NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Saints


Free agency can be fickle sometimes, especially this past year with the pressure of the lower salary cap. But it still felt like Buccaneers OLB Shaquil Barrett left money on the table when he elected to re-sign with Tampa Bay on a four-year deal for $17 million a year instead of testing the open market for $19 million or even $20 million a season.  

“It might’ve been true, but I didn’t listen to anybody else. I didn’t hear no other offers,” Barrett said in an interview on Good Morning Football. “I wanted to make it work down here in Tampa. We’ve got something special going down here, man. And I don’t want to let greed be the reason why I don’t take advantage of this opportunity down here. We’re starting to love Tampa. We love the fan support. And I’m just ready to keep building.

“I love my coaches. I love the organization — everything is like a match made in heaven down here, man. And I won’t let trying to get a little more money change that.”


  • Scott Bair of the team website expects the Falcons to sign another edge rusher to replace Barkevious Mingo after the veteran was released and goes through some potential options. 
  • Bair notes Justin Houston is available and would be the best option but also the most expensive, which could make it prohibitive to sign him. 
  • He adds there are also medical questions right now about how ready Olivier Vernon or Melvin Ingram are to contribute. 
  • The Falcons have past familiarity with veteran DE Adrian Clayborn but Bair points out they might want to go younger or take a higher-upside shot. 
  • Bair thinks that DE Trent Murphy or DE Alex Okafor would be strong fits if they’re interested in signing with Atlanta. 


  • Nick Underhill reports that the Saints made a “strong offer” on S Marcus Williams, yet the deadline passed without a deal. New Orleans will have to wait to make another attempt to sign the defensive back.
  • Underhill adds that the deal would have put Williams in the upper echelon of safeties when it comes to annual value. 

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