NFC South Notes: Falcons, Panthers, Saints


  • According to ESPN’s Vaughn McClure, free-agent K Matt Bryant says nothing has been signed and he’s coming in for his tryout Friday like “any other free agent” to try and win a job.
  • Bryant was due $3.5 million by the Falcons before being released this offseason, but the team hasn’t been able to settle on a steady replacement, which is why the 44-year-old Bryant is coming in on the eve of the regular season: “I’m a competitor, and the fire still burns.” 
  • If Atlanta elects to sign Bryant, he would have to have a minimum base salary of $1.03 million. His base salary last season was $1.1 million. (McClure)
  • Bryant’s salary would be fully-guaranteed if he’s on the roster Week 1 because he’s accrued more than four years of service.
  • Falcons K Giorgio Tavecchio’s minimum base salary is $645,000, while K Blair Walsh has an $805,000 base salary and a cap hit of $645,000. The Falcons currently have $3.3 million in cap space.
  • Falcons DT Ra’Shede Hageman did not travel to Jacksonville for Atlanta’s fourth preseason game with a hamstring injury and could be waived with an injury designation this weekend. (McClure


Panthers DT Vernon Butler will play in Carolina’s fourth preseason game, which isn’t necessarily what’s expected of a former first-round pick entering his fourth season.

However, Butler is in a tenuous position after the Panthers declined his fifth-year option this offseason. Butler has trimmed down to 315 pounds from 330 as he now enters a contract year.

“We’re excited to watch him, we really are. Because this is go-time,” Panthers HC Ron Rivera said via the Athletic’s Joseph Person. “This is a really important time of his career because he’s going into the last year of his contract. And he knows that. And he’s very aware of that.”


Saints WRs coach Curtis Johnson believes co-receivers coach Ronald Curry has the potential to become an offensive coordinator or head coach. 

He definitely should be a coordinator in this league, if not a head coach, because he understands the game from a different perspective, being in both football and basketball,” Johnson said, via Mike Triplett of ESPN. “I think the guy is a superstar waiting to happen.”

  • Mike Triplett mentions that it’s “unclear” if Saints TE Jared Cook is dealing with any major and notes that an injury report won’t be released until next week.
  • Although, Triplett says it could be a minor issue, given that Cook stayed on the sideline during practice and spoke with media afterward. 

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