons in the draft. They could also use a veteran corner as they’re young at the position. 
  • West Virginia DT Darius Stills has added the Falcons to the list of teams he’s met with virtually. (Justin Melo)  


  • The Athletic’s Joe Person writes the Panthers’ free agency shopping list still includes a cornerback and defensive tackle. He adds the Panthers are also interested in adding a bigger back at some point to complement Christian McCaffrey.
  • The two-year, $6 million deal the Panthers gave TE Dan Arnold vaults him to the top of the depth chart and indicates how Carolina feels about TE Ian Thomas, according to Person. He adds Arnold isn’t much of a blocker so the Panthers will be looking for help at tight end still. 
  • Person says the Panthers were never actually in on CB Kyle Fuller, who signed with the Broncos after being cut by the Bears. 

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