NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers, Saints


  • CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora writes the Buccaneers tend to do a good job of re-signing free agents they view as high priorities and they absolutely see C Ryan Jensen in that light. 
  • Regarding Washington recently acquiring Carson Wentz, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times writes Tampa Bay did not consider Wentz a “big upgrade” from QBs Blaine Gabbert, Kyle Trask or other potential free agents. 
  • The Athletic’s Greg Auman believes Buccaneers RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn is “in the mix” to compete with a 2022 draft pick or an inexpensive veteran for a roster spot. He specifically mentions Texans RB David Johnson, who could reunite with HC Bruce Arians as a pass-catching back. 
  • Auman thinks there’s a good chance the Buccaneers let all three of RBs Leonard Fournette, Ronald Jones and Giovani Bernard go in free agency. 



  • According to the Athletic’s Joe Person, the Panthers had conversations with the Seahawks about a trade for QB Russell Wilson. However, he preferred to play for the Broncos and Seattle wanted to get him out of the NFC. 
  • Person adds the Panthers are continuing to monitor the situation involving Texans QB Deshaun Watson. There is a grand jury hearing in the criminal case against him on Friday. 
  • Other options include a trade for 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo or signing Bills QB Mitchell Trubisky. Person says the Panthers would be interested in Raiders QB Derek Carr if he comes available but that seems like a pipe dream now. 
  • NFL Media’s Cameron Wolfe reports Carolina is also considering drafting a quarterback with the No. 6 pick or in a trade down, and highlights Liberty’s Malik Willis as someone the team likes a lot. 
  • Wolfe adds Carolina is obviously still very interested in trading for Watson if the potential criminal cases are resolved. 
  • Two other GMs told CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora they think there’s a real chance the Panthers trade RB Christian McCaffrey this offseason. The Bills are a potential landing spot that comes up. 
  • Panthers TE Ian Thomas‘ three-year, $16.5 million deal includes $8 million in total guarantees, including a $5 million signing bonus. Thomas has base salaries of $1.035 million, $3.165 million and $5.05 million, with his 2022 base salary and $1.965 million of his 2023 base guaranteed. (Over The Cap)
  • Thomas has a $1.5 million roster bonus due on the fifth day of the 2023 league year. There are also per-game roster bonuses totaling $300,000 in each season and an annual $100,000 workout bonus. 


  • According to NFL Media’s Jane Slater, re-signing QB Jameis Winston is “still at the top of the list” for the Saints in regards to their potential plans at quarterback.
  • Slater adds New Orleans is also looking to the 2022 NFL Draft and could be eying Pittsburgh QB Kenny Pickett. The Saints are also still monitoring Texans QB Deshaun Watson‘s legal situation, while a “wildcard” could be Bills free-agent QB Mitchell Trubisky.
  • According to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora, 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo successfully underwent shoulder surgery this week and no trade appears imminent. However, several organizations are “probing around” and the Colts, Steelers, and Saints could be teams to watch. 
  • Billy Embody reports that the Saints are hiring former NFL CB Sterling Moore as a defensive assistant.

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