NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers


  • Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk believes one reason the Buccaneers have yet to cut WR Antonio Brown is that another team could pick him up such as the Chiefs, Packers, or Rams.
  • Florio adds that while any dysfunctional situation involving Brown is temporary, a Super Bowl lasts a lifetime and he has proven himself a capable performer in the big game.
  • Brown did not appear at practice on Wednesday with the rest of the team. (Rick Stroud)
  • Bucs HC Bruce Arians reiterates that Brown is not part of the team, adding that the front office working out how to officially handle the transaction. (Greg Auman)
  • Arians also said that RB Ronald Jones is dealing with an ankle injury but could still possibly play on Sunday despite being in a walking boot. (Auman)
  • Arians noted there was “no discussion” between Brown and himself regarding an ankle injury during Week 17’s game. (Chris Torello)
  • Tampa Bay brought in WR Austin Watkins and K Brandon Wright for workouts on Tuesday. (Aaron Wilson)


  • Falcons QB Matt Ryan is hoping to have RB Cordarrelle Patterson back next season: “As a teammate, we hope he is back… but we understand this is a business. He has obviously meant a lot to this team in 2021 and I’d love to see him back.” (Tori McElhaney)


  • ESPN’s Dan Graziano and Jeremy Fowler write that if they had to bet the Panthers will retain HC Matt Rhule but they’re not 100 percent sure and it wouldn’t be a surprise necessarily if New York moved on. 
  • Fowler adds Panthers owner David Tepper hasn’t tipped his hand one way or the other, while there’s a sense Rhule wouldn’t be disappointed to go back to coaching college football either. 
  • Rhule said QB Sam Darnold would start at quarterback for the team in Week 18. (David Newton)
  • Rhule revealed CB Donte Jackson did have groin surgery that will require a six-week recovery time. (Newton)
  • As for the injury to second-round WR Terrace Marshall, Rhule says it was a foot stress reaction that happened over time. (Joe Person)
  • Panthers LB Haason Reddick on the possibility of returning to Carolina in 2022: “I don’t know what’s going to happen. I’ll let my agent and Scott [Fitterer] deal with that. But I said it before, definitely love to be back.’’ (Newton)

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