NFC Notes: Falcons, Packers, Panthers

     

Falcons

Packers

  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer points out Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, at 36, is older than Brett Favre was when Green Bay drafted Rodgers in the first round, which could make quarterback a higher priority for the Packers than it looks at first glance. 
  • The Athletic’s Matt Schneidman writes that inside linebacker becomes a big need given the indication from Packers GM Brian Gutekunst‘s end of season press conference that they wouldn’t bring back LB Blake Martinez
  • Schneidman also anticipates the Packers trying to add an explosive No. 2 wide receiver in the draft. 
  • Another item on the offseason to-do list for Gutekunst is to sign DT Kenny Clark to a long-term extension sometime this offseason: “These things don’t happen quickly, usually. The idea was always sometime this offseason we’d start to approach that, and we will.”
  • Schneidman anticipates the Packers will move on from TE Jimmy Graham and bring back TE Marcedes Lewis to join Robert Tonyan and Jace Sternberger on the roster. He also thinks Green Bay will explore signing a free agent like Colts TE Eric Ebron to bolster the position. 
  • While the Packers should be able to easily re-sign K Mason Crosby and CB Tramon Williams, they might end up in a bidding war for OT Bryan Bulaga, per Schneidman.
  • The Packers are interviewing former Vikings DB coach Jerry Gray for the same position in Green Bay. (Tom Silverstein)
  • Green Bay will also interview Dolphins safeties coach Tony Oden for the job. (Tom Silverstein)

Panthers

Though his hiring was overshadowed by the surprise retirement of LB Luke Kuechly later that same day, the Panthers remain thrilled about the hiring of former LSU assistant Joe Brady as their next offensive coordinator. Though Brady is the NFL’s youngest offensive coordinator at the age of just 30, Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey is confident that won’t hold him back. 

“You see rookies come into the NFL all the time and have great years and they have zero experience in the NFL,” McCaffrey said via ESPN’s David Newton. “It can be the same with a coach.”

“He’s able to utilize not just me, but everybody,” McCaffrey continued. “And put everybody in a position they can best help the team win. That’s something that’s not easy to do. It’s not one system. It’s a constant changing. You look at what he did with the LSU program this year, possibly the greatest college team of all times. It was fun to watch as an outsider before I knew he was our coach. Now that I know he is [the Panthers’ coach], I’m extremely excited.”

  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer says he wouldn’t rule out the Panthers adding Patriots executive Nick Caserio after his contract in New England expires following the draft, mentioning Panthers owner David Tepper has been friendly with Caserio at league events. 
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