NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Matt Rhule, Panthers, Saints


  • The Athletic’s Greg Auman writes the Buccaneers have six receivers fighting for maybe three spots on the back end of the roster, including Jaelon Darden, Tyler Johnson, Scotty Miller, Breshad Perriman, Cyril Grayson and UDFA Deven Thompkins
  • Darden, Johnson and Miller are all draft picks still on their rookie deals, while Perriman and Grayson flashed last season. Auman adds it’s possible Tampa Bay could trade one of these players instead of having to cut them outright. 
  • Auman mentions the Buccaneers could look to improve their depth at linebacker, as the current top backup is 2021 fifth-rounder KJ Britt.
  • New Buccaneers TE Kyle Rudolph‘s one-year deal has a base value of $2 million with $1.5 million guaranteed and $500,000 in per-game roster bonuses. There is also up to $1.5 million available in incentives. (Pro Football Talk)
  • Buccaneers second-round DL Logan Hall received $225,000 guaranteed in the fourth year of his deal. (Tom Pelissero)


  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer mentions Panthers GM Scott Fitterer and HC Matt Rhule got more excited about the possibility of adding QB Baker Mayfield once the Browns granted them permission to speak with him in June. They initially were more lukewarm on the idea. 
  • Rhule expects LB Shaq Thompson to start out on the PUP list, noting he had a minor cleanup surgery on his knee and should return in a couple of weeks. (Joe Person)
  • Rhule adds DT Daviyon Nixon should be ready for training camp after having season-ending knee surgery midway through his rookie year. (Person)
  • Rhule told reporters he doesn’t have a favorite picked out in the starting quarterback battle and either Mayfield or incumbent QB Sam Darnold will determine the winner themselves: “There’s no doubt, he has to get here and learn the offense. He has to go from level 1 to level 4, which is mastery and confident…My job is not to pick the starting quarterback. The players will do that with the way they play. It’ll be a fun ride. When we know we will know.” (David Newton)
  • Rhule added that he isn’t approaching this season as if he is on the hot seat and his job is at stake: Rhule is on the hot seat, but he doesn’t approach it that way: “This year, I expect to win. I want to win at the highest level just like everybody in this organization does. I like where we’re at.’’ (Newton)


  • Jeremy Fowler of ESPN reports the NFL is still monitoring the legal issues surrounding RB Alvin Kamara and there is a feeling he could wind up being suspended depending on the results of an investigation.
  • In an interview on the Establish The Run podcast, New Orleans Dot Football’s Nick Underhill said based on his conversations with people, he would be surprised and the Saints would be too if WR Michael Thomas doesn’t come off the PUP list to practice early in camp.
  • Underhill also mentions the Saints didn’t like RB Sony Michel’s physical, which is why they didn’t sign him after his visit with the team. He later inked a deal with the Dolphins.

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