NFC Notes: Tom Brady, Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers, Cam Newton


Buccaneers QB Tom Brady addressed his 11-day absence from the team for personal reasons, saying he’s “ready to go” now that he’s back. 

“It’s all personal. Everyone’s got different situations they’re dealing with,” Brady said via ESPN’s Jenna Laine. “We all have really unique challenges to our life. I’m 45 years old, man. There’s a lot of s— going on. Just gotta try to figure out life the best you can. It’s a continuous process.”

Brady also addressed all of the reports that linked him to other teams over the past couple of years, including the Dolphins and the Raiders. 

“I think since I came to this organization, it’s been amazing — it’s just been an amazing experience for me to come to this place and be as supported as I have for a long period of time,” Brady said. “I read all these stories about all these different places I was supposed to go or could have gone. And I was like, ‘I only was gonna go to one place, which was here.’ I think this whole organization knows that…

“All the conversations we’ve had over a period of time — I chose the right place for me. And I’m very proud of the effort that everyone’s put in to make the relationship work. [Owner/co-chairman] Joel [Glazer] has been amazing. [General manager] Jason [Licht’s] a great friend of mine. Bruce [Arians],Todd [Bowles], all the coaches. It’s been an amazing relationship and I’m very grateful to everybody for allowing me to come down here and experience this part of my football life which, [if] I looked back, it would probably be incomplete had I not had it. I’m happy I’ve had it.”


  • ESPN’s Michael Rothstein writes the Falcons have a number of decisions that basically look like coin flips for roster spots. For instance, both RBs Damien Williams and Qadree Ollison didn’t seem to do a lot to separate themselves during the preseason and there might just be room for one. 
  • Rothstein adds the back of the roster at wide receiver is a jumble between numerous candidates. He thinks KhaDarel Hodge has earned a spot but then it’s anyone’s guess if Damiere Byrd, Frank Darby, Cameron Batson or Jared Bernhardt also make it. 
  • Rothstein expects the Falcons to place DL Marlon Davidson on injured reserve after final cuts, which would allow them to make a waiver claim to address the position. 
  • He also points out OLB Quinton Bell has made a compelling case for the final roster and could be one of the last cuts. 
  • Falcons CB Dee Alford, who signed with Atlanta after playing in the CFL in 2021, has been one of the stars of camp, per Rothstein, and could work his way into a role as the starting nickel corner. 


Panthers HC Matt Rhule was asked by reporters if the team would look into signing former QB Cam Newton now that quarterbacks Sam Darnold and Matt Corral are out due to injuries.

“Um, Scott [Fitterer] and I will talk about that,” Rhule said. “Obviously, Cam would have to weigh in on that. There’d be a lot of things that we’d have to look at. You guys know my feelings on Cam. My time with him was fantastic. But probably too early right now to say much about that.”

  • The Athletic’s Joe Person doesn’t expect the Panthers to keep QB P.J. Walker as the third option on the depth chart on the final roster, however, a practice squad spot is certainly a possibility. That was before the injury to Darnold, however. 
  • Panthers QB Baker Mayfield is in the last year of his deal, and Person notes if he plays well enough to get Carolina back to the playoffs, they almost have to re-sign him. 
  • He adds there’s a real scenario where the Panthers are back in the quarterback market again in 2023, with a new head coach possibly helping to make the decision if Matt Rhule doesn’t guide Carolina to the playoffs. 

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