NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers


Buccaneers QB Tom Brady said he is recovering nicely from last month’s knee surgery.

“I feel pretty good, and I push myself pretty hard,” Brady said via Jenna Laine. “I feel pretty good. I don’t know if I could go this week, but we’ll see how things play out. It’s a long time between now and the beginning of the season, and just be smart about all these different things that we have to do and fulfill; but we all take a lot of pride in being ready to go, and I’m sure we will be.”

“It’s good, it’s good. It’s good progress. It’s rehab. None of that is fun, but looking forward to getting back to real training and stuff, which is hopefully here pretty soon. … I’m cool with it. It’s just part of what you deal with. Things come up. You deal with them the best way you can, with the best opportunity to improve. I’m definitely feeling a lot better than I did six or seven weeks ago.”

  • According to Laine, Brady had been planning to have that surgery for “several months.”
  • Brady said he is “excited to work with” new RB Giovani Bernard. (Greg Auman
  • Buccaneers OLB Jason Pierre-Paul says he’s about “85-90 percent”t back from his knee surgery and is hopeful he’ll be able to play at a higher level in 2021 after the injury bothered him all last season. (Auman)


  • NBC Sports’ Peter King says he’s heard Falcons owner Arthur Blank is fascinated by the quarterbacks at the top of the draft this year and is leaning that way, as the thought is Atlanta ideally isn’t picking this high for a while. 
  • However, King adds Blank won’t overrule GM Terry Fontenot or HC Arthur Smith and has empowered them to make the decision. King relays that Smith likes the rookie class of quarterbacks but he also likes Falcons QB Matt Ryan, who will be 36 this year and should still have some years of productivity remaining. 
  • King notes he’s heard varying things about what Fontenot’s preferences may be, but he thinks he would prefer to trade down for a big haul of draft picks. 
  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer writes that lots of teams think the Falcons are going to hold on to the No. 4 pick and take Florida TE Kyle Pitts
  • Breer adds the asking price for the No. 4 pick in a trade has been high, as expected given what the Dolphins got to move down from No. 3. 
  • Tom Pelissero said Falcons QB coach Charles London, passing game specialist T.J. Yates and assistant college scouting director Dwaune Jones attended North Dakota St. QB Trey Lance‘s second pro day.
  • Pelissero adds Fontenot, Smith and OC Dave Ragone were at Lance’s first pro day in March, which is why they opted to send a different group to the second workout. 


  • NBC Sports’ Peter King says it’s a good bet that the Panthers will try to add more picks than the seven they currently hold by trading down. 
  • Kings adds the Panthers could potentially get a future pick for QB Teddy Bridgewater from the Broncos if they’re willing to eat most of Bridgewater’s salary. 
  • The Athletic’s Joe Person points out the Seahawks regularly traded down while new Panthers GM Scott Fitterer was with them, so he could bring that philosophy to Carolina. However, Seattle was generally picking in the back half of the first round, not the top ten. 

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