NFC Notes: Tom Brady, Buccaneers, Panthers, Matt Rhule


Former Patriots LB Rob Ninkovich said he wouldn’t be surprised if Bucs QB Tom Brady decides to retire after this season.

It wouldn’t surprise me if Tom Brady decided to walk away (this offseason) and do whatever he wants to do,” Ninkovich said, via Patriots Wire. “Right now, Tom is in bonus time. How many 44-year-old quarterbacks have we seen throw for the amount of yards and touchdowns (he has)? He’ll be 45 in August. So, at this point right now, what else does he have to prove to anybody? What else does he have to check off the list?

  • Jeff Howe reports that Buccaneers RT Tristan Wirfs has a significant high ankle sprain, which he has been receiving treatment on. Wirfs hopes to play in round two despite currently being a game-time decision.


Panthers HC Matt Rhule is certainly under a lot of pressure following this season, which may have led to Texans QB coach Pep Hamilton declining to interview for the team’s open offensive coordinator position that eventually went to former Giants’ HC Ben McAdoo.

“If he went to the Panthers, and then if all the stories are true about Matt Rhule being on the hot seat, Matt could be out after next season,” writes John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. “Pep has had four jobs in three years. And he keeps the boxes packed. And you know at some point, he would like to unpack them. At some point, I guess he’s looking for stability. And with so many coaches being fired—if I were gonna leave and go somewhere else, I’m looking for a coach who’s starting off. Not where a coach’s job is in jeopardy.”

Matt Rhule

  • Jason La Canfora reports that if Jim Harbaugh leaves Michigan for the NFL, Panthers HC Matt Rhule would be on top of the list of candidates to replace him in Ann Arbor.
  • La Canfora reports that Rhule has kept an eye on other college head coaching jobs, including Penn State and LSU.
  • Joseph Person of The Athletic thinks that Panthers OC Ben McAdoo was likely one of the best available candidates for the job and adds that the team now needs to give him a quarterback and an offensive line to work with.

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