NFC South Notes: Falcons, Panthers, Saints

     

Falcons

Panthers

Panthers TE Greg Olsen is entering the final two games of 2019 with clear eyes for the future. The 34-year-old veteran understands the team is poised to look radically different in 2020, with HC Ron Rivera already gone and QB Cam Newton rumored to be next. And with a potential $8.1 million in cap savings if he’s released, Olsen is well aware he might be in that group as well. 

“No one ever gets to write their ending, write their final script,” Olsen said via ESPN’s David Newton. “You don’t know what the future holds here. There’s been a lot of change. As I told you guys on the day we found out about Ron, change sometimes leads to other changes. It’s hard to predict when and where that comes.”

Part of the speculation around Newton’s status for 2020 has been whether the former MVP would even want to play without an extension or some kind of long-term security. At one of his numerous charity events that finally earned him Carolina’s nomination for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, Newton clarified that as long as the team wants him — which is the biggest question this offseason — he wants to stay a Panther. 

“I won’t. They got to ship me off for me to leave,” Newton said via Alaina Getzenberg of the Charlotte Observer. “In order for me to leave, they got to get rid of me. It’s not up to me.”

  • Panthers interim HC Perry Fewell confirmed the team plans to start third-round rookie QB Will Grier this week against the Colts, adding the staff has had their eye on this Sunday to debut Grier for a couple of weeks now. (Joseph Person)

Saints

New Saints CB Janoris Jenkins has only graded out as a slightly above-average corner this season according to Pro Football Focus. He’s rated 53rd out of 122 qualifying players per the site, but Saints HC Sean Payton said the team made it a priority to claim him despite already having Marshon Lattimore and Eli Apple (23rd and 55th per PFF respectively) because you can never have enough competent corners. 

“We value the player, especially the position,” Payton said in his Wednesday presser. “It’s always a difficult position to find. He gives us versatility and that’s important down the stretch.”

  • Saints G Andrus Peat returned to practice for the first time since going down with a broken arm five games ago. (Mike Triplett)
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