NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Saints


  • The Athletic’s Greg Auman examines the Buccaneers’ options at quarterback following the retirement of Tom Brady. They used a second-round pick on Kyle Trask this past year and Auman points out with the other needs on the roster, that’s a big vote of confidence. Still, Trask might not be ready to jump into a starting role right away. Veteran Blaine Gabbert is a free agent but likely wouldn’t be hard to bring back. 
  • As far as external options, there are the obvious big-name candidates in Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, Seahawks QB Russell Wilson and Texans QB Deshaun Watson. All of them would be pricy but Auman writes as it relates to Watson that the Buccaneers haven’t let off-field issues stop them in the past from pursuing other quarterbacks, though Jameis Winston was never charged. 
  • Speaking of Winston, Auman acknowledges he is on an expiring contract and has experience in HC Bruce Arians‘ system. But the split between the two sides wasn’t necessarily amicable and it’s unknown how each side would feel about a reunion. 
  • Some other veteran options the Buccaneers could explore via trade include Colts QB Carson Wentz, Raiders QB Derek Carr, Vikings QB Kirk Cousins and 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo, per Auman. 
  • Auman notes the Buccaneers were high on Broncos QB Teddy Bridgewater as a backup plan if they missed out on Brady in 2020 before he ultimately signed with the Panthers, so they could turn in that direction for 2022. 
  • Finally, Auman grudgingly lists Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger given his history with Arians, though all indications point to Roethlisberger being content retiring after playing for just one team. 


  • ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler lists Falcons WR Calvin Ridley as a potential trade candidate this offseason, with the Bills, Patriots and Bears teams who could potentially be interested. 
  • He also thinks the Falcons could explore a trade for DT Grady Jarrett if they don’t want to give him an extension as he goes into the final year of his deal with a $23.8 million cap hit. 
  • The Atlanta Falcons announced that they have hired Bears RB coach Michael Pitre to serve as their next RB coach. 


  • ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler expects Saints WR Michael Thomas to come up in trade discussions this offseason due to his age, contract and injury concerns. However, those will also be factors that could limit the Saints’ market for Thomas. 
  • The Athletic’s Larry Holder talked to analysts Louis Riddick and Greg Cosell, plus Senior Bowl director Jim Nagy, about the Saints’ options at quarterback. All three cited Jameis Winston as someone who might be the most accessible option for 2022, as his torn ACL should limit his interest from other teams. 
  • Cosell relays that he talked to someone high up in the organization and they disagreed majorly about fourth-round QB Ian Book‘s potential. Cosell thought Book was a borderline undraftable player. 
  • He also thought there might be a potential fit in the Saints’ system with Browns QB Baker Mayfield, although he’s not sure how the team viewed Mayfield as a prospect. 
  • Saints DC Dennis Allen remains the favorite for the team’s vacant head coaching job. Former Dolphins HC Brian Flores was scheduled to interview Tuesday, Lions DC Aaron Glenn on Wednesday and Allen on Thursday. (Jordan Schultz)

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