NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Saints, Michael Thomas


  • ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler notes Buccaneers LB Devin White is eligible for an extension for the first time this offseason but both he and the team are expected to be patient on a new deal. 
  • Buccaneers HC Todd Bowles didn’t have a timeline on WR Chris Godwin’s recovery from an ACL injury: “Better than where he was but not where he needs to be … we don’t put a timetable on it.” (Brianna Dix)
  • The Buccaneers sent director of football research Jacqueline Davidson and OC Byron Leftwich as representatives to the NFL’s front office and coaching diversity accelerator program. (Jonathan Jones)


The Falcons had a shot at some interesting first-round quarterbacks in 2021 picking No. 4 in the draft. They passed on Justin Fields and Mac Jones to take TE Kyle Pitts instead and roll with Matt Ryan for another season. After trading Ryan for a discount this season, however, questions were fairly asked about whether Atlanta should have bit the bullet on rebuilding a year earlier. Falcons HC Arthur Smith pushed back against that thought, saying it was important for them to build the foundation of the team first and not ruin a rookie.

“We knew it was going to be brutal for two years on the cap, no matter how we did it,” he said via the Athletic’s Jeff Schultz. “If you go with the theory, ‘Blow it up and draft a quarterback in Year 1,’ you better make sure you give the kid some help, or it’s going to be a disaster. The kid’s going to get hit way too much, and he’ll have nobody to throw the ball to. Very few quarterbacks have gone through those rough patches and come out OK on the other side. There’s been exceptions, but you need some guys to help you.”

  • The Falcons sent director of college scouting Anthony Robinson and QB coach Charles London as representatives to the NFL’s front office and coaching diversity accelerator program. (Jonathan Jones)


At least on paper, the Saints’ receiving corps has come a long way this offseason. New Orleans drafted WR Chris Olave in the first round and just signed veteran Jarvis Landry to hopefully complement WR Michael Thomas. It’s more important than ever to have multiple weapons in the passing game and the Saints feel like they’ve accomplished that. 

“We all have different types of skill sets, me and Mike more similar, but at the end of the day, I think we all are a problem. We all pose a different type of threat,” Landry said via the Athletic’s Katherine Terrell. “Especially here in this offense where things are interchangeable, different types of personnels, different weapons. You can’t ever leave out (Alvin Kamara) and the things he does for the running game. And obviously getting Jameis back healthy and under center is going to be important.”

Thomas is obviously the big wildcard given he hasn’t been healthy in the two years since his record-breaking 2019 season. If he’s all the way back, that’s massive for New Orleans. The team so far has been guardedly optimistic on that front. 

“One of the better, if not the best receivers in the league,” Saints WR coach Kodi Burns said. “Just to really be around him and see his mindset, you understand what makes him so great as a player. And I’ll tell you what, I know he’s hungry. Obviously he’s been out the last year and a half and he’s excited to really get back on this field. I think he’s going to be ready to roll.”

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