NFC South Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers, Saints


  • The Athletic’s Greg Auman mentions a number of free agents the Buccaneers could still add at some point before the season, including S Tony Jefferson, C A.Q. Shipley, QB Drew Stanton, RB Isaiah Crowell, RB Chris Thompson, LB Darron Lee and CB Darryl Roberts
  • Buccaneers GM Jason Licht said they evaluated QB Tom Brady‘s arm strength and were satisfied with his fit in HC Bruce Arians‘ downfield attack: “The tape to us showed he had plenty of arm … an ideal arm for Bruce’s system. We did not see a decline in his arm talent whatsoever.” (Auman)
  • Licht mentioned the team isn’t looking to add another receiver in free agency before the draft: “We’re focused on other areas of our team.” (Rick Stroud)
  • Buccaneers S Andrew Adams signed a one year, $1.01 million deal that includes a $100,000 roster bonus on the fifth day of the contract and a $910,000 base salary. (Aaron Wilson)


After being traded to Atlanta, TE Hayden Hurst says he was not surprised due to the rumors that persisted throughout the season and the fact that TE Mark Andrews caught fire for Baltimore in his absence. However, Hurst is excited about his new opportunity and joining his new teammates.

“(Then) you got Calvin (Ridley) as well, and the addition of LaQuon Treadwell. What, 11 picks in the first round are slated to start on this offense? It’s kind of crazy to be honest,” Hurst said via Jason Butt of The Athletic. “It’s pick your poison. You got Todd Gurley in the backfield. Then, of course, Matt Ryan doing his thing. To be a part of that offense is exciting, on paper. We just got to go out and do it now.”

Hurst is also excited about the role he can play in the offense of coordinator Dirk Koetter.

“Me and Coach Koetter have talked a few times on the phone. He just let me know the things he was able to do with Cameron Brate (in Tampa Bay). I think the red-zone opportunities are going to be there for the tight end. He let me know that. We talked about what he thought of my skill set — stretching the field vertically, being a presence in the red zone. And then obviously with what (Austin) Hooper did last year, he put up personal bests the entire year. He had 75 catches, (787) yards, six touchdowns. It was pretty incredible what he did. I think my skill set is really going to flourish, as well. I’m just really happy to be a part of it. It’s going to do wonderful things for my career.”


  • The Panthers have not yet placed LB Luke Kuechly on the reserve/retired list. However, according to the Athletic’s Joe Person, Kuechly has “no second thoughts” about his decision to retire after eight seasons. 
  • Person adds the Panthers are likely waiting until after June 1 to spread out the cap hit from Kuechly’s retirement.
  • Person mentions Panthers free-agent CB Ross Cockrell, CB Tramaine Brock, DT Mike Daniels and DE Jabaal Sheard as some potential free-agent options for Carolina still available. 
  • New Panthers LB Tahir Whitehead didn’t reveal whether he or LB Shaq Thompson would fill Kuechly’s role at middle linebacker in 2020. (Jourdan Rodrigue)


  • According to Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller, Utah State QB Jordan Love has connected with a number of teams, including the Saints, ahead of the draft. 
  • Colorado LB Davion Taylor has had a video conference interview with the Saints. (Nicki Jhabvala)

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