Home Buccaneers NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers

NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers


  • The Athletic’s Greg Auman writes Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin is likely looking at a massive deal in excess of $16 or $18 million a year if he reaches free agency this coming offseason. While Tampa Bay already has WR Mike Evans at $16 million a season, Auman notes it could be worth it still to keep Godwin at that number to maximize the remaining years of Tom Brady‘s career. 
  • Auman believes Buccaneers CB Carlton Davis is a strong candidate to be franchise tagged at around $17 million for 2022 to keep him in the fold for another year. That would allow Tampa Bay to make a decision on all three starting corners in 2023. 
  • Auman points out the Buccaneers drafted OL Robert Hainsey in the third round this year and have given him some work at center, so they have an alternative if they decide not to re-sign C Ryan Jensen at what will probably be at least $10 million a year. 
  • As for veteran OLB Jason Pierre-Paul, Auman says the Buccaneers already spent a first-round pick on a replacement in OLB Joe Tryon-Shoyinka.
  • Auman expects Buccaneers RB Leonard Fournette to have a much stronger free-agent market than he did last season, so it comes down to if he wants to leave money on the table to stay in Tampa Bay. 
  • Auman notes it’s hard to gauge how much G Alex Cappa could make on the open market. It could be anywhere from $7 to $11 million a year, so the Bucs might not be able to afford him when considering the other moves they need to make.
  • He adds S Jordan Whitehead, TE O.J. Howard and RB Ronald Jones seem likely to land elsewhere.  
  • Buccaneers OC Byron Leftwich refused to answer questions about the Jaguars’ head coaching vacancy and added that he is focused on winning the NFC South: “I’m trying to win the division.” (Jenna Laine)


Since an embarrassing drubbing at the hands of the Cowboys, the Falcons defense has stepped up noticeably the past few weeks, especially in Week 14’s win against the Panthers with three turnovers and a defensive score. Falcons HC Arthur Smith suggested things could be even better going forward, specifically in Year 2 under DC Dean Pees, who had to slow things down earlier this season after installing just 30 percent of his infamously complicated playbook. 

“We’re not going to force things that maybe not fit our current personnel, and that’s not a knock on anybody,” Smith said via ESPN’s Michael Rothstein. “It’s just the way it goes. You’re constantly evaluating that.”


  • Panthers OC Jeff Nixon said as Cam Newton continues to learn their offense, it may enable them to deploy him during the two-minute offense which backup QB P.J. Walker understands better at the moment now. (David Newton)
  • As for splitting reps with Walker, Newton said that he is approaching the situation professionally and not allowing any distractions: “You’ve just got to be a professional. Don’t allow it to be a distraction, no matter what it is.” (Joseph Person)

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