NFC South Notes: Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers, Saints

     

Buccaneers

New Buccanneers TE Rob Gronkowski said after being traded to Tampa Bay that he had already had the team’s playbook for nearly a month, which would be a violation of NFL rules.

“I was in a Tampa Bay Buccaneers playbook four weeks ago, and I wasn’t even on the team,” Gronkowski said, via Eduardo A. Encina of the Tampa Bay Times

However, an NFL spokesman said the Buccaneers did not commit any violations by including Gronkowski in the playbook because it was revealed to him by Tom Brady during a personal visit. 

“It was a brief personal visit, and Tom picked up the playbook,” said the NFL spokesman.

  • According to Over The Cap’s Nick Korte, the Buccaneers are projected to receive a sixth-round compensatory pick in 2021. 
  • If the Patriots release DT Beau Allen before 10 accrued weeks, the Buccaneers could lose the sixth-round pick they got from losing WR Breshad Perriman.

Falcons

Panthers

  • The Athletic’s Joe Person reports all indications are Panthers owner David Tepper wants to keep GM Marty Hurney on at least through the 2020 season, as he’s earned the trust and respect of the owner. 
  • Person adds while the Panthers were expected to look for an assistant general manager after the draft, that timeline could be impacted by the pandemic. 
  • According to the Athletic’s Jeff Duncan, the Panthers had all but sealed up QB Tommy Stevens as an undrafted free agent despite the Saints’ best efforts. Then the Saints traded a 2021 sixth-round pick to get back into the seventh round to take Stevens. 

Saints

  • The Athletic’s Jeff Duncan says the status for Saints QB Taysom Hill has not changed, as he’s still seen in the building as the heir apparent to QB Drew Brees
  • However, New Orleans plans to have newly-signed QB Jameis Winston potentially compete with Hill for the starting job when Brees retires. 
  • According to Duncan, the Panthers had all but sealed up QB Tommy Stevens as an undrafted free agent despite the Saints’ best efforts. Then the Saints traded a 2021 sixth-round pick to get back into the seventh round to take Stevens. 
  • Over The Cap’s Nick Korte writes the Saints are projected to receive a third-round compensatory pick in 2021. 
  • Korte thinks the NFL will count the signing of Winston as a qualifying free agent even though it was processed after the April 27 deadline, as the NFL Management Council is clamping down on teams trying to exploit loopholes with the process. 
  • Korte also writes that while Winston’s base salary is too low to qualify, if his $1.76 million regular-season playing time is counted as likely to be earned that would push him over the threshold. LTBE incentives count toward the comp pick formula under the new CBA, and because Winston played 99 percent of the snaps in 2019, that incentive has a good chance of being considered LTBE. 
  • However, a source tells Nick Underhill that Winston won’t count against the formula unless he earns his incentives. That would give the Saints an additional sixth-round comp pick for losing LB A.J. Klein.
  • That could all be moot, according to Korte, if New Orleans cuts Winston for some reason before he accrues 10 weeks.