NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Panthers, Saints

     

Buccaneers

Buccaneers QB Blaine Gabbert landed on injured reserve after a shoulder injury last preseason, but he is now healthy and ready to resume his career and hopes to capture the backup job in Tampa.

“Honestly, it’s probably the best I’ve felt in 10 years,” Gabbert told Zach Siefter of JoeBucsFan.com. “I took the last 9, 10 months to really get in great shape and get everything strong. The shoulder feels great. Arm feels great. I’m ready to hit the ground running.”

Panthers

In an agent survey by the Athletic’s Ben Standig, some expressed surprise about the Panthers’ decision to sign RB Christian McCaffrey to a four-year, $64 million extension with two years still remaining on his rookie deal.

“Carolina signed him to a long-term deal with large guarantees ($38.1 million) when we don’t know the future cap number, he’s still on his rookie deal, and there’s overall economic uncertainty for owners with the outside business interests that allowed them to buy the team,” one agent said. “Other teams I talk to mention this. McCaffrey is great, but that (Panthers owner David Tepper) has F-you money might explain Carolina’s thinking.”

Saints

  • The Athletic’s Katherine Terrell notes Saints WR Deonte Harris has a chance to take another step in his second year and become an elite returner after being named to the All-Pro team as a rookie. 
  • In order to stick to the roster, Terrell says Saints UDFA QB Tommy Stevens will have to show he can replace QB Taysom Hill‘s role on special teams as a Swiss army knife. There is an opportunity as the Saints could look to change Hill’s role following his extension. 
  • In an agent survey by the Athletic’s Ben Standig, the Saints’ signing of QB Jameis Winston was seen as one of the most surprising moves of the offseason: “Just the money. For him to take that type of deal on a one-year contract — I mean, you have guys like Chase Daniel and some of these others that just make a huge amount of money as backup quarterbacks. … I mean, that is a tremendous value for the Saints to have a quarterback the caliber of Jameis Winston for what they got him at. That was surprising.”
  • Winston fired his agent, Joel Segal, who has represented the quarterback since 2018. (Rick Stroud)
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