NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers, Saints


  • The Athletic’s Jeff Howe mentions a source told him it’s becoming increasingly harder for Buccaneers QB Tom Brady to mentally recharge the past couple of seasons, which is why he flirted so seriously with retirement this year. 


  • Falcons OL Chris Lindstrom wants a contract extension with the team and says he plans to stay in Atlanta for a long time. (Michael Rothstein)
  • Lindstrom added he doesn’t expect RT Kaleb McGary to change his attitude after not having his fifth-year option picked up: “I love Kaleb. I’m so impressed with him and the way he has come and worked this offseason and how great he looks. I’m super excited for him to go out there and show that.” (Josh Kendall)
  • Falcons WR Cordarrelle Patterson said he plans to return kicks this year in an attempt to get his ninth career return touchdown, breaking the all-time record. Afterward, he says he will stop returning kicks if the team wants him to. (Rothstein)
  • The Atlanta Falcons tried out DB Demarkus Acy, DB Cortez Davis and DB Troy Pride. (Aaron Wilson)


  • The Athletic’s Joe Person notes Panthers OL Pat Elflein took slightly more first-team reps at center than free-agent addition Bradley Bozeman. He adds the two will compete for the spot in camp. 
  • Person says the Panthers will take a committee approach at the other defensive end spot across from Brian Burns, with Yetur Gross-Matos, Marquis Haynes, sixth-round rookie Amare Barno and Frankie Luvu splitting time, though Luvu will also play a lot of off-ball linebacker. 
  • Carolina is also still interested in signing veteran DE Carlos Dunlap, per Person, and he’d factor into that rotation. He added the team checked back in with him this week. 
  • At inside linebacker, the Panthers signed veteran Damien Wilson and he’s the frontrunner to start next to Shaq Thompson, but Person adds he’ll be challenged by Cory Littleton and fourth-round rookie Brandon Smith.
  • The final position battle is at long snapper, where Person writes veteran J.J. Jansen will try to hold off the younger Thomas Fletcher again after doing so last year. 
  • Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey on the state of his health approaching the upcoming season: “I feel the best I’ve ever felt.” (Jonathan Jones)
  • Panthers HC Matt Rhule on where OL Brady Christensen will lineup this year: “Brady is going to play left tackle and guard. We’ll have a good battle over there.” (Ellis Williams)


  • Evaluations on Saints QB Taysom Hill‘s foot have been positive so far and the injury doesn’t appear to be an issue heading into training camp. (Nick Underhill)
  • The Saints announced S Tyrann Mathieu has been excused from the beginning of training camp to deal with a personal family matter.

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