NFC Notes: Falcons, Panthers, Saints


Despite likely having QB Matt Ryan and WR Julio Jones headlining the offense in 2021, new Falcons GM Terry Fontenot mentioned that Atlanta will “definitely” target quarterbacks and wide receivers in free agency this spring. 

“The question I get a lot is, ‘Hey, would you be willing to draft a quarterback, would you be willing to draft a receiver, despite how strong your receivers are or where you are with Matt Ryan?’” Fontenot said via Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer. “And yes. Yes, yes, yes. We’re definitely going to acquire at both of those positions, and we’re going to work hard to bring in competition. But I hold both those guys in high regard.”


  • The Athletic’s Joe Person writes the Panthers appear willing to put together a trade package that includes three first-round picks for Texans QB Deshaun Watson
  • Person adds the Panthers are doing their homework on this current class of rookie quarterbacks given they have the No. 8 pick and while they have received calls about incumbent starting QB Teddy Bridgewater, they won’t make any early offseason moves with him. 
  • The Panthers haven’t necessarily ruled out bringing back LT Russell Okung, according to Person, and are also doing homework on what they see as a deep group of tackles in the draft. 
  • While it doesn’t fit with the theme of getting younger, Person points out the Panthers could pursue veterans like Jared Cook, Kyle Rudolph or Tyler Eifert to fill their need at tight end. 
  • Person mentions Dolphins LB Kyle Van Noy, who won’t count against the compensatory pick formula if he’s released, could be an option for the Panthers to fill their need at linebacker. Former Packers LB Christian Kirksey also has connections to the current coaching staff. 
  • Viking DL Stephen Weatherly said Monday that he became complacent in his one season with the Panthers: “I’ll openly admit that, in Carolina, I was kind of happy about the deal I’d signed. A little bit of complacency set in. That can’t happen. I need to be striving and reaching for the next step.” (Ben Goessling)


  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer writes the Saints have been trying to trade LB Kwon Alexander, but he’s more likely to be cut than not given his $13.4 million cap hit. 
  • Saints RB Latavius Murray is another player who New Orleans might have to cut and would love to find a trade partner for instead. 
  • Breer notes WR Emmanuel Sanders is probably worth the $8 million he’s due from the Saints this year but he’s come up in trade talks as a luxury they can’t afford this year. 
  • Breer mentions he would expect the Saints to be involved in any trade conversations for Seahawks QB Russell Wilson or Texans QB Deshaun Watson regardless of their cap situation.
  • The Athletic’s Katherine Terrell lists the moves the Saints still need to make in order to get under the cap, including cutting Alexander, releasing or restructuring CB Janoris Jenkins and Sanders, cutting or trading DT Malcom Brown and restructuring WR Michael Thomas and G Andrus Peat.
  • She adds the Saints exposed themselves to a potentially risky situation by restructuring DE Cameron Jordan. He is now set to count more than $22 million against the cap in 2022 and 2023 and will turn 33 before the start of the 2022 season. If his plays falls off a cliff due to age, the Saints are going to have to eat a ton of dead money to cut him. 

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