NFC South Notes: Buccaneers, Panthers, Saints



An NFL executive tells Mike Sando of The Athletic that while giving up a fourth-round pick to move up one spot for OT Tristan Wirfs was an “overreaction,” he’s a “perfect fit” for Tampa Bay.

“That was an overreaction,” the executive said, “but Wirfs is a perfect fit for them. I love (Antoine) Winfield. Great football player. Really like this class overall. Productive players in college that all have an element of versatility to them. I just didn’t like the trade from 14 to 13.”

  • Per the Athletic’s Greg Auman, Buccaneers OT Josh Wells‘ deal is worth the veteran minimum salary of $910,000. 


An NFL executive who spoke with Mike Sando of The Athletic mentioned the possibility of the Panthers employing a 3-3-5 defense under Matt Rhule like the one they ran at Baylor.

“Maybe we’ll see some of that 3-3-5 like they ran at Baylor,” the executive said. “You are increasingly seeing college offenses in the NFL, so maybe it would work. And if it doesn’t work, hey, we have seven years to get it right.”

  • The Athletic’s Joe Person says he’s pretty sure the Panthers didn’t promise G Michael Schofield a starting job, but he has the ability to fill in at either guard spot for Dennis Daley or John Miller and potentially even at tackle if someone gets hurt. 
  • Person adds he was told HC Matt Rhule was very open and even eager to trade back, however, GM Marty Hurney was sold on DT Derrick Brown. While Rhule liked Brown, he also liked the idea of adding more picks. 


  • Regarding the Saints’ decision to select OL Cesar Ruiz in the first round, Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.Football writes the organization was not pleased with G Larry Warford‘s performance last season and he is now on the hot seat moving forward. 
  • Underhill reports that Warford showed up to training camp last year overweight and was a frequent target of criticism from the coaching staff.
  • When asked what Ruiz’s addition means for Warford, Saints HC Sean Payton said the veteran must compete for a role: “Larry’s going to have to compete.”
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