NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Panthers, Saints


  • NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reports RB Leonard Fournette‘s one-year deal is worth a max value of $3.5M million. It includes a $2 million base salary and incentives based on rushing yards & playing time.
  • The deal will include no offsets from his previous deal with Jacksonville, meaning Fournette still has the possibility to earn $4.2 million if he wins his grievance with the Jaguars.
  • Pro Football Talk reports veteran RB LeSean McCoy has been informed by the Buccaneers he will retain a roster spot following the signing of Fournette.
  • NFL Media’s Mike Garafolo said it appears McCoy is still set to have a role in the passing game and on third downs. 
  •’s Scott Reynolds adds the Buccaneers also value RB Dare Ogunbowale‘s contributions on special teams, where he’s a captain, and potentially on third down. With third-round RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn, Reynolds thinks the Buccaneers could keep five running backs. 
  • The extra roster spot could come at the expense of fifth-round WR Tyler Johnson, who has been hurt for most of training camp. Reynolds believes the Buccaneers could keep Jaydon Mickens as the fifth receiver because of his return skills and try and get Johnson to the practice squad. 
  • Buccaneers HC Bruce Arians explained the team thought the chance to add Fournette was too good to pass up and that it doesn’t necessarily indicate they are disappointed in RB Ronald Jones: “That’s one area where nicks and bruises can really add up. When you can get a player of that caliber … he’ll fit right in. We’ll see what role happens. Ro-Jo’s our guy.” (Greg Auman)
  • Arians said it again for those understandably skeptical about the team’s belief in Jones: “It’s his job. Nothing’s changed for him. We’ve just added a heck of a piece of insurance and see what kind of role he can cut out. RoJo, it’s his job, if he wins it or loses it. He’s already got it, so he’d have to screw it up. I don’t see that happening.”
  • Arians isn’t worried about potential character issues with Fournette which were rumored to be the cause of his exit: “The people I really, really trust gave him high, high marks in everything I care about.” (Auman)


  • Per the Athletic’s Joe Person, Panthers’ owner David Tepper talked about the decision to move on from QB Cam Newton, claiming the COVID situation made it difficult: “It was a very difficult decision. Nicole (his wife) was crying about the decision. We really respected Cam and still do. I wish him the best possible up in New England.” 
  • Tepper also mentioned GM Marty Hurney‘s contract situation hasn’t come up yet, as Hurney is only signed through June of 2021. “I’ve had too much to do. You should ask me that question later on.” (Person)
  • Panthers HC Matt Rhule said TE Ian Thomas (foot) could play if the game was this week. (Person)
  • Rhule noted he’s not concerned about Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey‘s touches but he added RB Mike Davis has had an impressive camp as a backup. (Myles Simmons)
  • Panthers OC Joe Brady also doesn’t think McCaffrey’s 403 touches were a “ridiculous amount” considering the caliber of player McCaffrey is. (Person)
  • Brady acknowledged the Panthers would resemble LSU on offense in a number of ways this year: “I’d be foolish not to bring a lot of what I did at LSU to the Carolina Panthers.” (Person)
  • Panthers DC Phil Snow said he’s been “really pleased” with CB Donte Jackson who’s set to be Carolina’s top corner: “I’m expecting Donte to play real well.” (Simmons)
  • Snow added “we’ll see how it plays out” at No. 2 corner between Eli Apple and fourth-round rookie Troy Pride. (Person)
  • Snow also highlighted Panthers DE Brian Burns as a potential breakout player this season: “He’s a first-round draft pick and he should play like one.” (Simmons)


  • Katherine Terrell of The Athletic thinks QB Tommy Stevens still has a shot to make the Saints roster as they may be afraid another team will poach him.
  • Terrell also mentions that she sees the team cutting WR Austin Carr and keeping WR Lil’Jordan Humphrey.
  • On the defensive line, Terrell theorizes that Mario Edwards will earn a roster spot over fellow veteran Margus Hunt.
  • Offensive linemen Patrick Omameh and Will Clapp are also in danger of not making the roster, according to Terrell.
  • Saints’ RB Alvin Kamara received a shot in his back for joint inflammation, which is not being considered a big deal. An earlier report that Kamara received an epidural caused some concern as it could have indicated a potential herniated disc. (Ian Rapoport)
  • Saints’ QB Jameis Winston spoke about being a part of a new team: “I’m just so blessed that I get a chance to be part of a locker room like this. Yeah, I know I was the enemy of the past five years, but those guys really took me in and I got a chance to gain a lot of great friends.” (Katherine Terrell)
  • Saints HC Sean Payton has been happy with how Winston has acclimated to New Orleans so far: “He’s doing real well. I’ve been pleased. He’s in good shape. He’s very quickly picked up what we’re doing from a system standpoint. He’s made that transition with us pretty quickly. He’s a smart player and we’ve just got to continue to give him the reps.” (Pro Football Talk)

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