NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers, Saints


  • Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports mentions Buccaneers WR Scott Miller as a potential sleeper candidate to be traded to a receiver-needy team.
  • According to Joey Knight of the Tampa Bay Times, the Buccaneers and WR Antonio Brown still are not close on a deal. Knight said it’s believed Brown is looking for something closer to market value after signing a cheap deal with Tampa Bay last season while serving out an eight-game suspension. 
  • The NFLPA released its calculations for the performance-based pay benefit that was eliminated in 2020 but will still be paid by teams. Each team split $8.5 million between its players and payments are deferred to 2024. 
  • The top Buccaneers player was G Alex Cappa ($622,056).
  • Regarding the Buccaneers’ plans for the 2021 NFL Draft, Greg Auman believes it is more likely for the organization to “consolidate” by trading up for a player instead of acquiring picks in future drafts. 


  • The Athletic’s Tori McElhaney points out that the Falcons currently don’t have enough cap space to sign their draft class. 
  • While the team can create additional cap space by restructuring DT Grady Jarrett or potentially making other moves after June 1, McElhaney notes that’s part of why trading down is such a strong consideration for Atlanta.
  • Dropping out of the top 10 would lower the cap hit for their first-round pick significantly and give them more picks with cheap rookies to fill out a roster that still has a lot of needs. 
  • When examining the Falcons’ plans at No. 4 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated writes that Atlanta is “very much operating” like they are selecting a quarterback given they sent GM Terry Fontenot, HC Arthur Smith and OC Dave Ragone to the top-five prospects’ pro days: Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence,  BYU’s Zach Wilson, North Dakota State’s Trey Lance, Alabama’s Mac Jones and Ohio State’s Justin Fields


The connection between WR Robby Anderson and QB Sam Darnold was one of the few bright spots the two had in their time together with the Jets. Anderson had a breakout season after signing with the Panthers in free agency last year and the hope is Darnold can follow suit, especially throwing to Anderson again. 

“I think me and Sam had very good chemistry,” Anderson said on NFL Media’s Good Morning Football. “I think that really stems from communication and just trust. I think if you look at the growth between me and Sam, you notice toward the back end of me being with the Jets, him throwing the ball up in double coverage and just throwing the ball up. That came with time and just trust in me making those plays and coming through for him in the clutch.”

Anderson also offered his thoughts on why things didn’t work out for the former No. 3 overall pick with the Jets.

“Me personally speaking, I just think Sam kinda, his development was not correct with the Jets,” he said. “I think he didn’t have the best supporting cast around him, the best coaching to get him to his full potential.”

  • Asked why he finally broke through in Carolina after showing flashes of talent with the Jets, Anderson said “the Jets looked for reasons I couldn’t do things.” He was pigeonholed as a deep threat in New York but ran a more complete route tree in 2020 with the Panthers. (Zack Rosenblatt)
  • Executives around the NFL think that not only is landing in a solid supporting cast in Carolina going to be beneficial for Darnold, but that working with Panthers OC Joe Brady will also be huge: Joe Burrow looked like a mid-round pick in 2018, then became the No. 1 overall pick by 2019 after playing in Brady’s offense.” (Matt Lombardo)


  • The Athletic’s Katherine Terrell writes the Saints probably need to clear $10 million more in cap space to be able to sign rookies, pay workout bonuses during OTAs and sign veterans to fill needs during the season. 
  • Terrell says the Saints could cut CB Patrick Robinson or RB Latavius Murray to free up a couple million each, or force either into pay cuts for about half as much. 
  • However, Terrell adds the Saints will get much more in savings and are more likely to pursue extensions for S Marcus Williams, who’s on the franchise tag, and RT Ryan Ramczyk and CB Marshon Lattimore, each on their fifth-year option. 
  • CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora says the Saints would obviously have interest in Panthers QB Teddy Bridgewater if he were to come available.

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