NFC Notes: Falcons, Panthers, Saints

     

Falcons

  • According to the Athletic’s Jeff Schultz, the Falcons haven’t approached DT Grady Jarrett about a restructure or extension.
  • Jarrett currently carries a cap hit of $20.833 million for 2021, which is the third-highest on the team behind Matt Ryan‘s $40.9 million and Julio Jones‘ $23.05 million. 
  • The Falcons had a virtual predraft meeting with UCLA RB/WR Demetric Felton. (Justin Melo

Panthers

The Panthers created a ton of cap space that they didn’t necessarily have to on Wednesday by restructuring deals for LB Shaq Thompson and RB Christian McCaffrey, freeing up almost $12 million in space and pushing Carolina’s total cap room to around $30 million. The cap is fluid, especially at this time of year, but that’s enough to put Carolina in the top ten in terms of available room to work with this offseason as more than half the league tightens its belt. Still, new Panthers GM Scott Fitterer doesn’t foresee a lot of major moves. 

“We’ll talk to a lot of agents starting on Monday and see where the market is,” Fitterer said via Darin Gantt of the team’s official website. “However, I think this might be one of those years where if you just wait and are patient, you might be able to get quite a few players in that middle class who get pinched by the cap this year. Even though we’ve created a lot of cap room, this is not a year we’re going to go wild spending money. We’re going to be very judicious in how we go about this.”

Though they’re rumored to be considering an aggressive play for a quarterback, Panthers HC Matt Rhule said the team isn’t going into free agency thinking it’s ready to compete right away. 

“We’re not just one player away,” Rhule said. “We’re in a situation where we have to keep building our team. Like I said earlier with the cap situation, we have to be really targeted.”

Saints

  • The Athletic’s Katherine Terrell believes Saints QB Drew Brees is still planning to retire but he and the team still have not made it official and nobody has given her a clear answer on why. 
  • Terrell thinks the Saints asked TE Josh Hill to take a pay cut and he decided to test the market first. She adds it’s possible he could still be back on a lower salary.
  • As for QB Jameis Winston, Terrell doesn’t think the situation with Brees or the possibility of other teams being interested will get in the way of him returning in 2021 with the Saints. 
  • While she has yet to meet Winston, Terrell notes if the Saints had any concerns about his past or his maturity, they wouldn’t be comfortable moving forward with him. 
  • NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport points out that CB Janoris Jenkins had a fully guaranteed $1.2 million roster bonus due, but New Orleans opted to turn it into a signing bonus and it spread out over two years. This wound up saving the Saints an additional $600,000 in cap room. 
  • Iowa WR Ihmir Smith-Marsette will meet with the Saints. (Justin Melo)
  • Michigan CB Ambry Thomas will meet virtually with the Saints. (Justin Melo)

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