NFC Notes: Deion Jones, Falcons, Panthers, Saints


  • ESPN’s Mike Rothstein thinks the Falcons would definitely trade LB Deion Jones if they had any hint of interest. Whether or not they would cut him outright despite significant dead money is something to watch during training camp. 
  • Rothstein writes fifth-round RB Tyler Allgeier is expected to be in the top two in the backfield. Veteran RB Damien Williams will compete with converted cornerback Avery Williams for the kick return job and the loser could be out of a roster spot. 
  • Rothstein could see as few as five receivers kept on the final roster and says there’s a stiff battle for the final two spots between Damiere Byrd, Auden Tate, Geronimo Allison, KhaDarel Hodge and Frank Darby
  • The other big positional battle to watch, per Rothstein, is at center between Matt Hennessy and 2021 fourth-rounder Drew Dalman. There’s also a punter battle between UDFA Seth Vernon and Dom Maggio.  
  • Rothstein notes if either OLB Quinton Bell or Jordan Brailford have a good preseason, they could stick on the final roster as a fifth edge rusher. 


  • ESPN’s David Newton writes there’s a faction in the organization that believes Browns QB Baker Mayfield would be an upgrade over QB Sam Darnold as long as he comes cheaply. 
  • He notes Panthers TE Stephen Sullivan had a good spring and could beat TE Colin Thompson for the No. 3 job in camp. 
  • The Athletic’s Joe Person writes a trade for 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo is a non-starter for the Panthers at his current scheduled $25 million or so in 2022 compensation. The team is also worried about his surgically repaired throwing shoulder. 
  • Person mentions veteran WR Andre Roberts is a roster lock as the return specialist. That leaves two more spots open at receiver with Rashard Higgins, Brandon Zylstra, Shi Smith and Keith Kirkwood the contenders. Special teams will be a major deciding factor. 
  • The Panthers usually keep nine offensive linemen, per Person, which means sixth-round G Cade Mays, G Deonte Brown, OL Dennis Daley and G Michael Jordan all could be competing for two spots. 
  • Person adds the Panthers will almost certainly add another defensive end to try and take attention away from Brian Burns


The Saints face a huge change in 2022 transitioning into a post-Sean Payton future. But this offseason their goal was to minimize the change as much as possible everywhere else, which included promoting DC Dennis Allen to head coach and retaining the builk of the coaching staff. 

“I think that was huge, keeping the DNA the same,” Saints RB Mark Ingram said, via the team’s website. “It’s not like it’s a full rebuild here. I think you have a team that can make a lot of noise and make a run at it. Obviously, we have to improve and get better and gel as a unit, but I think keeping the DNA of the team, the culture of the team the same, I think that’s huge and I think we’ll all benefit from it.”

Allen had a brief unsuccessful stint as the head coach of the Raiders, losing his job in his third season in 2014 after compiling just 8 wins. He filled in as the interim head coach for Payton last year for a win against the Buccaneers, however, and Ingram says so far so good. 

“Obviously, D.A. is different from Sean. But D.A. has done a great job of just trying to keep it as normal as possible and adding his own kind of flavor to it,” Ingram said. “I think the defense is more used to it, because they spent so much time with him in defensive meetings. We only saw him sometimes when he had to fill in. But I like him a lot. I think he’s doing a great job with the team, he’s doing a great job in the team meetings, he’s doing a great job with us out there telling us let’s get our work done, let’s be efficient, let’s be effective, let’s improve, let’s work, let’s have a sense of urgency. He’s going to take care of us and get us off the field. I think he’s done a great job. Just having the same DNA, the same culture of the team, I think that’s going to be good for everyone in the locker room.”

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