NFC Notes: Falcons, Panthers, Saints


  • A report from earlier in the week mentioned that Falcons GM Terry Fontenot and HC Arthur Smith are not aligned regarding their plans for the No. 4 pick. 
  • However, D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution says that Fontenot and Smith are now “aligned” as it pertains to their draft picks. 
  • Ledbetter lists Oregon LT Penei Sewell, Florida TE Kyle Pitts, Ohio State QB Justin Fields, LSU WR Ja’Marr Chase and Alabama CB Patrick Surtain Jr as the five players to watch for Atlanta at No. 4 overall. 
  • Falcons’ WR Calvin Ridley should see his fifth-year option picked up, according to Mike Sando of The Athletic. Sando notes that Ridley’s option would cost Atlanta $11,116,000, which is significantly lower than $17 million per year the Seahawks are paying Tyler Lockett as part of his new extension. 
  • As for TE Hayden Hurst, Sando expects the Falcons to decline his fifth-year option worth $5,428,000 for the 2022 season, even though they traded a fourth-round pick for him last year.


  • Mike Sando of The Athletic points out that with the Panthers trading valuable draft picks to the Jets in return for QB Sam Darnold, it is likely he will see his fifth-year option picked up by Carolina.
  • It’s worth mentioning that reports said earlier last week that Carolina is expected to pick up Darnold’s option, which will run them $18,858,000 for the 2022 season. 
  • Sando adds that Darnold’s cap number will be less than that of QB Teddy Bridgewater in 2022 and says that the future is currently in doubt for Bridgewater.
  • As for WR D.J. Moore, Sando thinks the team will get a bargain by picking up his option, as free agent receivers of his caliber have commanded much more than $11,116,000 he would make in 2022.


  • Mike Sando of The Athletic does not see the Saints’ picking up the fifth-year option on DE Marcus Davenport, as the team has already bet on him once and did not get what they desired out of the former first-round pick.
  • Sando adds that skilled, young pass-rushers are hard to find, and thinks New Orleans could still consider picking up the option if they feel Davenport is on the verge of a breakout season. Even so, he declines they’ll decline Davenport’s $9,553,000 option for the 2022 season. 

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