NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Panthers, Saints


  • According to ESPN’s Jenna Laine, Buccaneers RB Ronald Jones will be the lead back, RB LeSean McCoy will serve as the change-of-pace and RB Dare Ogunbowale will have a role on third downs and on special teams. 
  • Buccaneers S coach Nick Rapone said he expects the team to have just four on the final roster, which probably leaves Andrew Adams and D’Cota Dixon vying for one spot. (Greg Auman)
  • Buccaneers WR John Franklin underwent surgery to repair a torn ACL in his left knee and has a 6-8 month recovery timetable. (Auman)


  • The Athletic’s Joe Person notes Panthers RB Mike Davis has outright seized the backup job and could even push RB Reggie Bonnafon off the roster. 
  • Person wouldn’t be surprised to see the Panthers be active on the waiver wire this weekend to address linebacker, tight end, offensive line and receiver. 
  • He adds the secondary is also a gaping hole, particularly when compared against the rest of the NFC South, and reiterates the Panthers have been exploring trades. 
  • Person mentions he thinks the team will give UDFA P Joe Charlton the edge over K/P Kaare Vedvik, with the hope of getting Vedvik to the practice squad. 
  • Panthers QB Will Grier acknowledged he was “straight up bad” in his short starting stint last year that “failed miserably.” He has made progress, though: “I had trouble last year just with calling plays.” (David Newton)
  • Panthers HC Matt Rhule said TE Ian Thomas MRI on his toe came back negative for a fracture. He’s instead dealing with a hyperextension and should be back “pretty soon.” (Person)


  • Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio explains some of the angst that cropped up between the Saints and RB Alvin Kamara, per sources. 
  • Kamara and Saints HC Sean Payton got into a squabble, per Florio, and the Saints started calling other teams to gauge trade interest in Kamara in order to prove no one else would give them a high draft pick plus meet Kamara’s contract demands. 
  • Florio says the Saints were put in a tough spot because they’ve long believed Kamara is as good or better than Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey, but his $16 million per year deal would be steep for a player they don’t use as much. 
  • The two sides still hope and expect to reach an agreement on an extension by this Monday. 
  • Dr. David Chao says if the reports of Kamara receiving an epidural are true, that’s cause to be very concerned. He says it could imply a potential herniated disc and future back surgery for Kamara. 
  • Payton told reporters on Wednesday: “We’re actively negotiating a contract with he and his agent. We’ll keep you posted if there’s any progress.” (Field Yates)
  • He added: “We’re focused on him being a part of our plan for Week 1.”
  • Payton didn’t elaborate on if Kamara was fined or if he was at the facility every day he was supposed to be. (Katherine Terrell)

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