NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers, Saints



The Buccaneers have faired well with their 2020 first-round pick in RT Tristan Wirfs, and GM Jason Licht revealed that the team tried to trade up even higher than they did to acquire him after seeing him fall in the draft.

“I was stunned,” Licht said, via the Pewter Report podcast. “I saw him starting to fall. I was trying to go and get him, well, even higher than nine and nobody wanted to make any deals, and I think we made the first trade of the pandemic, at-home draft. There are teams but there was one in particular that I was very worried about going up to San Fran that was below us, and it turned out that that was going to happen, or they were seriously considering this trade, but they didn’t want to go back that far. They were afraid of losing the guy that they took, Kinlaw. So the fourth-round pick, that was easy for me to go and do it. If it was any less than that, they wouldn’t have taken the trade.”


Falcons QB Matt Ryan isn’t going anywhere in 2021 thanks to a massive cap hit and little chance of relief. But Falcons GM Terry Fontenot said that won’t preclude Atlanta from adding other quarterbacks this offseason and in the future — and it’s worth mentioning the Falcons hold the No. 4 overall pick in what appears to be a strong class for quarterbacks. 

“Whether we’re talking about free agency or whether we’re talking about the draft, we are going to add to every position,” Fontenot said on NFL Media’s Huddle And Flow podcast with Jim Trotter and Steve Wyche. “We’ll build strength. We’re not afraid to build strength. We’re going to add to every position. It’s about adding. We want a culture of competition, and (coach) Arthur Smith has said it: We want to bring in smart, tough, highly competitive football players that are going to fit this culture. And we’re going to do that at every position, whether it’s QB or whether it’s WR.

“You look at (former Packers GM) Ron Wolf. You always bring in quarterbacks. You need to bring in quarterbacks, whether it’s in the draft, whether it’s in free agency, or signing guys off the street. It’s so important, bring in quarterbacks a lot, build strengths. (Former Ravens GM) Ozzie Newsome, bring in the best players available. These are men that have had all that success, and it’s about having the right 53, but we have to add competition at every position. So we’re not going to be afraid to add to strengths. But both (Ryan and WR Julio Jones) are really good and I’m excited to be here with those players.”



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