NFC Notes: Matthew Stafford, 49ers, Panthers, Rams


49ers FB Kyle Juszczyk shot down speculation revolving around QB Trey Lance and his absence from a basketball game the team attended this offseason, which included QB Sam Darnold.

Trey is beloved in our locker room,” Juszczyk said, via 49erswebzone. “Everybody loves Trey. The dude really does work his ass off. He’s super personable. He is a very well-liked guy. So for whatever reason that he wasn’t at the basketball game, it’s not because we don’t like him.


When asked about potentially making more defensive additions, Panthers HC Frank Reich responded he likes the players he has but it’s GM Scott Fitterer‘s decision on how to build the roster. 

“I love our guys. I love our team,” Reich said, via David Newton of ESPN. “But Scott’s job is to continually look and see what’s out there and build this roster.”

Panthers’ senior defensive consultant Dom Capers thinks they’ve been able to construct a top-five defense going into 2023. 

“At five different places, we’ve been able to go in and take a team from the middle-to-lower half of the league in defense into the top five,” said Capers.

Panthers OLB Brian Burns said OLB Yetur Gross-Matos has shown an improved ability to process the game and has made “big strides” with his development. 

“The main jump I’ve seen in him is his ability to process,” Burns said. “At that position, coverage drops and all these checks you have to deal with, it can be difficult. Being able to compartmentalize your brain to the point where you know you’re rushing on this play and you’ve got to act like a [defensive back] on the next play, that’s difficult to deal with, especially from a guy that’s used to a 4-3. He’s really taken big strides in it. It’s impressive.”


Colin Cowherd of Fox Sports said he was told that the Rams were frustrated that QB Matthew Stafford refused to re-work his deal this offseason.

I was told by a source I trust that they wanted to redo his contract. He wasn’t interested. It limits what they can do and they were frustrated with him,” Cowherd said, via Rams Wire. “And I could also see them next year taking a quarterback because the way to catch up in this league with personnel is rookie quarterback, go buy four good players.

SI’s Albert Breer believes the team was exploring its options going into a reset year but wasn’t actively shopping Stafford.

If you’re talking about shopping a guy, like, ‘We’re looking to offload him,’ that’s not what they were looking to do,” he said. “But they did earmark this as a reset year. And what I was told over and over again in February and March and when they traded Jalen Ramsey was, ‘We feel like if we don’t do this now, it’s gonna take two years, not one, for us to get out underneath all of the cap debt we’ve built up over the years building up the roster as aggressively as we have so we need to hit the reset button now.’ And when you’re going through the process of hitting the reset button, you explore everything. I think that’s more of what this was than anybody being shopped.”

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