NFC Notes: Gabbert, Buccaneers, Cousins, Panthers, Winston, Saints


Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times points out the Buccaneers liked Broncos QB Teddy Bridgewater back when he was a free agent in 2020 and he would have been their plan B had they not landed Tom Brady. However if he’s signed this offseason, it would be to compete with veteran Blaine Gabbert, who Stroud says HC Bruce Arians thinks highly of. Stroud adds it gives Tampa Bay less pressure to turn to 2021 second-round QB Kyle Trask if he’s not ready. 

“People may not like the overall record, but Blaine had eight head coaches and eight coordinators his first eight years,” Arians said. “He beat Jacksonville their best year and beat Tennessee their big year for us in Arizona. And he’s been in the system now. I don’t have a problem there and let Kyle continue to grow. Either one. (Gabbert) has never played with a team this good. He’s got all the respect in the locker room that he can have.”

  • Stroud notes he is doubtful the Glazer family that owns the Buccaneers would sign off on a trade for Texans QB Deshaun Watson given his legal situation. 


  • David Newton of ESPN thinks CB A.J. Bouye is the most likely cut candidate for the Carolina Panthers this offseason.
  • ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler lists the Commanders, Panthers and Giants as teams who could be fits for Bills QB Mitchell Trubisky this offseason. 
  • Fowler adds the expectation is Carolina at a bare minimum brings in competition for 2021 starting QB Sam Darnold, whose $18.8 million guaranteed fifth-year option salary pretty much locks him in for 2022. 
  • In an interview on the Pat McAfee Show, NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport guesses the Panthers will at some point call on everyone who could possibly be available in search of an upgrade. Carolina reportedly called the Vikings to inquire about QB Kirk Cousins.
  • Rapoport does not think the Vikings leaked the report to drum up interest and does not get the sense they’re interested in trading Cousins. 


  • Per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the expectation around the league is the Saints will re-sign QB Jameis Winston for 2022, as even with HC Sean Payton gone, the coaching staff has a lot of familiarity with him after two seasons.
  • One offensive coach on another team told Fowler: “I think they’ve got something there, and word is his Saints’ teammates love him. The big question is what things will look like without the presence of [Payton]. He’s such an elite playcaller. But that’s a good staff and good team that shouldn’t take much of a step back.”
  • Saints defensive assistants Ryan Nielsen and Kris Richard are in line for promotions, possibly as co-defensive coordinators. Nothing is set in stone as HC Dennis Allen continues to fill out his staff, though. (Fowler)

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