NFC Notes: Shaq Thompson, Devin White, Buccaneers, Panthers, Saints


  • Per Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, Buccaneers LB Devin White returned to the team early for mandatory minicamp to participate in the voluntary photo shoot for team marketing content. 
  • White requested a trade earlier this offseason after being frustrated with the state of contract talks, so Stroud notes it appears things between the two sides have improved somewhat. 


Panthers LB Shaq Thompson says that a reunion with Carolina made sense as his prospects were not good on the open market. He will now be back playing with teammates he considers brothers in 2023.

“Just look at the linebacker market; nobody was getting paid,” Thompson said, via Augusta Stone of “So it was just weighing out, ‘Do I want to be here, or do I want to go somewhere else? Do I want to be with my brothers, who I went to war with, or do I want to go to a different team and meet new people?’ And shoot, I’m a big loyal guy. So I stayed with my brothers. I was like, ‘Man, I’d rather win with you guys. Or if I lose, I’d rather lose with y’all. I definitely want to win a Super Bowl, but I want to win one with them. I don’t want to win one with nobody else.”


The Saints brought in former Raiders HC Jon Gruden to discuss QB Derek Carr, who had some of the best seasons of his career playing for Gruden with the Raiders. And Carr was all for it, noting Gruden brings a level of insight and honesty that’s unique for anyone, including Carr himself. 

“I mean, it makes sense. I played my best football for him,” Carr said in a press conference. “So if anybody — trust me, I spent a lot of time with him. And so if anybody knows me, knows things about me that I don’t know, he would know it. [The Saints coaches] can ask questions that I can’t answer. How’s Derek react after this? I think I’m going to answer it right, but ‘Gru’ will tell the truth.”

“Everyone’s ideas make sense to each other. Everyone’s receiving ideas, even if it’s new,” Carr continued. “And it was just kind of cool to sit there and enjoy the time, enjoy being around each other. I can’t express enough how much I love coach Gruden. He’s family to me. When all that stuff happened, it was hard for me because you’re mad, you’re frustrated. But you don’t stop loving him, you know? I love that man and what he’s meant to me in my career — I played my best football with him. And I admire him. I’ve seen him around his kids, I’ve seen him around Cindy, his wife. I know who he is and I love him deeply like family. So, I can’t express to you how much he means to me and how hard of a time that was for me, when all that stuff was happening.”

“The fact that I got to see him again, give him a hug — it was like he was saying something, I’m finishing this sentence, all this kind of stuff it just comes back just like that,” Carr concluded, also speaking on the issues that caused Gruden to be fired. “He was like, ‘What was this play?’ and I could spit it out just like it was yesterday. What could’ve been — you think about those times, what could’ve been and all that kind of stuff. But, thankful to be here and thankful that I got to see him wearing our colors. Neither of us thought a couple years ago that we’d be doing that, but here we are. During that, I was like, I have two choices: I can either be mad about it, or I can choose to love him. And yes, I can be mad at certain things that were said, or certain things that were done, or decisions that were made. But at the end of the day, it didn’t really matter. My choice was, I was going to love him. If no one else was, I was going to love him. And so, I just tried to — even when things aren’t perfect, you still try. At least I try my best to continue to love the people I’m called to love and give them everything that I have. So it didn’t necessarily change. I just knew that he wasn’t my coach at that time anymore. And that was hard.”

  • Brooke Kirchofer reports Saints TE Foster Moreau has incentives that can increase his salary by $250,000 for each marker he hits for a max of $1.25 million, including 50 receptions, 60 receptions, 65 percent snaps played and 40 catches, 75 percent snaps played with 40 catches, and a Pro Bowl appearance. 

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