NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers


  • Buccaneers HC Bruce Arians isn’t worried about the lack of participation at OTAs, and said he is focused on developing younger players: “The guys that need to be here are here.” (Greg Auman)
  • Arians did say he prefers QB Tom Brady and other veterans work out with the team: “Last year was so different because of the pandemic. This year they can be here. Like is said, they wouldn’t be practicing but they could be working on this field. I’d love to see them all out here together.” (Rick Stroud)
  • Brady and a number of veterans are working away from the team facility at a nearby location to make a point about OTAs, which potentially opens them up to off-site injuries that would count as non-football injuries. (Auman)
  • Regarding Brady’s knee operation earlier this offseason, Arians said the quarterback described that he is “the best he has felt” since undergoing surgery: “He felt great yesterday. I talked to him this morning and he said it’s the best he has felt.” (ProFootballTalk)
  • Buccaneers WR Antonio Brown‘s one-year, $3,075,000 deal includes a $2 million signing bonus and a $1.1 million base salary. (Field Yates)
  • He can receive $900,000 in per-game roster bonuses, a $333,333 incentive for 50 receptions and another $333,334 for 70 receptions, $333,333 for 600 yards, $333,334 for 800 yards, $333,333 for five touchdowns, $333,333 for seven touchdowns. He can also earn $250,000 for 45 percent playing time and being active for a Super Bowl win. 
  • Buccaneers CB Herb Miller tweaked his hamstring a few weeks ago and did not participate in Monday’s OTAs. (Auman)
  • Auman adds Miller is expected to be ready for training camp and is competing for the fifth cornerback role. 


  • ESPN’s Jeff Darlington says the Falcons have more than one team interested in a potential trade for WR Julio Jones, which means a first-round pick might not necessarily be out of the question as compensation. 
  • A source told the Athletic’s Jeff Schultz that Jones’ comments on TV wounded owner Arthur Blank, who previously talked about wanting Jones to be a Falcons for life: “You know who’s most upset about that? The owner.”
  • Schultz adds cracks developed in the relationship between the team and Jones as a result of negotiations for his most recent contract in 2019. They were contentious and Schultz said neither side was really happy with the outcome, which was a three-year, $66 million deal that was mostly guaranteed. 
  • Jones wanted a new deal a year earlier in 2018 but the Falcons were hesitant to acquiesce at first since Jones still had three years left on his deal. They ultimately did a contract adjustment instead but that caused stress in the relationship that didn’t go away and was exacerbated by the losing. (Schultz)
  • Atlanta had already budgeted to do a new deal for Jones in 2019 and doing things a year early had ripple effects on a rough cap situation and with creating resentment in the relationship. (Schultz)
  • Falcons third-round OL Jalen Mayfield worked at left guard at OTAs with the other rookies but Josh Andrews filled that spot with the first-team unit. (Schultz)


Panthers’ RB Christian McCaffrey vows not to take football for granted ever again after being held back by injuries during 2020.

“It feels really good,” McCaffrey said, via Darin Gantt of “Just putting the helmet on again and being with my teammates, doing what I love to do, it’s something I’ll never take for granted again. I’m super happy to be back. It’s just fun. It’s fun to be back on the field playing football. I’m thankful that we can be back here and get together in a semi-normal capacity and play the game we love.”

After a high-ankle sprain in Week 2 cost him six games, McCaffrey returned in Week 9 only to hurt his shoulder. He later attempted to return in Week 14 before injuring his quad.

“It happens. Injuries happen. It’s part of the game,” McCaffrey said. “I’m really focused on this year and extremely excited about what this team can do this year.”

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