NFC Notes: Panthers, Saints, Vikings



  • Per Max Henson of the team website, Panthers owner David Tepper thinks new HC Matt Rhule can stick in Carolina for a lot longer than the seven-year deal he initially signed for: “I think Matt Rhule can come in here and build an organization for the next 30 or 40 years. He can build it.”
  • Tepper, a former minority owner with the Pittsburgh Steelers, compared Rhule’s potential to that of long-time Steelers head coach Chuck Noll: “He built a program that has lasted through three coaches. That’s what I hope Matt Rhule can do for us here. He’s a program builder.”
  • According to Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline, the Redskins could target Panthers GM Marty Hurney following the 2020 NFL Draft, as he has a good relationship with HC Ron Rivera
  • The Panthers blocked an interview request from the Redskins for RB coach Jake Peetz. (Albert Breer)
  • In his introductory press conference, Rhule declined to talk about QB Cam Newton‘s future until he had more time to familiarize himself with the team: “Haven’t had a chance to talk about long-term vision. I talked to Cam yesterday and I have the utmost respect for him and what he’s done.” (Henson)
  • Rhule mentioned wanting to implement a thorough sports science program with the goal of extending players’ careers. (Jourdan Rodrigue)
  • Rhule said he plans to hire a mixed staff of assistants, pulling from both the NFL and college ranks. (Joseph Person)
  • While bringing in an experienced coordinator isn’t necessarily in his plans, Rhule noted he plans to hire an experienced, mentor-type coach to his staff. (Rodrigue)
  • Rhule pointed to the seven-year offer the Panthers put on the table as a major factor pulling him to Carolina: “When they offered me the chance to be there seven years it spoke to the belief we are going to do this together.” (David Newton)
  • Panthers GM Marty Hurney said that while he entered Monday’s interview with Rhule with questions about how he would transition from college to the NFL, he was swayed after about an hour: “That guy is a head ball coach.” (Rodrigue)
  • Hurney added they offered Rhule an “open canvass” with the team. (Person)
  • Hurney mentioned Rhule would assist him in hiring an assistant general manager, noting it could take some time. (Person)


Saints QB Teddy Bridgewater explored his options in free agency last year, but after the rebuilding Dolphins were the only team to show interest, he elected to re-sign on a one-year, prove-it deal for 2019. After going 5-0 in relief of starting QB Drew Brees this year, Bridgewater has put himself in position to be in much higher demand — assuming another team comes along that offers him more than New Orleans where the 27-year-old feels like he’s revived his career. 

“Being back in the South, being in this culture and this city — a city that’s gone through a lot, and me as a person, I’ve gone through a lot as well — I feel like my personality, my foundation, it sits well with this city. I’ve been able to mesh well with this team, with this city,” Bridgewater told last week via ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

  • Schefter mentions the Dolphins as a possibility for Bridgewater, but only if they commit to building around him and not taking another quarterback. 
  • As for Brees, Schefter expects him to sign a two-year deal between $50-$60 million to stay in New Orleans. 
  • Schefter expects the Saints to tender restricted free agent QB Taysom Hill at either the $4.5 million first-round tender or $3.2 million for the second-round tender. 
  • The Athletic’s Larry Holder mentions Saints OT Terron Armstead and G Larry Warford as extension candidates if New Orleans needs to create cap space. 
  • Saints LB Kiko Alonso is an easy candidate as a cap casualty given his $8.7 million cap hit and his third career ACL tear Sunday. 
  • Holder believes the Saints will let G Andrus Peat, DT David Onyemata, CB Eli Apple and S D.J. Swearinger hit free agency. 
  • Holder adds he thinks the Saints try to bring back CB Janoris Jenkins at a lower cap hit than $11 million. 


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