NFC South Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers, Saints


For the other teams in the NFC South, the Buccaneers’ addition of QB Tom Brady is a bit of a catch-22. On the one hand, NFL players appreciate greatness, particularly ones who grew up watching Brady like Saints DE Cameron Jordan. The two matchups between the Saints and Buccaneers this year also promise to be compelling given New Orleans’ own legendary QB Drew Brees. But players like Jordan are also wired to be competitive, and Brady is a powerful obstacle to overcome in their quest for a Super Bowl. 

“The fact that he’ll be in my division gives me more chances to hit him, hopefully,” Jordan said on Sirius XM NFL Radio. “You talk about somebody whose just been known as one of the greatest of all time for all six Super Bowls that he’s won, he’s a winner. And for that to be in my conference, I’m not excited about it. At the same time, I sort of am. I would love to welcome him to the NFC South which we’ve had the last three years. But we know the talent that he has. He has Mike Evans. He has (Chris) Godwin. He has O.J. Howard. They’ve got Bruce Arians now and now you’ve got Tom Brady so it’s just exciting for them to be in our conference.”

  • Brady told Howard Stern he was drawn to Buccaneers’ HC Bruce Arians‘ authenticity: “I like him a lot and…me even being a free agent, I learned so much having an opportunity evaluate what was important to me…he’s definitely someone that tells you straight, and I appreciate that, too.” (Rick Stroud)


Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff said they included “language in our contracts” that protects both parties in RB Todd Gurley‘s contract. However, they are not concerned about his knee issues. 

“We looked closely at it,” Dimitroff said, via Vaughn McClure of ESPN. “We have language in our contracts that are going to protect us and the player. If the player comes in and has an issue that he might not pass a physical, then that’s something that we’ll address then. We’re not looking at it that way [of Gurley possibly failing the physical]. In our mind, we’re thinking about Todd Gurley coming in … he really takes care of his body well and he’ll continue to work on it.”

Dimitroff reiterated that the Falcons are “very comfortable” with Gurley’s health and they are “counting on him” to produce next season. 

We’ll continue to be very mindful about what we are dealing with. We feel very comfortable with it. Of course, this is a tough game and it’s a warrior game. We know that. … But he’s a hard-charging runner. And he’s an excellent football player. We are counting on him to be an excellent football player for us.

  • Falcons HC Dan Quinn said the team believes LB Foye Oluokun is ready to step into the starting lineup. (Jason Butt)
  • Quinn mentioned he likes the depth in this year’s draft class at defensive tackle and offensive tackle. (Butt)
  • Falcons DE John Cominsky is expected to have a larger role in 2020, per Quinn. (D. Orlando Ledbetter)
  • LSU DE K’Lavon Chaisson said while he didn’t get to make any pre-draft visits, “a lot of teams that you’re seeing select me in mock drafts and whatnot, I’ve spoken with those teams.” The Falcons are a frequent mock destination for Chaisson. (Justin Melo)


  • The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue reports the Panthers had a “long video call” with Northern Colorado QB Jacob Knipp.
  • Rodrigue points out the Panthers also attended Knipp’s Pro Day prior to the NFL announcing its travel restrictions. 


  • Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline says the belief in NFL circles is Utah State QB Jordan Love will come off the board between the Raiders’ pick at No. 19 and the Saints’ pick at No. 24. 
  • Saints WR Emmanuel Sanders‘ two-year, $16 million deal includes a $6 million signing bonus, base salaries of $2 million and $6 million and a $2 million guaranteed roster bonus in 2021. (Albert Breer)
  • There’s also a third year with an $8 million base salary that’s set to void in 2021. 
  • Sanders can make up to $1.5 million in reception incentives in both 2020 and 2021. (Nick Underhill)
  • Notre Dame S Alohi Gilman had a private visit with the Saints that was canceled due to the shutdown. (Justin Melo)

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