NFC South Notes: Falcons, Panthers, Saints

     

Falcons

  • According to Pro Football Talk, the Falcons are still working on a contract extension for WR Julio Jones
  • Complicating matters is the Falcons lack of cap space currently, as they have only $4 million available and just had to sign K Matt Bryant to a one-year, $3 million deal.
  • Team owner Arthur Blank promised Jones they would sign him to an extension and Jones has so far publicly said he’s been happy to take Blank at his word. 
  • Bryant says he’s moved past being released earlier this offseason in a cap-saving maneuver by the Falcons, at least enough to return when they couldn’t find a reliable replacement: “I would be lying if I was to say I wasn’t upset about being let go. I think that’s human to not like being fired or however you want to term it.” (Vaughn McClure)

Panthers

When the Panthers first signed K Joey Slye, it was originally just as a camp leg to allow K Graham Gano time to recover following offseason knee surgery. But as Gano’s injury lingered, Slye continued to impress. He made 7-8 field goals during the preseason, including a 59-yarder, with his only miss due to a block. The Panthers placed Gano on season-ending injured reserve this weekend, meaning Slye turned his long-shot bid into Carolina’s starting job.

“I want to be one of the top guys who’s ever played,” Slye said via Bill Voth of the team website. “It’s not a mindset of I’m only doing it for accolades or getting to the top, but it’s that I promised my brother I’m going to give my best effort. I feel like I have the potential to be a top kicker in the league. We’re on a mountain climbing, and once my career’s over, hopefully, I’ll be sitting on the top of the mountain happy with what I’ve accomplished.”

Saints

  • Former Saints LB Darnell Sankey was fined $21,056 for a hit to former Jets QB Davis Webb during the preseason, per Amie Just of the New Orleans Advocate.
  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer calls the trade for Dolphins LB Kiko Alonso a smart buy-low move, as Alonso could start for New Orleans.
  • Alonso agreed to a reworked deal that guarantees him $5 million this year, $4 million from the Saints and $1 million from the Dolphins. His 2020 base salary of $6.4 million remains the same. (Tom Pelissero)
  • Saints HC Sean Payton said cutting S Chris Banjo “was one of the more difficult decisions” the Saints had to make during cutdowns, adding Banjo could be brought back: “That door is not shut.” (Herbie Teope)
  • The Saints believe LB Alex Anzalone should be healthy for the start of the season. (Teope)
  • Payton mentioned QB Taysom Hill‘s ability to fill in at tight end helped New Orleans feel comfortable keeping only two on the roster. (Mike Triplett)
  • Saints DE Carl Granderson has been reinstated from the commissioner exempt list. (Larry Holder)
  • Mike Triplett notes that Granderson will not count against New Orleans’ 53-man roster for the first two weeks of the season. 

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