NFC Notes: Todd Bowles, Mickey Loomis, Baker Mayfield, Buccaneers, Saints


Buccaneers HC Todd Bowles said that QB Baker Mayfield has “definitely earned” a new contract, with Mayfield saying he hopes to have another year with the team’s offense.

“I love this group,” Mayfield said, via the team website. “I’ve said that all year and it’s authentic. It would mean a lot to me, to bring back a lot of key pieces, to get this back together, to get into Year Two in the system. I feel like we could make huge strides. I would love that. Obviously, we’ll see how it’s going to play out but I can’t say enough about this organization and the opportunity they gave me this year.”

  • NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport says there remains mutual interest between the Buccaneers and Mayfield in a new deal to keep him in Tampa as the starting quarterback going forward. 
  • Now the two sides just have to figure out the details. Rapoport says Mayfield will want “real deal QB money” while the Buccaneers also have the franchise tag to lean on if necessary. 


Buccaneers HC Todd Bowles told reporters that QB Baker Mayfield did a “heck of a job” this year following their playoff loss to the Lions.

“He didn’t take over for Tom,” Bowles said in his postgame press conference, via Pro Football Talk. “Tom retired and Baker became a new quarterback on a new team with a new offensive coordinator. He took over for himself. We built it differently, we ran it differently, it was run differently around him and again, we can’t compare Baker to Tom. Tom is Mount Rushmore. Tom is off on his own. We started a new system with new guys and new energy and Baker carved his own mark. I’m proud of him for that.”

“Obviously, it’s too early to talk about that and business is business, but Baker had a hell of a year,” Bowles said. “We love him, the guys love him and then we’ll see what the future holds.”

  • Bowles also commented on WR Mike Evans and the thought of him playing elsewhere: “I don’t even think about it. I don’t like to be asked about it. I don’t want to know about it and I hope to hell that does not happen.” (Greg Auman)


Saints GM Mickey Loomis commented on the state of the franchise and believes they can make the playoffs next season. He also weighed in on the fans decision to boo QB Derek Carr at certain times during the year.

“In terms of booing, the crowd reaction, that’s on us, that’s not on the fans,” Loomis said, via Katherine Terrell of ESPN. “Look, if I was in the stands, there’s a couple of times I might have booed.”

“You have to win,” Loomis continued. “You have to perform well. That’s on us. Some of it’s out of our control. COVID, league rules, some things are out of our control, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a standard that we set. It starts with me … and certainly, our head coach and our coaching staff and all the people in the building are responsible for it, but it begins with me.”

“I think the things that the head coach is responsible for, game-day management, scheduling, all the things that you guys don’t see that I see or that we see internally, I feel good about,” Loomis added. “There’s certainly areas that he can improve in, but look, we’ve had a quarterback change, we’ve had some things changed in the last two or three years, and so we’ve got to look at ourselves and say, OK, what’s our expectations? Are they realistic? And if we’re not meeting those expectations, what can we do differently? And I don’t believe that that’s the head coach right now. I like Dennis Allen. I think he’s a good coach.”

“He’s been dealing with a lot of stuff this year — some things he didn’t even tell people about,” Saints WR Chris Olave noted. “He’s been a lot better these past few weeks, and you could tell with the offense moving the ball with a lot of rhythm, with a lot of confidence. I’m excited to be able to play with him next year again.”

Saints HC Dennis Allen thinks the team made improvements and reminded reporters the team only missed the playoffs due to a tiebreaker.

“We improved in the win-loss record,” Allen said. “That’s one area. We took the ball away much better this season. I feel like we were more competitive in a lot of games this year. I thought we threw the ball better. I think we’re better in the passing game this year. I don’t think we ran the ball as effectively as we needed to. I think this was a more competitive team than the one we were last year. I thought our guys worked hard last year, but we were much improved in terms of our competitiveness this season. Obviously when you get through the season and the expectations that, not only did the people outside of our building have for this team, but the people inside this building. I don’t think we met those expectations. Anytime you don’t do that, then yeah, I think there are a lot of things you have to look at as to what are those reasons — ‘why’ and ‘how’ do we change those?”

Loomis also brought up the salary cap issues that the team is facing and attributed some of them to the pandemic, something the team was unable to plan for or control. He also added that the team will have to restructure some deals but would not go into specifics. 

“That’s caused us to recalibrate a little bit,” Loomis mentioned. “But … we have to make up some ground. There’s no question over a period of time here we’re going to have to make up some ground cap-wise. It’s just cap management and I don’t want to get into the details of it. Yeah there was a purpose, but I’m not gonna tell you what the purpose is. I don’t know. We’re going to have to restructure a lot of contracts. That’s all part of cap management.”

One area that needs to be addressed in New Orleans is the offensive line, with Loomis commenting on OL Andrus Peat, as well as injured tackles Ryan Ramczyk and Trevor Penning. Peat moved to left tackle from guard this season and will be a free agent, counting for $13 million in dead money if he doesn’t return to the team.

“He gets thrown back out there and did a good job,” Loomis said. “Really pleased with that, and I think that gives him some confidence as well.”

“Anytime you have a good player who’s going through a tough thing health-wise, you’re always concerned,” Loomis told reporters about Ramczyk’s knee injury. “And yet, I have a positive feeling about where he’s gonna end up, and I think he does as well.”

“He gets hurt, and he has no offseason, and then we throw him in there as the starter Week 1,” Loomis said of Penning, who was benched early in the season. “I think a lot of that falls on us in terms of where he was and what he was ready to do. We’ve gotta do a better job in terms of development and preparing him to be ready. I think we will this offseason. I think we’ll have a good plan for him.”

The Saints are also searching for a new offensive coordinator after firing OC Pete Carmichael, which Loomis said was a difficult and emotional decision. He also said Carr won’t have input in who the team brings in next.

“Pete’s such a great coach — not a good coach, he’s a great coach,” Loomis said. “… We had historically good offenses here for a long period of time. And Pete was a much bigger part of that than he gets credit for. Really brilliant. His first game as a playcaller I think we scored 60 points.”

“We don’t ask our players to make decisions. We don’t. That’s not a burden that we put on them,” Loomis added. “Now we talk to a lot of our veteran players about the season, about the things that we expect from them, and they should certainly have expectations from us, but we’re not asking them to do any evaluations of any kind. Any decision of this magnitude, it just has to be a thoughtful, well-thought-out process, right? … There’s an obvious group of candidates, right? But there’s another group of candidates that might not be quite so obvious that we need to make sure that we take a look at, and we’ll do that.”

When it comes to former Raiders HC Jon Gruden being a potential candidate for the coaching staff, Loomis was unwilling to comment.

“I don’t really want to talk about any individual candidates for that role,” Loomis replied. “It’s a fair question, but we’ll answer that when we hire.”

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