NFC South Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers

     

Buccaneers

Turnovers have been a problem for Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston since he entered the NFL despite saying every offseason he’s focused on fixing that part of his game. Winston threw for 33 touchdowns and more than 5,100 yards in 2019, but still had a staggering 30 interceptions. With his contract up after this season, Winston is running out of chances to prove he can cut down on the interceptions

“Like he know he got to get better at that,” Buccaneers LB Shaquil Barrett said via JoeBucsFan.com. “He’s going to get better at that. That’s the only way he’s going to stay in the league. Because I don’t think you can have multiple seasons doing stuff like that and stay in the league. So he gotta like get better. He knows there’s pressure on himself to get better.”

  • ESPN’s Jenna Laine mentions that many close to the situation believe Buccaneers HC Bruce Arians will retire again in two years despite being under contract for four more seasons.
  • Laine adds the buzz about Chargers QB Philip Rivers potentially landing in Tampa Bay in 2020 is legitimate and the Buccaneers have interest. 
  • League sources also say the Buccaneers are interested in Patriots QB Tom Brady, Saints QB Drew Brees, Titans QB Ryan Tannehill and Saints QB Teddy Bridgewater
  • Laine says the Buccaneers spent a lot of time evaluating quarterbacks at the Senior Bowl, particularly Utah State QB Jordan Love. Tampa Bay also likes Oregon QB Justin Herbert
  • As for Winston, there are questions about what his market looks like outside of Tampa Bay, per a league executive: “I don’t see how you can pay him. It would have to be pretty reasonably low if they did. You can’t give him big money based on the way he played. He won’t have a market.”
  • Laine writes Winston’s options to stay with the Buccaneers are either to accept the franchise tag at $26 million or a two-year deal with no guarantees beyond $26 million in the first year. 
  • The Athletic’s Michael Lombardi also says the Buccaneers have serious doubts about Winston’s viability as a quarterback. 
  • The Buccaneers tried out WRs Shawn Bane and J.J. Jones, C Sean McEwen and QB Chris Streveler on January 28. (Howard Balzer)

Falcons

Panthers

  • CBS Sports analyst and former agent Joel Corry expects Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey to surpass Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott‘s total guarantees in his next contract, which is $28,052,137 at signing and $50,052,137 overall. 

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