NFC Notes: Falcons, Panthers, Saints


Regarding the Falcons’ approach to free agency, GM Terry Fontenot said they were looking for players who fit into HC Arthur Smith‘s system and were in their budget range. 

“It starts with the head coach, Arthur Smith. He has to look at it like, ‘OK, we have to go out and find good, tough, competitive football players and we have to do it on a budget,’ and that’s not always easy,” Fontenot said, via Tori McElheney of the team’s official site. “Same thing with the patience from the organization, same thing with the patience from the owner, patience from the fans.”

Fontenot thinks recently signed S Jessie Bates is a player who improves others around him. 

“We not only want players who will be good at their position, but who’re going to make people around them better,” Fontenot said. “(Bates) has done that through his career.”

Regarding re-signing G Chris Lindstrom to a five-year, $105 million deal, Fontenot said he is an embodiment of their organization. 

“He embodies all of the characteristics and traits of the program we want to be, the person he is, the way he operates, the way he competes on a daily basis, obviously he has a lot of physical talent,” Fontenot said. “He’s the type of guy we want to build around.”


  • NBC Sports’ Peter King reports no one has contacted the Panthers yet about trading up to the No. 1 pick, and at this point, Carolina isn’t interested in moving the pick. 
  • It appears Carolina might be debating between Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud and Alabama QB Bryce Young, with the betting markets and consensus favoring Stroud right now. One GM for another team told Outkick’s Armando Salguero they think the pick will be Young, however: “We have a higher grade on Bryce Young. And it’s not just about how well he plays. He certainly was the best quarterback in the country last year. But if you study him, talk to him, his make-up is off the charts.”
  • Another GM added to Salguero: “The only reason we’re talking about there being a debate is because C.J. had a great game against Georgia. We like to look at the broader picture. We look at seasons, careers, other things, not just one game.”


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