NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Panthers, Saints


There were a number of options for the Buccaneers to add competition to their quarterback room this offseason and they ultimately settled on Baker Mayfield, fresh off a Browns-Panthers-Rams whirlwind in a span of about six months. Crucially, however, Mayfield was recruiting the Buccaneers just as hard, if not more, than they were recruiting him. Mayfield sees an opportunity in Tampa Bay to get his career back on track. 

“I finally had some [time] to think, I think that’s the key word,” Mayfield said via Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer. “And, yeah, just looking at it from a big-picture standpoint, I want to play this game for a long time. So where’s the next spot that’s going to be the most stable position, where I can come in and compete, and do the best I can to showcase what I’m capable of? This is a great opportunity to do so. Normally when a spot like this opens up, it’s because bad things have happened. But this one, it’s just because Tom [Brady] retired. So it’s a perfect opportunity for me.”


It hasn’t just been Panthers GM Scott Fitterer or HC Frank Reich running the show and making all the decisions this offseason. The two men have run a collaborative operation, soliciting input and valuing the contributions of a number of executives and coaches. For the front office, that’s meant assistant GM Dan Morgan and VP of football administration Samir Suleiman have had a big hand in decisions this offseason, including the trade up to No. 1 overall. 

“I think the biggest thing behind the trade up to No. 1 is, at the end of the day, we weren’t going to settle for a quarterback that other teams didn’t want,” Morgan said via Mike Kaye of the Charlotte Observer. “We were going to be able to choose who we wanted to take at No. 1. So I think, from that sense, we wanted to be aggressive, and choose the quarterback that we want to be the face of our franchise.”

“We had the No. 2 pick in St. Louis in 2008,” Suleiman added. “But you know, it’s different to be in a position where you can dictate pretty much how the draft goes for your organization, and acquire the person going forward that you want.”

Suleiman’s chief responsibility is negotiating contracts and managing the salary cap for the Panthers. But he’s also been a part of interviews with quarterback prospects and evaluating free-agent targets. Once the team has a consensus on who to go after, Fitterer turns the negotiations over to Suleiman. 

“I think he trusts me implicitly,” Suleiman said. “You know, obviously, I keep him and Mr. Tepper and Coach (Reich) informed of how things are going. But for the most part, once we reach a decision about this player we want, I go to work, do my job and try to get the player signed.”


  • According to Aaron Wilson, the Saints brought in free agent TE Foster Moreau for a visit on Tuesday.
  • Wilson notes Moreau was recently diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma following a physical with New Orleans and is undergoing treatment.  
  • According to Aaron Wilson, the Saints recently had a private workout with Northwestern DL Adetomiwa Adebawore
  • Per Josh Norris, the Saints are hosting Illinois S Jar’Tavius Martin, also known as Quan Martin.
  • Ryan Fowler reports that the Saints and Steelers have both had private dinner meetings with Georgia CB Kelee Ringo.

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