NFC Notes: Falcons, Panthers, Saints


One league evaluator who spoke with Mike Sando of The Athletic believes that the Falcons should use the number four overall pick on a quarterback prospect such as Ohio State’s Justin Fields.

He also wonders how many years former MVP QB Matt Ryan has left in the tank in Atlanta.

“Atlanta is in a really tough spot because, how many years does Matt Ryan have left?” the evaluator said. “You can sit Justin Fields or whoever for a year and figure you’ll win some games that the 2020 team would have lost, and you won’t be back picking this high again for a while. This is Atlanta’s one shot at a top quarterback. I personally think quarterbacks are going 1-2-3-4.”

An NFL executive explained to Sando that new Falcons’ GM Terry Fontenot was handcuffed in terms of overhauling the roster this offseason.

“The new leadership could not come in there and go wild in free agency, which is sometimes not a bad thing,” the executive told Sando. “Without resources, the coach can’t demand they sign this guy, and the owner can’t insert himself because there just isn’t money to spend. Last year, they signed Todd Gurley. You bargain hunt this year and maybe you come out ahead.”


  • Dan Patrick reported on his show that the Panthers are still currently looking to move up in the draft, likely to select one of the top quarterbacks available.
  • If they are unable to do so, Patrick’s source tells him that the Panthers may be interested in potentially trading a second or third-round pick to the Jets for QB Sam Darnold.


  • Katherine Terrell of The Athletic notes that despite saving $100 million against the cap this offseason, the Saints are still likely going to be in trouble this coming season.
  • Terrell mentions that New Orleans likely has less than $2 million to work with heading into the draft, following the signings of TE Nick Vannett and DE Tanoh Kpassagnon
  • Terrell adds that the team needs about $2.5 million to sign their draft picks, about $700,000 for their offseason workout program, $2 million for their practice squad, as well as money set aside for any grievances and injury settlements.
  • On top of this money, Terrell says the Saints will still need several million dollars to sign new players as others get injured throughout the 2021 preseason and regular season.
  • While the arrest of CB Marshon Lattimore complicates any new deal he may have been in line to receive, Terrell is of the mindset that the team could re-sign T Ryan Ramczyk to a record deal that could still lower his current cap number to free up more space.

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