NFC South Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers

     

Buccaneers

  • Per Rick Stroud, Buccaneers first-round LB Devin White signed a four-year deal worth $29.315 million with a $19.34 million signing bonus.
  • White’s deal is guaranteed for all four years and includes an average annual salary of $7,328,954.
  • In 2019, White has a base salary of $495,000 and the full signing bonus of $19 million while carrying a cap hit of $5,330,148.

Falcons

Having both WR Julio Jones and WR Calvin Ridley isn’t just good for the Falcons offense matching up to opposing defenses. Ridley, a first-round pick in 2018, has the benefit of working with one of the NFL’s best receivers to accelerate his development. 

“He’s got one of the best mentors that you could possibly ask for in Julio,” Falcons QB Matt Ryan said via ESPN’s Vaughn McClure. “A guy who can come talk to him after he’s gone through certain stuff and say, ‘That was really good, I liked your release,’ or, ‘That was pretty good, but if you try this, setting up in this way, you might be able to create more separation.’ I think their relationship and the way that those two communicate has really accelerated Calvin’s career.”

Ridley led all rookie wide receivers in receiving yardage last year, and the Falcons hope he can one day step into Jones’ role as the No. 1 pass catcher for the team. Jones doesn’t hold back anything while helping Ridley and has embraced his role as a mentor. 

“You can’t win if you hide [pointers] away from younger guys,” Jones said. “You want them to be their best and be able to go out there and perform week in and week out for you. … I want everybody to be successful.”

Panthers

  • Because OT Daryl Williams missed OTA’s and minicamp as he continues to recover from a knee injury in 2018, the Athletic’s Joe Person writes it’s still unclear where the Panthers plan to play Williams. 
  • Williams started the year at right tackle, but former second-round OT Taylor Moton finished the year at the position and played well. Williams is a candidate to move inside and start at left guard, along with Moton. 
  • Person mentions the Panthers hope to be able to rely on second-round OT Greg Little as their starter at left tackle in 2019.
  • Person notes third-round QB Will Grier is a lock to make the roster, but depending on how quickly he develops, the Panthers could keep either Taylor Heinicke or Kyle Allen as a third quarterback. 
  • Depending on how S Rashaan Gaulden and CB Corn Elder adjust to starting roles as free safety and nickel, respectively, Person says the Panthers could bring in free-agent help to the secondary. 

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