NFC Notes: Falcons, Panthers, Saints


  • Regarding the possibility of the Falcons trading Julio Jones, NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport points out that Atlanta can now deal Jones with a post-June 1 designation to save them $15.3 million in cap space while creating $7.75 million in dead money spread out over three years. 
  • According to Rapoport, no trade for Jones is currently imminent and they do not need to create cap space to sign draft picks until the start of training camp. 
  • When asked if he’s spoken to Jones, Falcons HC Arthur Smith responded that he’s in contact with “all our players” but was non-committal to his attendance at next week’s mandatory minicamp: “We have conversations with all our players…we’ll see where we’re at next week.”  (Michael Giardi)


  •’s Mike Kaye named the Panthers as a potential suitor for Eagles TE Zach Ertz. Carolina doesn’t have a locked-in starter at the position and their offense could give Ertz a chance to rebuild his value before hitting free agency next year. 
  • The Carolina Panthers have promoted Mike Anderson to director of football operations, while vice president of football operations Sean Padden resigned from his position to pursue other opportunities. (Alaina Getzenberg)
  • Joseph Person reports that Padden “left under pressure” due to differences with employees and other team officials. 
  • Panthers S Jeremy Chinn said he is comfortable playing “any position” after recovering from his knee injury but has been meeting with the safeties group this offseason: “I’m comfortable playing safety. I’m comfortable playing any position. So wherever I’m needed, that’s where I’ll be.” (Joseph Person)


Saints QB Tayson Hill said he isn’t going to try and be former QB Drew Brees, because that is almost impossible.

“I think the thing that I realize first and foremost is there is no replacing a Drew Brees,” Hill said, via’s Rod Walker. “He’s one of the greatest to ever do it. But I think as I got ready to enter the NFL, my goal and my mindset was to just do everything I can to have an opportunity to be a guy. Because there are only 32 starters in the NFL. So as I look forward into this year and training camp and OTAs and the season, I’m really just excited about having that opportunity. That has been the goal and the mindset since I was a rookie in 2017 first entering the NFL. So it’s definitely something that I’m not taking lightly and I’m going to give it everything I’ve got.”

Hill also mentioned he’s not thinking about a QB competition with QB Jameis Winston.

“Obviously there are individual goals and goals at the high end,” Hill said. “But there has been so much conversation about competition, competition and all this, but at the end of the day for me, I have some things that I feel like will help me be as good as I possibly can. To me that has always been my goal and my competition. So as a quarterback, it’s always centered around decision making, timing, accuracy. At the end of the day, I’m constantly competing with myself to be as good of a player as I possibly can be. That competition never ends. Whether it’s on the football or whether it’s in life, I feel like I’m always competing with myself to be as good of a person and as good of a player as I possibly can.”

  • The Athletic’s Larry Holder writes that he’s assuming Winston will ultimately win the starting job, and that will put the onus on HC Sean Payton to adapt his offense to Winston’s strengths as a passer. 
  • That could include more deep routes, which Winston is better at than Brees given his superior arm strength, and less of a reliance on short timing routes like slants given Winston isn’t as accurate in that area. 

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