NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Panthers, Saints



  • The Athletic’s Jeff Howe notes the Panthers would love to re-sign CB Stephon Gilmore after trading for him and Gilmore likes the idea of a homecoming. But Howe points out if Gilmore thinks Carolina isn’t close to contending, he’ll consider other options. 
  • ESPN’s Dan Graziano says the firing of OC Joe Brady did not catch people inside the league off-guard, as the word was he and Panthers HC Matt Rhule didn’t have the best relationship.
  • Graziano adds the latest he’s heard is that Panthers owner David Tepper is willing to give Rhule another year but he could be on the hot seat in 2022 if things don’t go well. 
  • ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler mentions Washington reportedly showed some trade interest in Panthers QB Sam Darnold around when the Jets dealt him to Carolina, so it’s possible the Panthers could shunt him off to Washington for a late-rounder if they ate most of his salary. 
  • Panthers’ new OC Jeff Nixon points he was Rhule’s offensive coordinator during their time together at Baylor and thinks he already has an understanding of what Rhule wants to be done: “I was his coordinator at Baylor, so he feels comfortable that we can be on the same page, how he wants the game will be called.” (David Newton)
  • When asked about reaching the playoffs, Panthers QB Cam Newton responded he’s focused on getting a win this week and not getting ahead of himself: “Can we please stop mentioning that word? I’m trying to get a win. Hell, I’m 0-2. … I’m here to win. And when we win, everyone else gets promotions. And when you don’t, a lot of people are gonna get cut along the way.” (Joe Person)


Saints QB Taysom Hill picked up a mallet finger injury in last Thursday’s loss to the Cowboys. It’s the same injury that knocked Seahawks QB Russell Wilson out for three games earlier this season but Hill is electing to wear a split on the injured finger instead of having surgery. Thanks to his mobility, he can still play and have some effectiveness, but he acknowledged the injury has impacted how he throws. 

“I think the sensation of gripping the ball, throwing the ball, that has changed,” Hill said via the Athletic’s Katherine Terrell. “And that’s been the biggest thing. … It’s trying to figure out, what is the best process to have that feel as normal as possible? And that’s what we’re working through. Because you do something to your hand or your finger on your throwing hand and all of a sudden things change and you’re trying to adjust.”

He added: “I think it’s a little limiting. … Your grip doesn’t feel as strong when gripping and throwing the ball, so we’re trying to do things to compensate for that.”

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