NFC South Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers



  • Buccaneers HC Dirk Koetter said Thursday that they’re planning for Ryan Fitzpatrick to open the season as their starting quarterback. (Scott Smith)
  • Koetter was asked if Jameis Winston will definitely be the team’s starter in Week 4 after he serves his suspension: “Week 4 is a long ways away. Let’s worry about Week 4 in Week 4. Right now, let’s worry about preseason and getting ready for the season.” (Greg Auman)


The Falcons and WR Julio Jones agreed to a contract adjustment Wednesday night that will lead to him reporting to the team for training camp.

Falcons HC Dan Quinn told reporters on Thursday that he wasn’t as concerned about the situation as people on the outside were.

“I probably didn’t feel the same stress that you and the fan base had,” Quinn said, via “I know there were some reports out regarding him not coming. … I’ve known he was coming to camp for a while. And that’s part of good communication, player to coaches. It wasn’t necessarily where I was not expecting him to be here.

“But I am glad, between Thomas and their side, usually, when there’s something to get done, they work together and find a way to figure it out. I think that’s a good example between Thomas and Jimmy [Sexton], who is Julio’s representation.

  • Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff said the team will look for a long-term solution to Jones’ contract situation after the 2018 season. (D. Orlando Ledbetter)


Panthers GM Marty Hurney mentioned that they want to see WR Devin Funchess, who is in the final year of his contract, put together back-to-back strong seasons.

“Devin really made huge strides last year,” Hurney said, via the Charlotte Observer. “And he hopes to continue to do the same this year. It’s a continued development year. You want to see a guy put back-to-back years together.

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