NFC South Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers


  • ESPN’s Matt Bowen and Field Yates write former Falcons RB Devonta Freeman would be a strong fit with the Buccaneers as a receiving back. 
  • The two also think Tampa Bay would make sense as a landing spot for free-agent LB Clay Matthews to add another pass rusher to an already formidable defensive front. 
  • ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler highlights former Bears CB Prince Amukamara as a veteran option to bolster the Buccaneers’ secondary. 
  • The Athletic’s Greg Auman says the Buccaneers appear to be committed to a starting duo of Carlton Davis and Jamel Dean at cornerback with Sean Murphy-Bunting as the primary nickel corner, with it remaining to be seen who handles opponent’s No. 1 receiver. 
  • Buccaneers undrafted free agent G John Molchon received a $15,000 signing bonus and $50,000 of his base salary guaranteed. (Auman)
  • Buccaneers WR John Hurst and LB Nasir Player also each received $5,000 signing bonuses as undrafted free agents. 


  • ESPN’s Matt Bowen and Jeremy Fowler mentions the Falcons as a good landing spot for former Panthers S Eric Reid, as he plays a similar style to Falcons S Keanu Neal who hasn’t been able to stay healthy. 
  • Falcons HC Dan Quinn anticipates filling the 90th spot on the roster with a kicker to compete with incumbent Younghoe Koo, but the pandemic has inhibited their ability to host workouts. (Jason Butt)
  • Quinn believes Atlanta’s 2019 first-round picks — RG Chris Lindstrom and RT Kaleb McGary — should improve in their second season. (Kelsey Conway)
  • Quinn said the plan is for DL John Cominksy to play defensive end on running downs and slide inside to defensive tackle on third downs to rush the passer. (Conway)
  • While the climate surrounding the pandemic will dictate if this is feasible, Quinn mentioned he has spoken with the Dolphins and Bills about conducting joint practices. (Butt)


  • The Athletic’s Joe Person mentions free-agent CB Ross Cockrell is still available after starting much of last season for the Panthers, who still need help in the secondary. However, Person says the fact a deal hasn’t been done already likely indicates the team doesn’t see him as a priority. 
  • Person says the Panthers are absolutely candidates to take a quarterback high in the 2021 draft unless starting QB Teddy Bridgewater plays them out of range for one. 
  • Person writes that new Panthers director of player personnel Pat Stewart will primarily oversee the pro scouting side of operations, though he has experience scouting collegiately as well. 
  • Person adds he’s not sure if Stewart is seen as the assistant GM/eventual successor to current Panthers GM Marty Hurney, whose contract runs through June of 2021 and could very well be extended given the rapport Hurney has former with owner David Tepper
  • Panthers TE Ian Thomas is the clear frontrunner to start as Carolina’s No. 1 tight end in 2020 and has the chance to prove he’s a building block for the team, per Person.
  • Per ESPN’s David Newton, Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey may be isolated away from the team with his family in Denver, Colorado, but because the entire McCaffrey clan are football players, his workouts haven’t suffered. His dad Ed is a coach and former player, while brothers Dylan and Luke are both current college quarterbacks: “I’m able to do everything. It’s just not with the team.”
  • ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler says former Falcons RB Devonta Freeman would be a strong fit with the Panthers as a backup running back. 
  • ESPN’s Field Yates adds the Panthers could look at former Packers and Lions DT Mike Daniels to continue rebuilding their defensive front. 

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