NFC South Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers, Saints

     

Buccaneers

  • According to ESPN’s Jenna Laine, the Buccaneers have discussed the possibility of a two-year deal for QB Jameis Winston, with the first year being fully guaranteed and worth about the same as the franchise tag and the second year being a team option. 

Falcons

  • Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline says he wouldn’t be surprised if the Falcons made an announcement soon that they won’t be retaining TE Austin Hooper, as both the franchise tag and a multi-year deal would be too expensive. 
  • Pauline adds Atlanta is expected to target a pass rusher in free agency. 
  • Falcons K Younghoe Koo‘s one-year extension comes with a base salary of $660,000. (Vaughn McClure)
  • Falcons P Ryan Allen‘s one-year extension includes a base salary of $945,000. 
  • NFL Media’s Gil Brandt writes the Falcons likely need to make the playoffs in 2020 to save HC Dan Quinn‘s job. Improving the pass rush and running game, as well as getting QB Matt Ryan and WR Julio Jones untracked, are likely key factors to achieving that result. 
  • Brandt notes it was clear the locker room was still behind Quinn as evidenced by Atlanta’s 6-2 finish to end the season. 

Panthers

  • Panthers GM Marty Hurney personally visited campus to scout Lenoir-Rhyne S Kyle Dugger. (Matthew Fairburn)

Saints

The announcement by Saints QB Drew Brees that he would return to play in 2020 was just the first step, as his contract is set to expire and will need to be renewed by New Orleans. However, Saints HC Sean Payton doesn’t expect a new deal for Brees to be much of an obstacle. 

“Every time that subject has come up — and it’s come up a number of times…where they’re working on a contract and they always seem to get it done in an efficient manner,” Payton said via Amie Just of the Times-Picayune. “I think that won’t be any different this time around.”

Now the contract situations for the Saints’ other quarterbacks, like pending restricted free agent Taysom Hill, are much more up in the air. The Saints can’t stop other teams from making a run at Hill, unless they are able to sign him to an extension, but they can make it harder by using the first-round tender, which Payton anticipates

“If he was unsigned prior to the league year, I would anticipate us really paying close attention to that and looking at that first-round tender,” Payton said. “That’ll take some time, relative to his contract because it’s unique in what he’s doing now and what we feel like he can be and what he can do when Drew does retire. That will probably take a little more work than the contract that Mickey [Loomis] does with Drew.”

  • NFL Media’s Gregg Rosenthal doesn’t think the Saints will use the franchise tag on S Vonn Bell to stop him from reaching the open market. 

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