NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers, Robbie Anderson, Sam Darnold


  • The Athletic’s Greg Auman notes the Buccaneers are projected to be well over $50 million in the red in terms of their cap situation in 2023, which will necessitate some creativity to manage. 
  • What happens with QB Tom Brady will be the biggest domino in Tampa Bay’s 2023 offseason, per Auman. If he retires again and stays retired, they can push the majority of his $35.1 million dead money hit out to 2024. However, if he decides he wants to sign with another team, the Bucs will have to find a replacement while dealing with the full dead money hit in 2023. 
  • Auman adds it makes sense to treat 2022 as potentially the last year in Tampa Bay for LB Lavonte David too, as he’s entering a contract year, will be 33 next January and dealt with injuries this past season. 
  • The Buccaneers will also have to figure out which young secondary players drafted in 2019 they’ll be able to retain, as Auman points out CB Jamel Dean, S Mike Edwards and CB Sean Murphy-Bunting will all be in contract years. Veteran additions like Logan Ryan and Keanu Neal also are on just one-year deals. 
  • He adds there are a number of key players on one-year deals on the defensive line, including DT Akiem Hicks, DL William Gholston and DL Rakeem Nunez-Roches
  • Auman mentions role players or borderline starters like WR Scotty Miller and OLB Anthony Nelson could end up playing well and leaving in 2023 for more money and bigger roles elsewhere. 


Falcons RB coach Michael Pitre called recently signed RB Damien Williams a “leader” and thinks he has a versatile skill set. 

“He has that experience. There aren’t a lot of looks or things you can show him that he hasn’t experienced during his time in the league. He’s a leader. He’s extremely hard-working. He’s a good teammate who is going to encourage and push the group with standards and expectations that we’re looking for. He’s a guy who loves to compete. He’s a versatile talent with a skill set that will allow Arthur Smith and Dave Ragone to use him in creative ways. He’s a weapon that can keep teams off balance,” said Pitre, via Scott Bair of the team’s official site.


Panthers WR Robbie Anderson spoke about his previous tweet in defense of Sam Darnold following the initial report of the organization being interested in Baker Mayfield

“What I was doing, that was in defense of Sam, you know what I’m saying?” Anderson said, via the I AM ATHLETE podcast. “Because I feel like, at the end of the day, me and Sam do have chemistry, but it’s like I gotta start all over again, you know what I’m saying? It wasn’t no disrespect to him. It was really in defense of who my quarterback is right now.”

Anderson feels that Darnold’s development was impeded by his time with the New York Jets after being thrown right into the starting role. 

“I will say this with Sam though. I feel like his development was all messed up coming into the league,” Anderson said. “Look at (Patrick Mahomes), look at Lamar (Jackson), they didn’t play right away. I don’t feel like Sam should’ve played right away. I feel like his career got jumpstarted the wrong way. I feel, being in the building, the coaches, I was there, you know what I’m saying? It was all, it wasn’t right. So, in his defense, I don’t feel like he was developed 100 percent correctly.”

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