NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Panthers, Saints


  • ESPN’s Jenna Laine projects the Buccaneers will keep third-string QB Ryan Griffin and potentially quarantine him away from the other quarterbacks as insurance. 
  • Laine thinks Buccaneers RB T.J. Logan could stick as the fourth back and a kick returner, though third-string RB Dare Ogunbowale is also a capable kick returner. 
  • Buccaneers WR Bryant Mitchell was having a strong camp last year before tearing his left Achilles and Laine thinks he could turn that momentum into the sixth and final roster spot at receiver in 2020. 
  • Laine says the versatility for Buccaneers OL Josh Wells, Zack Bailey and John Molchon should help them stick as backups on the final roster. 
  • Laine writes Buccaneers DL Jeremiah Ledbetter is competing with DL Patrick O’Connor for one of the last roster spots. 
  • Though missing minicamp is a blow, Buccaneers EDGE Quinton Bell‘s 4.38 40-yard dash speed could help him stick on the final roster, per Laine. 
  • Laine has Buccaneers LB Jack Cichy‘s energy and special teams prowess giving him an advantage for the final slot at inside linebacker. 
  • Laine writes 2020 could be it for Buccaneers DB M.J. Stewart, who hasn’t found a true position in the secondary since being drafted in the second round. 
  • There’s fierce competition at the back of the roster for safety between Justin Evans, who has battled injuries for two years, D’Cota Dixon and Andrew Adams. If Evans is healthy, Laine gives him the nod. 


  • The Athletic’s Joe Person writes almost half of the Panthers’ league-leading $41.2 million in dead cap in 2020 comes from former OT Matt Kalil ($9.8 million) and from trading G Trai Turner ($9.592 million).
  • Carolina also has a $5 million hit for S Eric Reid, a $4.71 million hit for retired LB Luke Kuechly, a $3.7 million hit for TE Greg Olsen, a $3.333 million hit from DT Dontari Poe and a $2 million hit from QB Cam Newton.  
  • Person says 2020 is essentially a purge year for the Panthers to get out from contracts that don’t make sense for the team going forward. 


  • The Athletic’s Katherine Terrell writes the Saints have high expectations for TE Jared Cook with hopefully a full season of both him and QB Drew Brees healthy together. 
  • Terrell says it remains to be seen how much Saints third-round TE Adam Trautman will be able to contribute as a rookie, as he faces double the challenge of other rookies coming from a small school.
  • Saints QBs Taysom Hill and Jameis Winston will compete for the job of primary backup to Brees in 2020, with Hill also potentially reprising his Swiss army knife role. (Terrell)
  • For that reason, Terrell thinks Winston could be the primary backup in 2020 but the Saints still end up turning to Hill at the end of the year as Brees’ successor. 
  • After trading back into the draft for QB Tommy Stevens, who has a similar skillset as Hill, the Saints will need to find a spot for the rookie on the roster. 

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