NFC Notes: Jameis Winston, Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers

     

Jameis Winston

While speaking at a football camp, Saints QB Jameis Winston said he is working hard on returning to prominence after being the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. 

“I went from being the No. 1 draft pick to being – everybody laughing at me. But guess what? I’m about that business. I’m outworking everybody at my position,” Winston said, via Jeff Nowak of Nola.com. “I’m doing things every single day. Commit to the dream. Because that’s the thing, we have to go back to being little kids about this football game. Because this is a kid’s game that men play.”

Winton encouraged the high school football prospects to continue pushing through challenges. 

“We love this game, man. So always have that little-kid feeling in this game. … We done have some tough days out here in this muck, man. It’s been tough,” Winston said. “But you’re going to have challenging days. But I encourage each and every one of you to have faith and belief in yourself above any coach, above any teammate, above any friend that you have.”

Buccaneers

  • Bucs GM Jason Licht admits that the 2021 NFL Draft’s thing class at defensive line played a role in re-signing DTs Ndamukong Suh, Rakeem Nunez-Roches and Steve McLendon. (Jenna Laine)
  • Laine added that they are “also excited” about DEs Jeremiah Ledbetter and Khalil Davis.
  • Licht didn’t rule out the possibility of the Buccaneers drafting a running back even after the recent addition of Giovani Bernard: “Every position is on the table right now.” (Greg Auman)
  • When asked about Buccaneers’ free-agent Antonio Brown settling his civil case, Licht mentioned that they have put an “emphasis” on bringing back players from last season: “We’ve had discussions throughout the offseason … we’ve put an emphasis on bringing back players from last year … he would be no different.” (Greg Auman)

Falcons

  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer writes that he’s getting the sense the Falcons are preparing to stick at No. 4 and make their pick. Breer notes Atlanta’s asking price has been astronomical which is an indication of how much they like the players who could be available. 
  • Breer adds he thinks it comes down to two options for Atlanta; either they draft a quarterback or they go with Florida TE Kyle Pitts.
  • It’s also an indication of the timeline the team sees for itself, as Breer explains a quarterback likely means a two-year rebuild for the Falcons as they clean up their books and move on from key older pieces, whereas Pitts could possibly help Atlanta contend for the playoffs as soon as this season. 
  • Multiple league sources tell Fansided’s Matt Lombardo that the Falcons and owner Arthur Blank are zeroing in on Pitts if they stay at No. 4. 
  • New Falcons WR/RB/KR Cordarrelle Patterson said he’d be comfortable lining up at running back in Atlanta’s offense: “Honestly man, it don’t matter where they put me on the football field. I just go out and try to make a play for my team.” (D. Orlando Ledbetter)
  • Falcons’ new S Duron Harmon said he “learned patience” while playing with the Lions in 2020 after spending 2013-2019 in New England. Harmon added that he gained experience working to encourage younger players. (Michael Rothstein)
  • Harmon indicated that he personally reached out to the Falcons because he was interested in playing for HC Arthur Smith and DC Dean Pees. (Tori McElhaney)
  • Patterson’s one-year, $3 million deal includes a $1.3 million base salary and a $1.7 mil signing bonus. (Michael Rothstein)
  • Harmon’s one-year, $1,212,500 deal includes a $137,500 signing bonus and $362,500 of his $1.075 million base salary is guaranteed. 

Panthers

  • Joseph Person of The Athletic reports that the Panthers are “intrigued” by Ohio State QB Justin Fields. 
  • This comes after Adam Schefter also reported that the Panthers had conversations about potentially trading back from No. 8 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. 
  • According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, new Panthers DT DaQuan Jones received $4.05 million guaranteed on his one-year deal. 
  • Panthers LB Christian Miller, who opted out of last season, plans to play in 2021. (Person)

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