NFC South Notes: Buccaneers, Panthers, Saints

     

Buccaneers

Buccaneers HC Dirk Koetter admitted that the NFL’s investigation into QB Jameis Winston has been “a little frustrating.”

To be honest, it is a little frustrating but I really don’t think about that a whole lot because, one, we have no control over it, and two, I’m not involved in it. I mean, I really don’t know where that’s at,” Koetter said of the investigation, per Rick Stroud. “It’s just one of those things we don’t have control over so we have to move ahead. I think it was important that we signed Ryan Fitzpatrick back, that’s another guy we signed back that we haven’t talked about.”

Panthers

Citing multiple sources with direct knowledge of the situation, Albert Breer of SI.com reports that the NFL expects to have a buyer selected for the Panthers franchise at some point in April.

According to Breer, the NFL’s goal is to have the bidding get into the range of $2.6 billion. However, it’s unclear whether the team will actually reach that target when all is said and done.

Breer says that hedge fund manager David Tepper has been the favorite from the beginning. The NFL is also vetting South Carolina businessman Ben Navarro.

As for Fanatics owner Michael Rubin’s bid that features rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs as part of his ownership group, Breer says that it’s not over for Rubin, but it’s becoming increasingly less likely he’ll win out.

Saints

  • Saints HC Sean Payton offered some high praise for Louisville QB Lamar Jackson: “I like him, I like him. He’s athletic. He’s got a magic smile to him. He’s a leader. He’s a special guy. You just have to be around him and interview him and you can see why he was successful.”
  • Payton added that whoever their next quarterback is, he won’t be “Brees clone.” (Mike Triplett)
  • Payton explained that they were interested in re-signing TE Jimmy Graham and thinks the interest was mutual, but they had a “price point” and it was exceeded. (Mike Triplett)
  • According to Payton, adding an edge rusher remains a “must.” for themWe went into this process it’s a ‘must.’ And we haven’t addressed it yet. So it’ll be important. It has to happen.” Payton also said listed tight end and receiver as other areas to be addressed. (Mike Triplett)
  • Saints GM Mickey Loomis said of not landing Ndamukong Suh: “We made a pitch. He chose to go a different direction. That happens more often than not, really, when you have 32 teams competing for a group of players. Sometimes you lose.(Larry Holder)
  • Loomis did, however, say that they’re looking to improve at some positions either through free agency or the trade market before the draft: “There’s still time left before the draft. There’s still players out there and available. There’s other avenues, there’s trades. I can’t answer that yet. We’re always striving to be able to select … the highest-rated player.” (Nick Underhill)