NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers, Saints


  • According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the Buccaneers had had talks with RB James White but nothing had really progressed. On Wednesday, White returned to the Patriots on a one-year, $2.5 million deal. 
  • Fowler mentions the Buccaneers are monitoring the markets for RB Leonard Fournette and WR Antonio Brown.
  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer thinks Fournette ends up back in Tampa Bay, as the running back market is drying up even more and Tom Brady is lobbying him to come back. 
  • Buccaneers LT Donovan Smith will count just $3.6 million against the cap in 2021 as the team freed up $10.65 million with his extension. (Jenna Laine)
  • Laine adds the Buccaneers will likely include voidable years in DT Ndamukong Suh‘s one-year deal to help spread out his cap hit. 
  • She confirms Tampa Bay is staying in touch with Fournette and Brown while also considering more cap-saving moves and looking at addressing their backup quarterback spot. 


  • A source tells ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler the Falcons were well aware they’d have issues doing anything big in free agency this year. They talked to the agent for one high-priced pass rusher in free agency and laughed when they heard the asking price, as there was no way they could have swung it. 
  • Fowler expects the Falcons to focus on adding low-cost depth on defense for the rest of free agency. 
  • Falcons OLB Barkevious Mingo‘s one-year, $1.25 million deal includes a total of $1.1 million guaranteed. Mingo has a $175,000 signing bonus and a $1.075 million base salary, (Aaron Wilson)
  • Falcons’ recently acquired TE Lee Smith said he considered retiring prior to being traded to Atlanta and only considered joining a few organizations. (D. Orlando Ledbetter)
  • According to Over The Cap, the Falcons will need to save $7,055,333 in cap space to sign their draft picks this year.


  • ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler explains the Panthers’ rationale for giving OL Cameron Erving $5 million a year, saying they believe if he works out at left tackle, that number will be a huge bargain. If he’s just a guard who can play tackle, that number still isn’t bad.
  • Fowler adds the Panthers are still looking for a defensive tackle to pair with 2020 first-rounder Derrick Brown.
  • According to Fowler, the Panthers tried to re-sign WR Curtis Samuel but were not willing to go above $10 million a year given the other receivers on the roster. He signed with Washington for about $11 million per season. 
  • The Athletic’s Joe Person notes that neither Panthers HC Matt Rhule nor GM Scott Fitterer were at Alabama’s pro day to watch QB Mac Jones. Person says they did get a good look at Jones at the Senior Bowl, and Jones will throw at a second pro day soon that they could attend. But for now, that matches what he’s heard; the Panthers like Jones but don’t see him as a top-ten pick. 
  • Panthers’ recently signed OL Pat Elflein described himself as a “nasty player“: “I’m a nasty player… That’s what I like to hang my hat on.” (David Newton)
  • Erving said the texted QB Teddy Bridgewater after signing with Carolina: “I just told him I’ve got his back. I just want him to make sure that he knows I’m gonna be there for him, in whatever capacity that may be.” (Joseph Person)
  • Erving said he’s capable of playing all five offensive line positions, but admitted that he “felt comfortable” playing left tackle for the Cowboys last season.  (David Newton)
  • According to Over The Cap, the Panthers will need to save $3,753,725 in cap space to sign their draft picks this year.


  • ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler says to expect the Saints and S Marcus Williams to start working on a deal that comes in slightly below the $15 million per year the Broncos gave to S Justin Simmons to reset the market. 
  • According to Over The Cap, the Saints will need to save $2,660,917 in cap space to sign their draft picks this year.

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