NFC Notes: Buccaneers, Rob Gronkowski, Falcons, Desmond Ridder, Panthers


  • Former Buccaneers TE Rob Gronkowski was unable to commit to returning when he contacted the team about playing around Thanksgiving but told them that his return in 2023 was a possibility. (Rick Stroud)
  • Georgia OC Todd Monken is believed to be the highest-paid offensive coordinator in college football at $2.01 million per year and is currently set to interview with both the Buccaneers and the Ravens for the same position. (Rick Stroud)


Falcons HC Arthur Smith said they are encouraged by the development third-round QB Desmond Ridder made this season. 

“We are certainly encouraged by the progress that he’s made,” Smith said, via Michael Rothstein of ESPN. “But there is a lot of work ahead of us before we are ready to declare anything like that right now.”

Ridder said he learned to be patient and take what’s available on the field. 

“Just be patient. Take what’s there,” Ridder said. “Don’t try to do too much. Don’t try to force anything. You’re going to have guys open. You’re going to see guys. Just make it there.”

As for evaluating Ridder this season, OC Dave Ragone said that there isn’t a “perfect science” in determining the progression for a quarterback.

“I don’t know if there’s a perfect science to, ‘Hey, he played this many snaps. He’s played this many games. Oh, I’ve got the evaluation,’” Ragone said. “I think guys grow at different rates. I’ve been around young quarterbacks that it clicked right away. I’ve been around young quarterbacks that it’s clicked later, and I’ve been around young quarterbacks that never clicked at all, but you keep waiting because you’re like, ‘Hey, there’s this amount of games.’ Just no different than when you’re evaluating a quarterback coming out of college.”

  • The Falcons are moving on from defensive assistants Gary Emanuel (DL), Ted Monachino (OLB), and Jon Hoke (secondary). (Mike Rothstein)


  • Albert Breer mentions that Vic Fangio is a possibility for the Panthers and Dolphins as defensive coordinator. He could also replace the current defensive coordinators with the 49ers (DeMeco Ryans) and Eagles (Jonathan Gannon) should they wind up getting head coaching jobs. 
  • Joe Person reports that the Panthers have had follow-up discussions with Fangio but a deal is considered unlikely at this point.
  • Jordan Schultz reports that Fangio have not spoken since Friday night and are not currently negotiating.

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