NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Panthers, Saints


Buccaneers GM Jason Licht said on the Rich Eisen Show that he was glad to re-sign Tom Brady this offseason and pointed out that his one-year extension was able to give Tampa Bay some cap relief. 

“Well the fact that we extended him, [which was] able to give us some relief on the cap, was big,” Licht said, via ProFootballTalk. “And the players, what Tom brought to the organization as a leader, is priceless. Having him and Bruce as our head coach and quarterback tandem, both excellent leaders, both very unique people in what they do, the way they do it, obviously played a huge role in these guys wanting to come back and be a part of it again.”

Licht said he was on the “same page” with HC Bruce Arians and Brady regarding the players they wanted to re-sign this offseason, while Brady indicated that he’d do “his best “ to help bring back their free agents. 

“I think we were all pretty much on the same page — Bruce, myself, [Brady] — that we wanted to bring back as many as we could,” Licht said. “I don’t know what conversations he had with our players, to be honest with you. I just knew at the beginning of free agency, I said, ‘Hey, I’m going to do my best to get everybody back.’ And that was really the last we talked about it.”

  • Licht also said if Brady wants to play until age 50, they will try to accommodate him: “I told him if he wants to play until he’s 50, and he’s still playing and he feels like he can still play, he can play until he’s 50.” (Rick Stroud)


Former Panthers and new Broncos QB Teddy Bridgewater was critical of OC Joe Brady when speaking about his time in Carolina, describing that they didn’t practice two-minute drills or red zone strategy. 

“As an organization there’s things you can do better,” Bridgewater said, via Bryant McFadden. “I’ll just say this, for Joe Brady’s growth, that organization, they’ll have to practice different things in different ways. One thing we didn’t do much of when I was there, we didn’t practice two minute, really. We didn’t practice red zone… You walk through the red zone stuff and then Saturday you come out and practice red zone, but you’d only get like 15 live reps. Guys’ reps would be limited.”

  • Troy Renck of Denver7, citing sources within the Panthers, reports that some around Carolina felt the organization was putting “too much” on Bridgewater last season with RB Christian McCaffrey‘s ankle and shoulder issues exacerbating the workload on Bridgewater. 


  • In an early 53-man roster projection, the Athletic’s Larry Holder gives Saints fourth-round QB Ian Book the edge for the third and final spot over Trevor Siemian
  • Holder writes receiver is still a major need for the Saints, as after Michael Thomas they’re looking at trotting out a group of Tre’Quan Smith, Deonte Harris, Marquez Callaway, Juwan Johnson and seventh-round rookie Kawaan Baker
  • At offensive line, Holder identifies James Hurst, sixth-round OT Landon Young and Calvin Throckmorton as the leaders for the backup jobs. 
  • Holder thinks the Saints will also be monitoring for a potential addition to the defensive line after losing a handful of key players. For now, DTs Malcolm Roach and Jalen Dalton take the last two spots. 
  • Holder says second-round LB Pete Werner should start right away next to Demario Davis, with 2020 third-round LB Zack Baun the strongside linebacker and pass rusher in base defense.
  • Kaden Elliss, Chase Hansen and Andrew McDowell are set to round out the group but Holder raises the possibility of Kwon Alexander coming back on a minimum deal if he’s healthy. 
  • Holder would be stunned if the Saints didn’t sign or trade for another cornerback. 
  • ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler confirms the Panthers took WR Terrace Marshall in the second round after getting word the Saints wanted him. He adds Marshall was the top player left on the board for Carolina. 
  • Fowler adds the league was surprised the Saints didn’t address receiver until the seventh, as they went into the draft wanting to add a vertical threat. 
  • Buccaneers second-round QB Kyle Trask thought the Saints were the other team that was primarily interested in him. 

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