NFC Notes: Mike Evans, Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers, Christian McCaffrey


  • PFF’s Brad Spielberger writes that Buccaneers WR Mike Evans could be an extension candidate this summer. He has two years remaining on his deal but Rams WR Cooper Kupp and Bills WR Stefon Diggs both signed new deals with the same amount of time remaining that gave them pay updates in line with how the wide receiver market jumped this offseason. 
  • Spielberger thinks the key number is the new three-year cash flow, as Kupp got $80.1 million and Diggs got $78 million in those categories. With that in mind, Spielberger projects a four-year, $108 million extension with $72 million in guarantees for Evans. 


Falcons CB Isaiah Oliver is still slowly working his way back from an ACL injury he suffered during the early part of the 2021 season.

“It was a lot to really understand, a lot to really grasp at the time,” Oliver said, via Michael Rothstein of ESPN. “And it just seemed like it was going to be impossible to get back to where I was at. Those first few weeks, just imagining running at that time was, like, impossible. So to play football was just a whole other level. Then you slowly get your confidence back, the knee starts to feel more normal, things like that.”

He returns in 2022 as a key starter for the Falcons in their nickel corner role. 

“I essentially get, like, a redo,” Oliver said. “That’s kind of how I look at it. I get that year over again, being in the same system with the same team and the same guys. There’s no secret sauce to make it heal faster. It just takes time. But then at some point, it’s going to be healed. It’s understanding the way our bodies work.”

Falcons S Erik Harris said that the team didn’t realize they were missing Oliver as their nickel corner until he was out of the lineup.

“Sometimes you don’t recognize how good things are until you lose it, right?” Harris said. “It was one of those situations. I wouldn’t say we took him for granted. But it was one of those things where everything is flowing well, he’s in there, he’s making calls, he’s getting people lined up, and all of a sudden he’s gone.”


Carolina was busy this offseason reshaping its roster to try and finally break through with a winning season under HC Matt Rhule. But if that happens, the biggest addition might already be on the roster — a healthy RB Christian McCaffrey. Carolina was 3-0 to start the season before McCaffrey went down and former Panthers LB Luke Kuechly says that’s not a coincidence. 

“He puts pressure on guys and he creates space — layers in the defense — by people being scared of him,” Kuechly said via the Athletic’s Joe Person. “Say he runs out of the backfield and he catches a checkdown, if there’s space, as a ’backer that’s scary to me. So as a byproduct of that, people feel like they need to be closer to him, and it opens up windows behind them. That’s one thing we missed last year was a guy out of the backfield that’s scary. Being a ’backer playing, I hate guys like that because they’re a problem anywhere they line up. I don’t think enough people understand that about the game. Guys with the ball in their hands, when they’re in the game, do they stress you? Christian stresses people in a way that not many guys in the league can. And it’s a game-changer.”

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