NFC South Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers

     

Buccaneers

By signing with Tampa Bay, Buccaneers QB Tom Brady made the NFC South one of the strongest divisions in football. Brady will face off four times a year against fellow future Hall of Famer, Saints QB Drew Brees, and Falcons QB Matt Ryan, who himself is no slouch and has as good a complement of weapons as any of them. But adding a quarterback like Brady has a ripple effect on the entire team and should propel the Buccaneers into contention for the division title. 

“It was a great sign by Tampa, and this division has gotten a lot stronger,” Saints HC Sean Payton said via the Times-Picayune’s Luke Johnson. “It’s also what he brings to the rest of the team. One of the great strengths a player like Tom has is those others around him get better. I’m sure that we’ll see an entirely different type of Tampa Bay team because of his presence.”

Falcons

  • Per ESPN’s Vaughn McClure, new Falcons DE Dante Fowler said his existing relationship with HC Dan Quinn was a major factor in bringing him to Atlanta. Quinn helped recruit him at Florida and Fowler had Thanksgiving dinner with Quinn’s family one year. 
  • Washington C Nick Harris had a pre-draft meeting over video conference with the Falcons. (Justin Melo)

Panthers

  • In an appearance on the Locked On NFL Draft podcast, the Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue says that according to multiple sources within the organization, the Panthers discussed trading up to No. 1 overall for LSU QB Joe Burrow as one of their options to replace QB Cam Newton.
  • While reuniting Burrow with Panthers OC Joe Brady, his passing game coordinator for LSU’s national title, the Panthers ultimately ruled it out because of the draft capital it would take. 
  • Rodrigue says the Panthers also considered having Newton play out the final year of his contract, but the downside of that was if Newton was hurt again it would scuttle another season. 
  • Carolina ultimately settled on Teddy Bridgewater because it was the option with the least amount of risk, particularly when Bridgewater was available at a much lower cost than anticipated. 
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