NFC South Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers

     

Buccaneers

Even though the Buccaneers dropped QB Jameis Winston for Tom Brady, HC Bruce Arians wanted to let people know it was less about Winston’s failings and more about the tremendous opportunity the team had to add someone like Brady. Arians has said that publicly as well as privately, lobbying on Winston’s behalf with other teams as the former No. 1 overall pick who led the NFL in passing yards last year now faces unemployment. 

“I’ve called a couple teams,” Arians said in an interview on the Rich Eisen Show via Pro Football Talk. “You’re going to get one of the hardest workers you’ve ever had and a great young man. It didn’t work out for us only because Tom Brady was available and we had Teddy Bridgewater if that wouldn’t have worked out. We were going full steam ahead back with Jameis. He’s a great young man and no one is going to outwork him.”

  • ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler said RB Melvin Gordon‘s reps spoke with the Buccaneers about a deal but it didn’t go anywhere. 
  • Fowler adds Tampa Bay wants to extend LB Lavonte David, who has one year left on his deal.
  • Jenna Laine of ESPN says that while the Buccaneers wanted WR Breshad Perriman back, they were only going to do so at the right price, given the depth of this year’s draft class at wide receiver.
  • ESPN’s John Keim mentions the Buccaneers as a potential trade candidate for Redskins LT Trent Williams
  • Arians told reporters the team still wants to add a pass-catching running back and depth in the secondary. (Greg Auman)
  • Arians was happy with what RB Ronald Jones did in the screen game but he wants someone who is more complete as a receiver and who can compete with third-down RB Dare Ogunbowale. (Auman)
  • Regarding the offensive line, Arians mentions that between the draft and free-agent signing Joe Haeg stepping in at right tackle, they’re in a good spot: “I don’t see it as a glaring need.” (Auman)
  • Haeg’s one-year, $2.3 million deal includes a $1.55 million base salary with $750,000 guaranteed, a $750,000 roster bonus guaranteed and due the third day after contract execution and up to $1 million in a playing time incentive. (Aaron Wilson)
  • The Athletic’s Greg Auman says his guess is the Buccaneers won’t use higher than a third-round pick to add a pass-catching back, mentioning Florida State RB Cam Akers and LSU RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire as options. 
  • Baylor WR Denzel Mims worked out privately for the Buccaneers before the COVID-19 outbreak. (Justin M)

Falcons

Falcons WR Laquon Treadwell is still looking to find his NFL footing after being drafted in the first round a few years back by the Vikings. After signing a one-year deal in Atlanta, Treadwell says he’s looking forward to learning from Atlanta’s star receiver tandem of Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley.

“I’ll probably learn a lot. His tape speaks for itself, and same for Calvin Ridley,” Treadwell said via ESPN’s Vaughn McClure. I think every guy brings a unique playing style. You just try to learn different things that you can incorporate into your game. Julio’s big. He’s fast. He’s explosive. He has the complete package; does everything at a high level. He’s a pro’s pro. I’m looking forward to competing and seeing what he picks up on in the film room that helps him excel every week.”

Treadwell called Falcons QB Matt Ryan a “phenomenal quarterback” and said he’s excited to learn from him as well. 

“I think he’s a phenomenal quarterback. I think he’s been playing since I was like 10 years old [with a laugh]. I’m excited to learn from him, see what he sees in my game, see what he likes about my game, see what he wants me to improve on. I’m just want to come in and be a sponge to the coaches, the quarterback, and just put my best foot forward. I’m just trying to get on the right track with this team,” said Treadwell via McClure

Panthers

  • Per ESPN’s David Newton, Panthers QB Teddy Bridgewater said he’s aware of the big shoes he’s stepping into and pointed out he did the same filling in for Drew Brees with the Saints in 2019: “Yeah, I’m aware of the situation I’m coming into. All I can do is be myself.”
  • Bridgewater is hopeful he can recapture the same level he had as a starter with the Vikings before his catastrophic knee injury. (Joe Person)
  • Panthers DL Zach Kerr‘s two-year deal has a base value of $3 million, plus more available via incentives. (Mike Garafolo)
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