NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers, Saints

     

Buccaneers

Winning and money are two of the main motivators for NFL players. Buccaneers WR Chris Godwin has already accomplished something many NFL players never do by being a part of a Super Bowl-winning team in Tampa Bay earlier this month. Now his eyes are set on a contract extension. It’s a balance. Godwin doesn’t want to sacrifice too many dollars that he might not ever see again, but he also doesn’t want to end up on a bad team. 

“I want to be here. I love the guys on the team,” Godwin said in an interview on the Pat McAfee Show. “I think we got something special, but, at the same time, you got to consider all the possibilities out there and consider doing what’s best for you and your family. . . . The goal obviously is to get paid, right? But, at the same time, I’m not stupid. I’m not going to put myself in a situation where I’m going to be miserable for some years to come just for a couple extra dollars. I think my happiness is paramount in all of this and part of that happiness is winning.”

Falcons

  • ESPN’s Michael DiRocco identifies Falcons S Keanu Neal as a potential franchise tag candidate. 
  • Per D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Falcons named Roderick Moore Jr. and Bobby Thomas assistant strength and conditioning coaches. Atlanta also added diversity coaching intern Mario Jeberaeel and football analysts Paul Rice, Charles Walker, Sal Conti and Patrick Kramer.
  • Falcons HC Arthur Smith highlighted QB Matt Ryan, G Chris Lindstrom, WR Calvin Ridley and K Younghoe Koo as players who impressed him during evaluations. (Kelsey Conway)
  • Falcons GM Terry Fontenot acknowledged the difficulties the Falcons might have filling out the roster and staying under the cap in 2021: “Everything is in consideration. We’re going to have to make some hard decisions on this roster.” (Jason Butt)
  • He added the team is open to all possibilities with the No. 4 overall pick, whether it’s taking the best player available or trading back: “It’s prime spot to be in…so many different scenarios.” (Michael Giardi)

Panthers

  • NBC Sports’ Peter King writes that two teams have given offers to the Texans for QB Deshaun Watson and received zero feedback or reaction as Houston continues to maintain Watson is not going to be traded. 
  • King would be surprised if the Panthers weren’t one of the teams that had made an offer but due to their lack of draft capital King thinks they’d have to include a quarterback and a couple of veteran players. He points out if the Texans were to change their mind on trading Watson they could prefer to get him out of the AFC. 
  • He notes a potential Panthers deal could include RB Christian McCaffrey, though that would be a sizable hit to the Panthers’ cap to trade him away, or more likely DE Brian Burns.
  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer says a source described Panthers owner David Tepper as “obsessed” with finding a long-term answer at quarterback which of course indicates they don’t view Teddy Bridgewater that way. 
  • Three veteran executives around the league ranked McCaffrey, Burns, RT Taylor Moton, WR D.J. Moore, LB Shaq Thompson, DT Derrick Brown, LB/S Jeremy Chinn and CB Donte Jackson among the team’s top trade chips to potentially use in a deal for Watson. (Joe Person)
  • Only one executive put Bridgewater in the team’s top ten and the three cited Bridgewater’s contract as a major drag on any potential trade value he might have. 
  • The Carolina Panthers have promoted former NFL DL Frank Okam to DL coach. The team is also hiring Don Johnson as a pass-rushing specialist, along with Garret McGuire and former NFL DL Terrance Knighton as coaching assistants. (Aaron Wilson)
  • Recently released Panthers’ DT Kawann Short appeared on Sirius XM NFL and said the team told him they would love to have him back. However, he has also received interest from other franchises. Short could end up returning to Carolina on a more reasonable contract. (Person)

Saints

All signs point to Saints QB Drew Brees announcing his retirement sometime this offseason. No one really thinks he’ll do otherwise and he’s already restructured his contract to help New Orleans save the most cap space they can this offseason. But a formal announcement still hasn’t been made. 

“As far as his career goes and retiring or playing still, a lot of people ask me that and I just say, ‘Drew’s going to take his time and make the best decision for him.’ He’s a legend,” Saints RB Alvin Kamara said via John Hendrix of SI.com. “He’s definitely going to go down as one of the greatest.”

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